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Recap TechMed Research Day Empowering future innovators

On Thursday 27 June 2024, the TechMed Centre organised its third Research Day in the TechMed Centre of the University of Twente. Scientific Director Prof. Dr. Maroeska Rovers about this day: “I thoroughly enjoyed our Research Day. This event aims to empower future innovators and foster interdisciplinary research. Meeting so many talented researchers from each of our faculties was truly inspiring. The TechMed Research Day provides a unique opportunity to learn from one another and to encourage collaboration within our vibrant community.”

Dare to step out of your comfort zone

The TechMed Research Day began with an inspiring keynote by Dr. Ir. Abeje Y. Mersha, an expert in robotics and AI from Saxion University of Applied Sciences. Known for his work in autonomous unmanned systems, Abeje shared insights from his journey through the Dutch academic and cultural landscape. He described his role as a bridge builder, connecting scientific research with business practices, especially for SMEs. "Our research group 'Smart Mechatronics and Robotics' aims to address pressing societal problems through applied research, and has grown to more than 40 employees over the past decade."

Abeje also gave us a glimpse into his home country, Ethiopia, enriching his presentation with cultural and personal anecdotes. "The reason I came to the Netherlands? It was because I knew many players on the Dutch soccer team. So that's how it can go! I have lived in the Netherlands for about 16 years and have learned to ride a bicycle well," he shared with a smile.

Moderated poster tour and poster gallery, oral presentations, sandpit session

Throughout the day, participants could attend six parallel sessions with presentations by TechMed researchers and four moderated poster tours, all prepared by PhD candidates, postdoctoral researchers and master students doing their theses. One of the poster tours also included a contribution from a participating student team in the SensUs competition. Two postdocs and two assistant professors presented their research (plans) in a sandpit session where they received feedback on various aspects of building their future research lines.

Awards during the TechMed Research Day

Researchers who prepared a poster (34) or oral presentation (30) had the opportunity to win an award. The winners of the best three poster presentations and the best three oral presentations received a TechMed Centre Sweater and a voucher for the TechMed Event where they will be allowed to present their research in the TechMed Talent Talks session. These six researchers also gave their presentation and poster pitch again in the last plenary session of the day.

The three winners of the poster presentations:

The three winners of the oral presentations:

Pardis Farjam (ET/BDDP) won the special award ‘Valorisation potential, creating impact with the new business', awarded by Esther Rodijk of NovelT, the KTO of the UT.

In addition, to stimulate lively discussion after the oral presentations and to show that asking questions is not as daunting as some might think, six 'Discussion Incentive Prizes' were awarded to the young researcher who participated most actively in the discussion in that session.

Remke Burie, managing director of the TechMed Centre, thanked everyone for their presence and the inspiring energy the young and excellent talent brought today. He said, "As we learned from Abeja this morning, stepping out of our bubble is very good. I'm glad we mixed presentations and posters today so we could learn from other disciplines and each other."

Closing Research Day

Subsequently, the audience was captivated by a lively pub quiz, testing everyone's knowledge about the TechMed Centre, their colleagues and the Medtech ecosystem, and general knowledge such as the Olympic games and music. After an exciting competition, team 'Onsportief' emerged as the winner and was awarded a coupon for ice cream.

The TechMed Research Day 2024 was again a very successful and inspiring event. Participants did gain valuable insight into the latest developments in medical technology, offered opportunities for interaction and networking, and learned how TechMed can help them with their research. With more than 200 participants, the day was well attended by students, PhD candidates, researchers, and support staff.

We look forward to the next edition of this event! And of course, we hope to see you at our yearly TechMed Event 2024, which will take place on 6 November 2024 during the MedTech Twente Week. The theme of the TechMed Event 2024 is ‘Bridging past and future: five years of medtech advancements and beyond.’