Innovator Challenge – Winner

  • February 14, 2018
  • News

Congratulations to Goran Marjanovic on winning the January 2018 Innovator Challenge! Goran is a Project Administrator and one of the newest members of the HHS Research Administration team.

Goran Marjanovic

In December Goran entered the inaugural Innovator Challenge, a competition series that invites young researchers and medical students to consider how commercialization can evolve from their research-intensive academic environments. The event is presented by the Michael G. DeGroote Initiative for Innovation in Healthcare, which is based at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University. The MGDII’s aim is to stimulate entrepreneurship and develop opportunities to advance education, research, and commercialization through novel programming, like the Innovator Challenge.

Goran’s presentation, An Unused Resource: The Capstone Project, was awarded first place by a committee of four judges who reviewed 10 entries and invited three finalists to present in January.

His project evaluates the hidden potential of the Capstone Project model. The Capstone Project is the final stage of a student’s academic journey and a mandatory step required to graduate programs such as Biomedical, Electrical and Chemical Engineering. Surprisingly, most Capstone Projects, no matter how brilliant or potentially successful, do not continue past the university project stage.

Goran’s winning presentation considers applying the principles and model of the Capstone Project outside of the university requirement stage. “There are a number of bright ‘millennials’ with innovative ideas, however they don’t have the means to implement and develop their ideas,” he says. “My project recommends creating an environment where these innovators are connected with clinical and research communities to gain access to data and unused analysis, thereby providing an opportunity to solve real-life healthcare issues. The students get a meaningful assignment and direct access to resources while the healthcare community potentially gets innovative solutions. It’s a win-win scenario.”

By matching young innovators with a Clinical Champion, students can pursue ideas that have support from relevant stakeholders. “As a recent graduate, Goran brings a fresh approach to problem-solving,” says Katie Porter, Director of Administration. “His ability to connect his academic training to the real-life healthcare research environment is a positive and welcome addition to the HHS research community.”

Goran has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Brock University and he recently completed his post-graduate studies at Humber College with an Ontario Graduate Certificate in Global Business Management. He first joined HHS as an intern for the Strategy & Innovation department, where he also supported the Corporate Project Management Office.

The MDGII judges and organizing committee see the potential of this seemingly simple idea. They are continuing talks with Goran in an effort to develop the ideas of his presentation into a viable program.