Six projects developed by students, researchers and alumni of Santos Dumont Institute (ISD) were selected for the second round of the Startup Nordeste program. The program, created by the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae), aims to foster the innovation ecosystem in the Northeast region of Brazil, through pre-acceleration, acceleration and investment in startups through grants paid by Sebrae. A total of 200 people were approved for the second phase of the program, in which those selected will receive training in the form of workshops and mentoring in order to make their ideas and projects a reality. The final result of those selected for funding will be disclosed by Sebrae at the end of September.
Of the projects submitted by ISD students and researchers, three were among the top 10 in the selection: one involving the creation of a low-cost electromechanical upper limb prosthesis, submitted by the team of Master’s student in Neuroengineering Seidi Yonamine; one created by the Master in Neuroengineering Rommel Araújo, also related to rehabilitation; and the one by researcher professor Fabrício Lima Brasil, aimed at children within the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
In addition to these, the proposals of the master’s students in neuroengineering Mário Ayres de Oliveira; Tainá Rego and Dayalla Marques were also selected. All the projects were developed by multidisciplinary teams, formed by students of the Master’s Degree in Neuroengineering Erika Maria Garcia Cerqueira; Laura Damasceno de Campos; Beatriz Moura; Gilberto Martins Filho, and the masters in Neuroengineering Girlaine Gomes and Mouhamed Zorkot.
“Since we first learned about the opening of these selections, we have encouraged students to participate. We invited Sebrae to come here and give a lecture to them, we took online courses and shared information on how to keep documents well organized”, says researcher professor Fabrício Brasil.
According to him, ISD has sought to encourage students in order to envision possibilities for the application of their scientific research beyond the production of an article or academic publication. “We are encouraging students to look for real-world problems and see that what they do here can be applied to solving those problems. These are daily tasks that we do as a provocation to show that the master’s degree is not limited to academic life. Creating companies, generating jobs and, above all, showing practical solutions to the community is something that we have been looking for more and more”, he says.
Part of the team that obtained first place in the second phase of the selection, master’s student Seidi Yonamine highlights that this type of program helps in the process of translating the technologies developed in the laboratories to society, allowing students to use the knowledge acquired in experiments and classrooms to develop solutions to various problems. “We hear a lot about assistive technology, rehabilitation, but many times we end up focusing exclusively on research and we can’t make this translation from laboratories to society so easily. One way we found to be able to focus on these projects and make them closer to reality was through these public notices”, says Seidi.
Text: Mariana Ceci / Ascom – ISD
Picture: Mariana Ceci / Ascom – ISD