10 scientific discoveries that will change the world

The first ever Slush Science Pitching competition lets researchers take the spotlight. What would the researches like to commercialize? Will one of these amazing scientific discoveries be the next big business success story? Get to know the awesome final ten. The winners will be decided on the Slush pitching stage on November 12.

 Troian cure for cancer

Human body can’t fight cancer because tumors are invisible to it. On the other hand the human body fights cold viruses very well and clears them in just a few days. Associate professor Vincenzo Cerullo has created a revolutionary product PeptiCrad, which is genius and vicious at the same time. This thought was Vincenzo Cerullo’s main idea: Masking viruses as tumor cells to destroy cancer. With the accuracy of a vaccine and the effect of immunotherapy PeptiCrad is truly a masterpiece. With circa 14M diagnosed cancer cases every year the impact will be tremendous.

”Research like this is imperative for a long term human survival on this planet. ”

Friendly artificial intelligence determines our future

Are you familiar with the Terminator, the cyborg that makes rational choices in order to survive? So is Michael Laakasuo, who has a PhD in cognitive science. He leads a team that studies people’s emotional reactions to moral choices of intelligent machines. Robots and AI are becoming a bigger part of our everyday life and soon they are making life and death decisions for us. These decisions involve prioritization, for example of medical resources or whether a military robot should pull the trigger. Research like this is imperative for long term human survival on this planet. With their research Laakasuo and his team participate in a bigger project aiming to create a so called friendly AI.

Tackle complaining at work and make profit

It’s not uncommon to hear people complaining and lamenting about their work. But for your business it’s extremely harmful. Preliminary research has proved that compassionate employer has competitive advantage. Theologian Anna Seppänen and her multidisciplinary team CoPassion help to create and measure compassionate working environments with more passionate and motivated employees. CoPassion is a toolkit for emotional training that adds to the productivity of business as well as competitiveness: a compassionate work environment creates not only an innovative atmosphere but also more customer loyalty and work productivity.

Drones save wetlands

World has lost half of its wetlands during the last 100 years. Several species have gone extinct and thousands of restoration projects have been established worldwide - not always with a great success. Finally we have a foolproof method to secure every wetland restoration project. Biologist Mia Vehkaoja sends little drones into the sky and uses 3D-modelling of the wetlands. Orthophoto picture accuracy is 100-fold compared to satellites. 3D-simulation provides very concrete information that used to be very difficult to visualize without aid. The landowner will be able to decide which area is most suitable for wetland restoration versus forest management or flood control. No more funding money will go down the toilet!

”Do you think that human beings are rational thinkers, and emotions are something that can be left out of the equation?”

Love your car right - and save lives.

Did you just learn what Internet of Things means? Next big thing is the Intelligence of Things. Cryptographer and computer engineer João Marcos Barguil presents Plugo, a system of real-time monitoring of cars. Plugo connects cars to smartphones and collects all data from the car by monitoring engine, temperature, fuel consumption, GPS, and accelerometers. Plugo sends gathered data to a cloud service, where it is analysed. The goal is to create a system that can help car owners take better care of their vehicles and become better drivers. For instance, we can remind the user when it is time to replace worn parts or take the car for a check-up.

The rebirth of your broken knees

Our world is aging and so are our joints. Cartilage repair procedures and arthrosis cost over 150 billion euros a year. COPLA comes out and about with their new treatment of cartilage damage that touches already 160 million patients worldwide. No more pain and diminished quality-of-life, COPLA’s team leader Dr. Virpi Muhonen promises. Cartilage tissue has extremely low self-reparative potential, but COPLA’s solution combines state-of-the-art biomaterial technology with stem cell’s regenerative power. Bio-orthopaedic implants are created for cartilage repair and prevention of arthrosis. New innovation will lead to decrease in patients recovery time, need for re-treatments, prevalence of arthrosis and years lived with disability.

Internet re-designed

Do you think that human beings are rational thinkers, and emotions are something that can be left out of the equation? Newsflash: You’re wrong. Today most neuroscientists view emotions as intertwined with rational thought, inseparably. No wonder our collaboration in online environments is not as fluid as face to face, Internet discussions easily become unnecessarily heated and bullying is common. In brief, digital systems are not designed to consider emotions. Cognitive neuroscientist Katri Saarikivi and her team NEMO are building tools for richer emotional expression and better cooperation in online environments. NEMO is aiming to change gaming industry, digital work environment and social media. Ultimately the structure of the entire Internet.

Your ID is more valuable than gold

It’s estimated that the value from personal data has the potential to grow to one trillion euros by 2020 in the EU market only. Who will benefit? Researcher Antti Poikola at the Helsinki Institute of Information Technology thinks it should be you and me. Poikola is presenting a novelty application called MyData. MyData lets individuals control their own personal data. MyData integrates digital human rights to a rapidly growing market of data. Organizations can have access to your data whenever you give the permission. For example application developers - they don’t need to negotiate with the data sources - they simply ask you if you are willing to give them your data. At the moment personal data is considered raw-material due to the lack of interoperability between services. The simplified data flow via MyData opens new opportunities for businesses to develop innovative personal data-based services while preserving individual's privacy.

”In the near future many ordinary infections cannot be cured anymore, because bacteria have become resistant to all existing drugs.”

Socially sustainable design saves us from boredom

When did you last check your phone? As billions of people use smartphone daily, the anxiety caused by continuous checking is becoming global. 43 percent of our daily habits are repetition. A common trigger for the checking habit is the experience of boredom and loneliness. Are we becoming just like the rats who can drink as much sugar-water they want but who never feel satisfied? Most of the current apps relieve boredom only temporarily causing soon more boredom. Eeva Raita is a social psychologist specialized in everyday user experiences with digital technology. Her research provides important knowledge for the designers of tomorrow: how to make our designs socially sustainable and more enjoyable in the larger ecosystem.

Stop killer bacteria

Annually around 700,000 people worldwide die because of antibiotic resistance. A figure is predicted to rise  to 10 million by 2050, with growing numbers of bacteria already fully resistant to every clinical antibiotic available. In the near future many ordinary infections cannot be cured anymore, because bacteria have become resistant to the existing drugs. Christina Lyra and her Lab Impact Global are designing a novel ICT product, an educational application with which to train the laboratory personnel in developing countries. Their ICT application will help to build laboratories in a cost-efficient way.

Skolar is hosting the first ever Science Pitching at Slush on November 12 at 2.30–3.30 pm. For more info: 
Follow the journey on Twitter: @SkolarMe


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