Canada’s SCORE program wins global gold in Oslo

SCORE winners

SFU biomedical engineering PhD students Careesa Liu (left) and Sujoy Ghosh Hajra founded the SCORE program, an innovative student training partnership between SFU, City of Surrey and HealthTech Connex. (CNW Group/HealthTech Connex Inc.)

SURREY, BC – SCORE, an innovative student summer program based in Surrey, BC, has won Gold in the International 2016 Global Best Award in the category of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Having won the top award for the North America region in the previous round, SCORE has now beat out regional winners from other continents to take home the grand prize for the STEM category. Global Best Awards are jointly conferred by the Conference Board of Canada and the International education-business Partnership Network (IPN). The award ceremony was held in Oslo, Norway during the IPN conference on September 15-16, 2016.

The Surrey Collaborative Outreach and Research Experience (SCORE) program is a unique multi-faceted partnership founded by two PhD students, that brings together business, academic, healthcare, and research organizations to develop the next generation of leaders in our communities. Simon Fraser University, City of Surrey and HealthTech Connex Inc. are lead partners. HealthTech Connex Inc. is also sponsoring the SCORE program this year.

The brainchild of PhD students Sujoy Ghosh Hajra and Careesa Liu from Simon Fraser University, SCORE has already won regional awards since its inception in 2014, and is now garnering international recognition as a global leader in its field. As co-founders of SCORE, Ghosh Hajra and Liu are the creators of breakthrough technologies in industry and academia. They attribute these achievements in large parts to the training and mentorship they have received in their professional development, and see SCORE as an opportunity to pay it forward.

In the big league

“When we created SCORE, we could not have dreamt of competing in the big leagues so soon. SCORE competed and won amongst numerous large and well-established programs supported by multinational corporations and funded by government entities,” says Ghosh Hajra. “In comparison, SCORE operated on a much smaller budget, but with the support and dedication of our partners, volunteers and principal investigators whose contributions led to an outstanding partnership and program.”

“As an initiative created, led, and operated by students for students, SCORE’s success has always been dependent on strong partnerships,” says Liu. “Together with our supporters, we are developing the human capital to enable young innovators to become leaders in the health and technology industries. This enables them to take advantage of the significant opportunities that exist, especially in BC and the City of Surrey.”

The SCORE program trains students at the high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels by providing exposure to hands-on cutting-edge technological research as well as mentorship from leaders in business, community and academia. SCORE matches its participants with research, community, and industry partners in the extensive Innovation Boulevard network and the Health & Technology District in Surrey based on similar interests. SCORE participants then work closely with these partners to develop technological solutions that address real-world challenges.

In addition to core technical skills, SCORE participants gain entrepreneurial knowledge through various seminars and events designed to facilitate development of translational skills critical to future success. The growing success of SCORE has led to the expansion of its leadership and operations team and now includes several members of the Surrey NeuroTech Lab. SCORE’s success has even spawned an international collaboration with the University College Dublin in Ireland.

Innovative partnership

“The SCORE program is an innovative partnership that we proudly support,” says Dr. Ryan D’Arcy, SFU’s BC Leadership Chair in Medical Technologies and the professor who supervises both Ghosh Hajra and Liu, and is also a founder of HealthTech Connex Inc. “I see a bright future where our amazing talent stays in BC after graduation for growing high-tech opportunities and jobs. This is living proof of how innovation drives our economy and brings the best possible healthcare solutions.”

In its three years of operation, SCORE has trained more than 60 students with overwhelmingly positive feedback from participants and many of their subsequent employers. By integrating project management, business analytics, teamwork, and communication along with core technical training, the SCORE program helps graduates become more dynamic, well-rounded hybrids who can excel in today’s challenging job market.

The Global Best Awards is a bi-annual event that celebrates outstanding and effective business, education and community organization partnerships that have a significant impact on the communities in which they operate. For more information on the Global Best Awards, visit http://www.conferenceboard.ca/topics/education/ipn/awards.aspx.

About HealthTech Connex Inc.
HealthTech Connex, Inc. is a health technology company working to revolutionize the practice of clinical neuroscience through advanced technologies based on the highest quality science and innovation. Located inSurrey, British Columbia, Canada, it was one of the pioneering start-up companies to emerge from Innovation Boulevard and the Health & Technology District, an agile partnership of health, business, higher education and government creating new health technologies to improve peoples’ lives. www.HealthTechConnex.com. – CNW

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