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Cambrian R&D Hosts annual Student Innovation Challenge

Apr 12, 2024

VanGuardian, a system to detect potential in-home falls by seniors and people with disabilities, is the grand prize winner of this year’s Cambrian College Student Innovation Challenge powered by RBC Future Launch.

SUDBURY – Future entrepreneurs were front and centre last night at the annual Cambrian R&D Student Innovation Challenge, powered by RBC Future Launch.

Five teams of Cambrian College students pitched ideas for new products and services to a panel of judges.

The competition was the final major event of Research and Innovation Week at Cambrian College.

“Research and Innovation Week is one of the highlights of my calendar every year and the Student Innovation Challenge is one of the events I look forward to the most,” explains Dr. Mike Commito, Director of Cambrian R&D, the applied research department of Cambrian College. “The students really come up with some great ideas, and this is a fun, creative way to encourage students to be innovative and entrepreneurial. I always look forward to what ideas they are going to pitch.”

Students took part in a series of workshop to help refine their business proposals before making a presentation to the panel of judges. They were competing for a total of $6,500 in prize money.

“Students can come up with amazing ideas, and when given the right nudge and support, those ideas can blossom into products, services, and businesses that can change the local community, and even the world,” adds Cambrian College President Kristine Morrissey. “The Student Innovation Challenge powered by RBC Future Launch, is such a nudge.”

Here are this year’s winners:

1st place ($3,000): VanGuardian, a home-based system that detects potential falls for seniors or people with disabilities.

2nd place ($2,000): Gala Gateway, an online event planning mobile app that connects people and resources from ticketing to post-event processing.

3rd place ($1,000): Plant Buddy, a smart pot that monitors plant health.

Best Use of Technology ($500): Baily Bot, a robot developed to help perform daily tasks to help individuals with disabilities and seniors live independently.
Cambrian College thanks the sponsors who make the Student Innovation Challenge powered by RBC Future Launch possible:

  • RBC Future Launch
  • Ontario Power Generation
  • XPS-Expert Process Solutions – a Glencore company
  • Sofvie
  • Innovation Quarters – Quartiers de l’innovation
  • Northern Ontario Angels – Les Anges du Nord De L’Ontario
  • NetSpectrum Internet Solutions

Cambrian R&D works with industry to improve or create a product, process or service, so that it can be implemented in the workplace or commercialized. For 12 consecutive years, Cambrian College, through the work of Cambrian R&D, has been named one of Canada’s top 50 research colleges.

To learn more about Cambrian R&D, visit

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Cambrian College is Northern Ontario’s largest college, with more than 100 programs. Cambrian’s main campus is in Greater Sudbury, with satellite centres in Espanola and Little Current. For more information about Cambrian College, click here.

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We acknowledge and respect that we are gathered on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe People of Turtle Island and proudly recognize our local host Atikameksheng Anishnawbek. We also recognize the contributions of Wahnapitae First Nation and the Metis Nation of Ontario.

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