The Business Development Bank of Canada announced it has awarded the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award $100,000 grand prize to a bionic knee brace project from Spring Loaded Technology in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The Bionic Boost project was submitted by submitted Chris Cowper-Smith, PhD, MSc, and Bob Garrish, MASc, cofounders of Spring Loaded Technology, and will accelerate the company’s technology to create and market the world’s first bionic knee brace. According to a press release, the brace will store the users’ own kinetic energy and release it when it is most needed to enhance strength, reduce fatigue and increase stability. The brace will be marketed to a diverse group of customers: everyone from athletes looking to enhance performance, to laborers and military personnel, to people with various forms of movement disability.
“We will use the $100,000 grand prize for new rapid carbon‑fiber and composites manufacturing equipment to boost production and cut our costs so we can bring an affordable and accessible bionic knee brace to market this fall,” Cowper-Smith said in the release. “Thanks to the support of Canadians from across the country, we will be able to make a difference in the lives of people around the world.”
The BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest was created in 1988 to honor remarkable Canadian entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 years and 35 years. Ten finalists are selected each year to compete for the grand prize. Winners are chosen by a national committee in combination with a public vote.
“We believe that participating in the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest is an invaluable experience for any entrepreneur, and I congratulate Chris and Bob on their win,” Michel Bergeron, senior vice president of marketing and public affairs at BDC, said in the release. “Their company is a compelling example of how Canadian entrepreneurs can create world‑class and exportable products in the health care space and improve quality of life for an aging population.”