KTU researchers triumphed at i2i Baltic

Community | 2021-12-09

Young researchers from KTU triumphed in the Ideas to Innovation (i2i) Baltic experiential programme for Baltic innovators. The virtual Ideas to Innovation (i2i) programme event designed by the University of Cambridge and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) took place on November 24-26. It attracted participants from all over the Baltics, including Kaunas University of Technology (KTU).

This time, the Ideas to Innovation (i2i) has been extended beyond its borders to include researchers from neighbouring countries. Although the majority of the participants (19) were from Lithuania, three researchers from Estonia and one from Latvia also joined the event.

During the programme, young researchers, doctoral and graduate students learned basic knowledge and skills necessary for the commercialisation of ideas and business development. Participants self-assessed the potential of their scientific idea, acquired the skills needed to commercialise ideas, strengthened their motivation, got acquainted with the practical principles of team building and work organisation and potential investors.

KTU researcher best rated by the Board

11 innovators presented their ideas to the Board of Experts, five of them represented life sciences. The most points from the Board were gained by the team headed by Dr Valentas Gružauskas from KTU School of Economics and Business who introduced their startup Market Trend Valuation Center.

i2i Baltics
Valentas Gružauskas, KTU School of Economics and Business

The Market Trend Valuation Center startup idea includes a solution that automatically recommends similar real estate transactions, provides real-time access to market trends, and provides market forecasts, ranges, and forecast reliability assessments for both analysed and similar real estate properties. Dr Gružauskas will have the opportunity to present it at the Cranfield Investor 2022 event in the United Kingdom and win cash prizes.

In addition, the i2i Baltic pitch winner will receive a remote team-building session hosted by experts from the University of Potsdam, Germany. The aim of the session is to determine the pace of development at which the interdisciplinary and intercultural team can be most successful.

Lunch with an investor

Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA) is paying the most attention to the ideas related to the life sciences field. For the author of the idea which has the greatest potential in this field MITA awarded lunch with Martynas Kandzers, one of the founders and board member of the Lithuanian business angel network LitBAN, who specialises in investments in life sciences.

The prize was awarded to the postdoctoral researcher Dr Yasin Hamarat of Kaunas University of Technology and Vilnius University doctoral student Rūta Zinkevičiūtė, who received an equal number of votes from the Board.

Hamarat, who for more than 6 years has been a student of famous innovator, KTU professor Arminas Ragauskas, working in the field of non-invasive brain monitoring technologies, is developing an innovative cerebral blood flow monitoring technology. His idea has already evolved into a prototype of a non-invasive brain autoregulation monitor. Thanks to ultrasound technology, it can be safely adapted to monitor patients in emergency rooms. In addition, the technology can be applied to the early diagnosis of glaucoma.

Dr Asta Pundzienė, Professor at KTU, the leader of KEEN

“In 2020 I2i was successfully launched in Lithuania, and this year the community of KEEN i2i researchers-entrepreneurs has expanded to the Baltic countries. Today, KEEN i2i alumni and followers unite more than 40 members who continue to develop science-based business ideas. We invite young innovative researchers to contribute to the development of the i2i community and activities in 2022 – we are looking forward to your ideas and initiatives,” encourages Asta Pundzienė, Professor at KTU School of Economics and Business and Head of KEEN.

Ideas to Innovation (i2i) Baltic was organised by Kaunas University of Technology (KTU), Knowledge Empowered Entrepreneurship Network (KEEN) together with the Science, Innovation and Technology Agency (MITA) implementing the project “Promoting the Development of the Life Sciences Industry”.