Join Us

2019 Innovators’ Challenge attendees will have a front-row seat to witness the latest health care projects that the brightest minds in BC health care are most passionate about. We want to see you there!

Contact us below for more information on how you can get involved and be a part of the next generation of health care innovation. Together we can save lives and transform health care.

Prefer to use the phone?
For sponsorship inquiries please contact: Rebecca Sharma at 604 875 4676 ext 66379.
For all other inquiries contact Phyllis Lai at 604 875 4676 ext 68760

2018 Featured Research Projects

Stay tuned for the unveiling of the 2019 project finalists!

The following research projects were presented during the inaugural Innovators’ Challenge event on April 9, 2018:


Unique skin replacement therapy for severe burns and wounds

Burn, diabetic and pressure wounds cause debilitating pain and can lead to serious health complications for patients. Dr. Aziz Ghahary and his team are developing an infection-fighting liquid skin substitute made of natural skin proteins.

Learn more


New gastrointestinal (GI) tract endoscope for early cancer detection

Dr. Haishan Zeng and his team are building a new GI tract endoscope that will produce real-time histology-like and 3D images of tissues with cellular resolution using confocal optics. The new device will have extraordinary patient impact by detecting GI cancers early.

Learn more


Emergency Department App

Dr. Kendall Ho’s team proposes to develop an app that enhances patient-health professional communication to dramatically transform the patient experience in the Emergency Department. The app will gather and organize information to provide patients with their diagnosis, treatment and discharge instructions, and facilitate follow ups.

Learn more

Photo courtesy of Vancouver Coastal Health


A novel system of Near-Infrared Spectroscopy for postoperative monitoring of the hemodynamics of transplanted free tissues

Free Tissue Transfer (FTT) is the standard of care for reconstructing complex surgical defects from cancer surgery. Dr. Don Anderson and his colleagues plan to build and evaluate a novel system of Near-Infrared Spectroscopy for postoperative perfusion monitoring of transplanted FTT.

Learn more

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2018 Lifetime Achievement in Health Innovation Award

The new Lifetime Achievement in Health Innovation Award, presented by VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, has been created to recognize the exceptional capabilities, achievements and leadership of an individual from the medical device, biotech, diagnostics and/or health care industries. The inaugural winner was selected by the Innovators’ Challenge Advisory Committee following review of all nominations. Learn more about the 2018 Lifetime Achievement in Health Innovation Award nominees.

Congratulations to the 2018 Lifetime Achievement in Health Innovation Award winner, Dr. Donald Ricci.

The 2019 Lifetime Achievement in Health Innovation Award will be presented to the winner at this year’s Innovators’ Challenge.

Innovators’ Challenge Advisory Committee

The Innovators’ Challenge Advisory Committee is a collection of individuals who bring a set of unique knowledge and skills from the health and innovation sectors. Learn more

Paul Geyer (Chair)

CEO of Discovery Parks and Nimbus Synergies, a unique Health Technology Program under the Discovery Parks umbrella

Andrew Booth

Chief Commercial Officer, STEMCELL Technologies

Jerel Davis

Managing Director, Versant Ventures

Antony Hodgson

Co-Director, ICICS, UBC; Director, HATCH Incubator, VCHRI; Director, Surgical Technologies Lab, VCHRI

Maria Pacella

Senior VP, Private Equity, PenderFund Capital Management

Dr. Don Ricci

Inaugural Lifetime Achievement in Health Innovation Award Winner

2018 Sponsors

  • LifeLabs
  • KPMG
  • Siemens Healthineers
  • Open2Discussion
  • PenderFund Capital Management
  • iClinic Systems Inc.
In kind
  • McKinsey & Company