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University of Surrey Students Win Innovation Prize for Haptic Virtual Reality Surgery Simulation Software

Engineering students, Isin Surekcigil (electronics engineering with nanotechnology) and Manuel Grincho (electronics engineering with space systems) have been ‘crowned’ Champion of Champions in the Engineers in Business Competition which pits teams of university engineering student innovators against each other to win seed funding to progress their business ideas. 

The team won first prize in the Big Ideas category for SimSurgeon, simulation software that allows medical students and surgeons to practise surgery in a safe environment that is as close to the real thing as possible. 

Commenting on the innovation, Isin said: “I have lots of doctors around me every day, so when we were asked to develop a business idea for one of our subjects, I came up with this. I knew that there were lots of surgical complications, mostly caused by not having enough practice with enough variation. With SimSurgeon, we hope to bring much better training opportunities that result in more successful surgeries and better patient health. The medical network is so vast that by increasing the success rates of hospitals and other institutions, we will also be able to increase the health conditions of society as a whole.” 

Commenting on their success in the Engineers in Business Competition, Isin said: “We are absolutely delighted and honoured to be the winner of the Big Ideas category. This prize means a lot to us because it shows how big the potential of SimSurgeon can be and that this potential is recognised by experts. We are very excited for the future of SimSurgeon!”

As first prize winners the team won £3,000, mentoring and a trophy. In addition to winning first prize, Isin and Manuel also impressed the online viewers who voted their innovation the best, winning them a further £500. 

The Engineers in Business Competition, which awarded the prize, provides prize funds to UK universities for enterprise education. The undergraduates and postgraduates who take part and win a prize in their university competitions then enter the EIBC Champion of Champions Final for a chance to win further seed funding.

The EIBC prize fund is provided by Engineers in Business Fellowship whose patron is Lord Sainsbury of Turville. EIBF’s President, David Falzani MBE, explained the rationale for awarding universities £700,000 over four years for business ideas competitions: “Research tells us that introducing business education to young engineers and technologists makes them better engineers, makes them more employable, more effective in the workplace and it is better for the UK economy. What is exceptional about the young engineers and technologists who are engaging with business ingenuity is that they are developing concepts while in education and many go on to develop real businesses that tackle problems in society. They are bringing new technologies to people and will create jobs. We are delighted for Isin and Manuel and look forward to seeing how SimSurgeon develops.”