The Patient Innovation Awards are back!

Patient Innovation Newsletter #11

The Patient Innovation Awards are back!

A statement from the Patient Innovation Advisory Board

"Patient Innovation (PI) empowers patients, caregivers, and collaborators by giving them a place where they can share their solutions. The PI Awards have been established to celebrate the innovators from our community who stood out with the impact and novelty of their solutions. In previous editions of PI Awards, we celebrated thirteen innovators. This year, we faced a new challenge of analyzing more than 400 new solutions and reward the ones who found the strength to overcome their health problems and were able innovate. That’s what is inspiring us all. We added a new category “Developing Country Innovator” and selected four innovators for the 3rd edition of PI Awards. Our laureates win the laurels for innovating, sharing and improving lives while facing adversity and challenges.
And the 3rd PI Awards laureates are:

Developing Country Innovator Category: Gerárd Niyondiko (Burkina Faso), with Faso Soap;

Caregiver Innovator Category: Lise Pape (Denmark), with Path Finder;

Caregiver Innovator Category: Bodo Hoenen (USA), with Robotic Arm Orthosis;

Patient Innovator Category: Risa Basile (France), with Handiplat.

Warm congratulations to all the Laureates !”

The Advisory Board of Patient Innovation:

Aaron Ciechanover, Professor, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 2004);

Eric von Hippel, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT);

Katherine Strandburg, Professor, New York University;

Lee Fleming, Professor, University of California, Berkeley;

Richard Roberts, Chief Scientific Officer, New England Biolabs (Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine 1993);

Robert Langer, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

• • •

The 3rd Patient Innovation
Awards Ceremony @ Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Entry

The ceremony for the third edition will be held on November 28th, at 2 pm, at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, Portugal, in the context of the conference “Opening up to a new era of Social Innovation”. The conference is jointly organized by the European Commission, the Portuguese Government and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and will be hosted by Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Maria Manuel Leitão Marques, Minister of the Presidency and of Administrative Modernisation of Portugal, and Isabel Mota, President of Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. It will also have the presence of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of the Portuguese Republic.

If you are interested in joining us for the Patient Innovation ceremony and the conference, you can register here.

3rd Patient Innovation Awards
Ceremony Program

November, 28th, 2:00pm - 2:45pm

Opening remarks

Pedro Oliveira and Helena Canhão,
Founders and Project Leaders, Patient Innovation

3rd Patient Innovation Award Laureates:

Category “Caregiver Innovator”:


Lise Pape (Denmark),
for Path Finder

Bodo Hoenen (USA),
for Robotic Arm Brace

Awards delivered by:

Carlos Moedas,
European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation

Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation

Category “Patient Innovator”:


Rita Basile (France),
for Handiplat

Award delivered by:

Isabel Mota,
President of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

Isabel Mota, President of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

Category “Developing Country Innovator”:


Gérard Niyondiko (Burkina Faso),
for Faso Soap

Award delivered by:

Manuel Heitor,
Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education

Manuel Heitor, Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education
Closing remarks

Manuel Heitor,
Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education

About the Awards

The Patient Innovation Awards have been established to celebrate the innovators from our community who stood out with the impact and novelty of their solutions.
Every year, we gather with our Advisory Board in order to select the laureates for the Patient Innovation Awards. On October 13th 2017, the Advisory Board met at MIT in Cambridge (MA) and selected the innovators who are inspirational role model due to the creation and diffusion of solutions with both great potential and impact to improve the quality of life of others.

• • •

The 3rd Patient Innovation Awards laureates

The 3rd Patient Innovation Awards include a new category: Developing Country Innovator, which honors patients or caregivers from developing countries that were able to develop high-impact solutions to help them, and the people in their communities, cope with their health condition.

Gérard Niyondiko (Burkina Faso)

Laureate Gérard Niyondiko (Burkina Faso)


Developing Country Innovator


Faso Soap

The story: Gérard almost died of malaria and saw 6 of his 12 siblings die of this disease. The only way to prevent the mosquito bite and the malaria infection is through the use of mosquito nets and insecticides. The problem is that these solutions are not economically viable for people who live in poverty. Motivated by the goal of protecting his own community from the malaria mosquito, Gérard created a soap made of ingredients extracted from local plants (African marigold, shea butter, lemongrass, etc.). The soap makes the mosquitos stay away for 6 hours, and is an affordable solution for all families in developing countries. The Faso Soap is expected to save 100.000 lives by 2020.

About the laureate: Gérard is an engineer who graduated at 2iE engineering school. He also owns a Bachelor in Chemistry, field that he taught for 7 years. He has been technical manager in the beverage industry in Burundi. Living in Burkina Faso, he is the founder and R&D Director at Faso Soap.
Please click here to know more.

