Pitt Innovation Challenge Awards $460,000 for Novel Health Care Solutions

Decorative gate inside Commons Room of the Cathedral of Learning, arches of hallway in background

$460,000 in prizes were awarded at the 2019 Pitt Innovation Challenge (PInCh) final event, where University of Pittsburgh research teams proposed creative solutions to a live audience and a panel of judges to address important health problems.

After two rounds of pre-selection, 14 project teams were invited to the final event where six finalists — each competing for a $100,000 prize — and eight finalists competed in a poster session for $25,000 prizes. 

This year, the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, the challenge's sponsor, incentivized solutions for problems known to impact rural health disparities by offering an additional bonus award up to $25,000.    

$100,000 awards:  

  • OneValve: A self-regenerating heart valve that uses the patient’s natural healing process to replace diseased heart valves, decreasing the risk of blood clots and improving durability over current therapy.
  • HIV Detective: A “one-minute” HIV test that can detect infection at the point of patient contact with health care providers.
  • CyteSolutions Lens: A silicone-hydrogel-based contact lens that has been coated with natural biopolymers containing an immune modifying drug for the treatment of dry eye disease.

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute website shows the full list of winners and project descriptions.