New commercial ventures enable Ryerson researchers to impact on the global marketplace as they translate their intellectual properties into new products and processes. In the 2018-19 fiscal period, Ryerson helped support 13 patent applications, with the aim of leveraging market-driven innovation and fueling economic change in Canada and beyond.
This year, Ryerson is pleased to highlight inventions and social innnovations that aim to engage the public to become stewards of their own health as well as their environment.
When PhD student in psychology Jenny Liu published her paper on her new model of resilience in 2017, psychologists around the world contacted her to find out if she was planning to create an online tool to assess resiliency. In response, Liu, in collaboration with psychology professor Maureen Reed, developed a free app called MSMR (Multi-System Resilience), a digital tool that measures a person’s capacity to cope with everyday challenges. MSMR has over 600 downloads, and is being used by individuals seeking to better understand their resilience, as well as by organizations, researchers and service providers around the world.
Andrew Millward (Geography and Environmental Studies) co-founded Citytrees, an app that details Toronto’s vast urban tree canopy. The app allows users to identify a tree in front of them, including its ecological benefits, or to consult an interactive map of the city’s urban forest ecosystem. Collaborators include the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation and Halton Environmental Network. Partners, such as the Toronto District School Board, will be using the robust dataset to track future tree plantings and care, and as a dynamic educational resource to teach about urban ecology, stewardship and climate action.
Jahan Tavakkoli (Physics) has developed a handheld ultrasound device that enables users suffering from osteoarthritis to administer self-care at home, and is working in collaboration with the Toronto Poly Clinic, a multidisciplinary pain management practice, and Circuit Plus Inc., a technology development firm. The device — currently undergoing clinical trials approved by Health Canada — delivers clinical-level ultrasound at a fraction of the price of desktop-size ultrasound machines. Its lightweight design makes it easy for patients experiencing symptoms of pain and stiffness to use.