Lise Pape (Denmark)

Laureate Lise Pape (Denmark)


Caregiver innovator


Path Finder

The story: Lise Pape’s father has struggled with Parkinson’s disease for more than 10 years, which is the reason why Lise developed Path Finder. This condition is related to episodes of freezing of gait, which leads to the helpless fall of patients with this condition. Lise’s father tried to cope with this problem by asking his wife for help, by telling him what would be his next step, when she saw he was freezing. Lise was afraid that her father would fall when his wife was not around, so she created a device that projects a light on the floor, helping understand what would be the next step.

About the laureate: Lise is the Founder of Walk With Path and the inventor of two products. She holds a double Masters in Innovation Design Engineering from the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. Prior to that, she worked for Invest in Denmark at the Royal Danish Embassy in London, where she was responsible for attracting foreign companies to Denmark within the sectors of life sciences and clean technologies. She has also worked in online advertising for AOL's and in finance for J.P. Morgan. Lise holds a BSc in Human Biology from King's College London. Lise won 19 awards regarding design, health and innovation since 2014.
Please click here to know more.

Bodo Hoenen (USA)

Laureate Bodo Hoenen (USA)


Caregiver Innovator


Robotic Arm Orthosis

The story: Bodo Hoenen developed a robotic orthosis for his daughter’s arm, Lorelei who and suffers from acute flaccid myelitis, a neurologic disease that damaged her arm. The orthosis integrates functionalities of automatic learning that allows to identify when the child wants to raise her arm, following her movement. Lorelei used the robotic orthosis to make physiotherapy so that she could regain mobility, and after a short period, she was able to grab light objects.

About the laureate: Bodo Hoenen is a social entrepreneur and EdTech innovator working on providing education to the most underserved children. Motivated by his young children's self-directed learning he founded Dev4X and hopes to create a future where every child can learn anything they need, even if they don't have access to formal schooling. Bodo is currently working on projects aimed at empowering the most underserved children, empowering children to take on the UN SDGs, developing a prosthetic arm for my daughter.
Please click here to know more.

Rita Basile (France)

Laureate Rita Basile (France)


Patient Innovator



The story: In 1997 Rita Basile created Handiplat after losing the movement of an arm for several months due to a work accident. Besides having to adapt to a new physical condition, Rita couldn’t bear the idea of being dependent on someone to eat and cook. As she was able to use her other arm, she decided to create a plastic tray that allows her to immobilize the food so that she can cut it without asking for someone’s help. A little later she met Matthieu, a young man with an amputated arm. Rita told him about the set, which he also tested, and he found it very interesting and useful. That's what gave Rita the idea to market it.

About the laureate: Rita Basile is the inventor of the Handiplat, a product that is on the market since 2013. Since then, the inventor won several awards: Lépine contest in 2011, Handicap gold medal at the Brussels Innova show in 2013, the medal of the city of Paris at the Lépine competition in 2014. And the latest in November 2015: the prize of excellence at the 1st Living Lab Paillon 2020 Trophy of the Center for Innovation and Uses in Health.
Please click here to know more

Take a look at the previous editions

In the first edition of the PI Awards, six winners were recognized. The ceremony was held at Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian in July 2015.

In the second edition, seven laureates were recognized. The ceremony was held at the Web Summit in November 2016.

Patient Innovation European Tour

While we are celebrating our winners, our Patient Innovation European tour keeps on going! The “Beyond the lab: The DIY science revolution”, is an exhibition about do-it-yourself innovations, which features Patient Innovation and seven of our innovations on display!

The exhibition was curated by the Science Museum in London and opened in Bonn (Germany), in 2016, and has then visited 24 European countries (and will visit 5 more). The exhibition has already received over 1 million visitors.

Beyond The Lab is now open at:

Institute of Social Innovation, in Vilnius (Lithuania);

Centre For Research and Analysis, in Sofia (Bulgaria);

Science Gallery Gama - Uskupení Tesla, in Pardubice (Czech Republic);

Discovery Center Continium, in Kerkrade (Netherlands).

European Tour Calendar

• • •

Shuttleworth Foundation supports Patient Innovation

We are happy to announce that Pedro Oliveira has received a Shuttleworth Foundation Flash Grant for his work on Patient innovation. The Shuttleworth Foundation is a social investor founded by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth in 2001, that provides funding to dynamic leaders who are at the forefront of social change.

The Shuttleworth Foundation grants are awarded by nomination only, from Shuttleworth Fellows and we are grateful to Catharina Maracke (Keio University & Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University) for her nomination.

Shuttleworth Foundation Logotype

Patient Innovation (Non-profit Association) is a spin-off from collaborative research conducted at Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics, Nova Medical School, MIT Sloan School of Management and Carnegie Mellon University.

Católica Lisbon School of Business & Economics and Nova Medical School - Faculdade de Ciências Médicas
President of the Republic of Portugal, Carnegie Mellon, Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Shuttleworth Foundation, Celgene, Janssen, MSD, Bayer, Pfizer, Novartis, Apifarma

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