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UOIT researcher's Radiation Triage Mask selected for World's Best Technologies showcase

Dr. Ed Waller will present to hundreds of venture capitalists and Fortune 500 companies

Dr. Ed Waller, a professor of Radiation Health Physics with the Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), has been invited to join close to 100 individuals from top universities, laboratories and research institutions from across the globe to take part in the 2009 World's Best Technologies (WBT) showcase in Arlington, Texas on Tuesday, March 24 and Wednesday, March 25.

This is the first time UOIT has been selected to participate in the prestigious event, where Dr. Waller will present his Radiation Triage Mask (RTM), which when used by first responders will quickly identify people who have been exposed to airborne radiation. The WBT showcase is recognized as the largest forum in the world for providing emerging organizations with the opportunity to present their innovative technologies to hundreds of venture capitalists and Fortune 500 companies as a critical step in bringing their concepts to commercialization.

Dr. Waller will have six minutes to present the RTM and pitch its capabilities and technology to potential investors. He will also have an exhibit at the showcase, where he will be joined by representatives from UOIT's Office of Technology Transfer and Commercialization (OTCC), who are managing the commercialization process on behalf of Dr. Waller and who co-wrote the application required to be a presenter at the showcase.

"I am very excited to be able to present this prototype and represent UOIT at such an influential assembly of business professionals and potential partners," said Dr. Waller. "This experience brings us one step further to taking the mask to market and making it widely available for use in emergency situations, greatly improving the speed with which we can identify those exposed to radiation. It will also further UOIT's reputation as an innovator in research excellence as it joins representatives from leading educational and research institutions from all over the world."

To be eligible to present at the conference, an applicants' technology must demonstrate the potential for a high growth commercial undertaking or to be licensed to meet specific market needs. Submissions are carefully screened by a panel of judges and applicants must be pursuing a partnership with seed or venture funds, or corporate in-licensing. Successful applicants are offered guidance on their presentations and groomed by seasoned experts who are assembled into mentor teams.

The technologies are judged on whether they have the potential to generate numerous products, create a new industry and whether they are close to market. The World's Best Technology competition selects the top three promising technologies, with one being awarded the Best in Show Award.

Established in 2002, the WBT showcase has been responsible for linking hundreds of undiscovered companies, universities, labs and research facilities with investors, licensees and consultants. These individuals have worked together to raise numerous first rounds venture capital and licensing agreements.

A worldwide patent application has been filed by OTTC for the RTM, which has the ability to quickly identify and treat those who have been exposed to radioactive isotopes caused by dirty bombs. The main benefits of the RTM are its ease of use and quick screening capability. Currently only trained professionals can operate radiation detectors, which can slow down the detection process. The RTM's design is based on that of an oxygen mask, a device quite familiar to EMS responders, and is a straightforward tool that will ensure accurate readings. The device is placed over the patient's nose and mouth and detects radiation from material present on the face, which is in direct proportion to the amount inhaled. The RTM determines the type of exposure and amount inhaled, providing the ability to quickly establish a course of treatment.

Participation in the WBT showcase is another affirmation of the world-class research that is conducted on UOIT's campus each day. The university is gaining an international reputation for research excellence, and has been named to the list of Canada's top 50 universities. Since opening its doors nearly six years ago, UOIT has received $18.3 million in research funding from numerous sources, including provincial, federal, industry and research foundation grants and contracts.

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