YOUNG ENTREPRENEURSHIP AWARD 2013
Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands
“Multimodal Flexible Scalable Single Photon Detector”
Solid state single photon detectors can detect single photons as electric signals, and are used as detectors in diagnostic apparatuses such as PET, various spectroscopic analytical tools, and microscopes. Each detector in these apparatuses has been specifically designed according to its required functions, and development costs are quite high.
Mr. Mandai designs a multi-purpose, high-functioning photon detector with a novel structure that can detect photons over a wide range of wavelengths. The new photon detector can be developed at low cost because of its versatility. The proposed detector has the potential to enable diagnosis under lower radiation exposure with lower amounts of imaging agent, thus providing highly advanced treatment at low cost. The proposed detector can also be used for the development of new diagnostic apparatuses combining PET and MRI since they should be much less affected by the magnetic field. In the research field, this detector can provide for the dynamic observation of cells, and has the potential to contribute to progress in cancer research.
Mr. Mandai ‘s proposal is based on his own research, and will find a wide variety of applications such as in medical devices, satellite cameras, and detectors used in high-energy physics. The Takeda Foundation awards Mr. Shingo Mandai the Best Entrepreneur of the Takeda Young Entrepreneurship Award since he not only proposes a new multi-purpose, high-functioning single photon detector, but has also made efforts to find business partners, so that the proposal has a high possibility of implementation.
Ajit Narayanan Invention Labs Engineering Products PVT LTD, India
“Avaz– an Artificial voice for Children with speech disabilities”
More than 25 million children with speech and language disabilities are born worldwide every year. These speech and language disabilities are usually caused by congenital disorders including cerebral palsy, autism, mental retardation, and Down syndrome. The children afflicted have difficulties in verbal communication and in participating in societal activities even after they grow up. Augmentative and alternative Communication Devices (AAC) have been developed to help disabled children communicate with other people, but they are quite expensive ranging from US5,000 to 10,000 dollars, and not feasible for disabled children in developing countries. Mr. Narayanan has developed a portable AAC device, Avaz, at a price as low as US 200 dollars by applying smartphone technology and tablet functions, and has been promoting the device and its downloadable program worldwide. By touching pictures on Avaz, disabled children can communicate with other people without speaking.
Mr. Narayanan has his own start-up, Invention Labs, and has begun developing his low cost AAC device with requests from special schools for disabled children. He succeeded in the development of Avaz in 2010, and ever since, the use of the device and its downloadable program has been expanding worldwide. The Takeda Foundation awards the Selection Committee Special Award to Mr. Ajit Narayanan for his contribution to the development of a low cost and high functional AAC device, Avaz, which has a high potential of helping disabled children participate in societal activities.
Abdul Matin Sheikh NGO Bac Bon, Bangladesh
There is a huge disparity in education between rural areas and the capital, Dhaka, in Bangladesh. It is very difficult for students in rural areas to participate in preparatory educational courses for higher education in Dhaka because of financial difficulties, thus making it difficult for them to enter universities in Dhaka. Mr. Abdul Matin Sheikh realized the necessity of providing students in rural areas with inexpensive study materials for university entrance exams, and has developed a remote education system using DVD study materials with help from professors in Dhaka. The remote education system, e-Education:Bangladesh, includes DVD study materials in seven subjects encompassing over 100 hours, and a support group to help rural students use the DVD study materials. These study materials have been provided to more than 1000 students in rural areas, and some of these students actually entered top universities in Dhaka.
The Takeda Foundation awards the Entrepreneur Award to Mr. Abdul Matin Shiekh for his initiative in developing e-Education:Bangladesh in a short period of time to provide students in rural areas with inexpensive study materials, thus enabling them to enter universities in Dhaka. He also has organized an NGO, Bac Bon, that helps students in rural areas use the DVD study materials, thus giving students in rural areas an incentive to study and hope for the future.
Lim Jit Kang Malaysia Science University, Malaysia
“Low gradient magnetophoretic separation of microalgae from fish farm water”
Microalgae blooms in commercial fresh water fish farms cause oxygen deficits in the water, and result in the death of farmed fish from suffocation as well as water pollution in neighboring rivers. Dr. Lim has developed a new technology that separates microalgae from farm water by capturing microalgae with magnetic nanoparticles and separating the captured microalgae from the water in a low gradient magnetic field. This new technology has the advantage of a low initial investment on the operational unit involved as compared with high magnetic field gradient filtration, and the operational cost is lower than the energy intensive centrifugation method. He has already performed in-field study with the cooperation of fish farmers. The used magnetic nanoparticles can be recycled after subject to microalgae separation. He is currently studying the improvement in magnetic materials and binders to assist the magnetic nanoparticles in capturing microalgae.
He has published theoretical evidence for the low gradient magnetophoretic separation of microalgae from fish farm water, calculated the cost performance of the technology, and studied methods that prevent used nanoparticles from causing environmental pollution. The Takeda Foundation awards the Entrepreneur Award to Dr. Lim Jit Kang for the development of magnetophoretic separation technology with the potential to solve microalgae problems that affect 1000 fish farming families as well as solving the environmental problems that affect 5000 neighbor families.
Nguyen Duy Vinh Hanoi University of Science and Technology, Vietnam
“Gasoline-ethanol dual-fuel system for used motorcycles in Vietnam”
In Vietnam, the primary energy demand is rapidly increasing, and the government promotes the development of renewable energy to complement fossil fuel. In concert with the government policy on renewable energy, Mr. Nguyen Duy has developed a new fuel system that enables used motorcycles to run on either gasoline or 100% ethanol. His invention involves the use of two float chambers, one for gasoline and another for 100% ethanol, allowing the used motorcycles to run on either gasoline or 100% ethanol by switching fuel line into the carburetor without changing the engine itself. Actual running tests prove that the amount of exhaust gas and gas mileage using 100% ethanol are comparable to those using gasoline.
Mr. Nguyen Duy is a graduate student at Hanoi University of Science and Technology, and has been studying internal combustion engines. He has developed the new fuel system for used motorcycles based on his research experience. Currently, he is planning to manufacture and market the duel fuel system in Vietnam. The Takeda Foundation awards the Entrepreneur Award to Mr Nguyen Duy Vinh for the development of a gasoline-ethanol dual fuel system for used motorcycles recognizing its wide application in developing countries where motorcycles are major transportation tools.
Yuto Takei The University of Tokyo, Japan
“Time Maker – The secretary platform on smartphone”
Mr. Takei has developed an automatic scheduling software that operates with a calendar program on smartphones under a start-up concept of “WE make the time”, and propose to change life styles. He has developed a scheduling system that automatically sets up event schedules with a system to adjust event dates in case emergency events arise after the initial schedules are set up.
Mr. Takei and his friend started the software development, and later, two more members joined the development team. They have already developed a beta version of the program, and the project has been awarded a grant as one of the 2013 projects supported by the Exploratory IT Human Resources Project program by the Information-Technology Promotion Agency. They are making a business plan under the guidance of the Division of University Corporate Relations at the University of Tokyo. The Takeda Foundation awards the Entrepreneur Award to Mr. Yuto Takei for the development of the new automatic scheduling software, Time Maker. There is an increasing demand for automatic scheduling, and some products have already been developed. However, user demands are diverse and it is still a big challenge to develop automatic scheduling software that meets diverse user needs. Time Maker has the potential to become universally applied software if the developers listen carefully to users’ voices and meet diverse user needs in time.