Carleton University PhD student Aliasgar Morbi, co-founder of GaitTronics, has received a one-year $50,000 Martin Walmsley Fellowship from the Ontario Centre of Excellence (OCE) for his device, GaitEnable, a unique robotic patient-handling technology. GaitEnable reduces the number of staff required to mobilize a patient, prevents patient falls and reduces caregiver injuries. In addition to Morbi, the company is composed of Carleton PhD student, Richard Beranek and Prof. Mojtaba Ahmadi.
“I want to change the way hospitals think about mobilizing patients in Ontario,” said Morbi. “This technology is unique because it provides a complete solution for patient transfers and mobility training. It lifts and it supports people while they are walking. Devices that are currently out there, such as patient lifts, are designed to get patients out of a bed and into a wheelchair. They are not really focused on getting them walking. It is the walking that is critically important and gets them better.”
Four Ontario-based innovators will receive $50,000 each this year to help build their companies with game-changing research and technology through prestigious Martin Walmsley Fellowships.
“These researchers are creating and commercializing the ground-breaking technologies that OCE is proud to support and help to advance through the marketplace,” said OCE President and CEO Tom Corr. “At the heart of Dr. Walmsley’s original vision for the Ontario Centres of Excellence was the kind of collaboration, innovation and creativity these recipients embody. We congratulate the researchers and companies involved and look forward to their continued success.”
The fellowship facilitates the transition of OCE-funded, university-based research into innovative business ventures. An expert panel selects the recipients, who are judged on criteria including strength of technology, commercial viability and sound business planning. The fellowship honours the vision of Martin Walmsley, who was instrumental in realizing the original vision for OCE in 1987.
“OCE has been critical to the development of our company because it has provided us with financial support for developing the technology and opened up doors for us,” said Morbi. “We now have a market readiness fund and with this fellowship we have the money we need to take the next step.”
“These individuals and companies are shining examples of the vast depth of talented, research-based entrepreneurs we have attracted and cultivated in Ontario,” said Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation. “Support for individuals like them is essential to ensuring Ontario continues to create and sustain jobs while remaining a world-leader in innovation.”
GaitEnable Demonstration Video:
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