The country’s most innovative college students gathered in the Clara Barton Auditorium at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, on Oct. 11-12 for the 2022 Collegiate Inventors Competition® (CIC).
Since 1990, Finalists have presented their exceptional inventions to Judges including National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) Inductees and USPTO officials to both earn prizes and gain insights from experts on innovation and patents.
Congratulations to Our 2022 CIC Graduate Winner
Our 2022 Graduate Winner is Vishnu Jayaprakash of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Jayaprakash created AgZen-Cloak, a technology that cloaks droplets of pesticide-laden water with an ultra-thin layer of biodegradable, food-safe, plant-derived oil to increase retention on plants. This invention could help farmers use approximately 80% less pesticide spray and ensure better crop protection, yield and revenue while reducing pollution.
“The potential to create technologies that can help a lot of people is what motivates me the most,” he said.
As our Graduate Winner, Jayaprakash received a cash prize of $10,000 and a USPTO Patent Acceleration Certificate. In addition, like all CIC Finalists, he received valuable feedback from intellectual property experts and Hall of Famers whose innovations have changed the world.
Discussing his winning invention, Jayaprakash shared, “There is something really satisfying about using plant-based oils to make droplets adhere better to plants. From a sustainability and biodegradability point of view, our approach provides fantastic benefits, and this is the thing I am most proud of.”
Congratulations to Our Graduate Runner-Up
Our Graduate Runner-Up is Arthur Petusseau of Dartmouth College, inventor of Hypoxia Imager for Surgery Guidance.
An estimated 1.9 million new cancer diagnoses are expected to occur in the U.S. in 2022. While solid tumor cancer is primarily treated with surgery, tumor tissue can be missed, increasing the risk of cancer recurrence. The Hypoxia Imager for Surgery Guidance is a time-gated optical system enabling real-time imaging of hypoxia, or lack of oxygen. As tumors are hypoxic, imaging oxygen distribution can greatly enhance surgery outcome.
Petusseau shared, “I find it extremely motivating to be able to work closely with patients and doctors, see the direct impact of our research on the community and see people’s lives improve.”
As our Graduate Runner-Up, Petusseau earned a $5,000 cash prize. “I’m very proud of the work we achieved as a team and of the product we developed,” he said. “I’m also proud of the goal of our invention that will eventually, I hope, allow us to save many lives.”