3 Medical School Faculty Receive BU Ignition Awards

Aerial shot of Boston University's campus during sunset. An orange glow is shown on the large campus highlighting campus buildings like Kilachand.
Photo by Adele Bertschy

In labs across Boston University, researchers are working on ideas and technologies that could change—and save—lives. Like an enamel-mimicking formula that can repair damaged teeth, an AI-based tool that improves elementary students’ reading skills, and a process for supercharging cancer-fighting immune cells. But sometimes these innovations need a little help making the jump from promising research project to transformative product for our homes, hospitals, schools, and beyond. That’s where the BU Ignition Awards come in.

Given by BU Technology Development, the awards are designed to accelerate the advancement of promising new science and technology. Among the 2023 winners are the tooth-saving formula, AI-powered reading tool, and cancer-fighting technology.

In addition to a financial grant, award winners receive coaching and support to bring their innovations to market, helping them more easily make the move from academic research to a tangible proof-of-concept required for a company to invest. If successful, the 2023 cohort of scientists and engineers may become Boston’s newest entrepreneurs.

The 2023 Ignition Awards have been given to eight projects, each recognized for its commercial potential. Previous winners have gone on to launch companies offering a stem-cell treatment for cancer, an efficient water-free system for cleaning solar panels, and a therapy for reversing organ failure.

The Brink took a closer look at the newest winners. Read more