Gold Winner of Collegiate Inventors Innovation Contest Talk the Future

Getting the recognition you deserve

Being an inventor is rewarding all on it’s own – but sometimes being recognized for the hard work that you’ve done can be really satisfying. The Collegiate Inventors Competition likes to find the top collegiate inventors every year that can find solutions to real world problems and not just recognize them, but award them as well. The most recent one of these innovation Contests had judges narrow down the finalists to the top three for both undergraduate and graduate levels. Winning the gold in the undergraduate division was Joseph Barnett and Stephen John for their creation – NeoVent: Dual Pressure Respiratory Equipment.

Helping babies in underdeveloped countries

The Western Michigan University Student team took home a $12,500 prize after winning the highest honor at the Collegiate Inventors Competition for their respiratory support invention. Their creation was more than deserving of the prize as it is designed to treat critically ill babies – especially those who live in third world countries. Because respiratory problems are a leading cause of death in children 5 and under, the two inventors wanted to help those in undeveloped areas who couldn’t get the proper help they needed. So they knew that they’re invention needed to be resilient, have low-tech properties to it, and be inexpensive. NeoVent is exactly all of those – it is a much less expensive ventilator, and even less technical. NeoVent is roughly $25 opposed to a regular respirator being $25,000.

The list goes on

The two inventors have been successful with their invention and added to a long list of awards. A few of those are:

  • Lemelson-MIT National Collegiate Student Prize Competition
  • Brian Patrick Thomas Entrepreneurial Spirit Award at WMU
  • 2015 James Dyson Award, U.S. Division
  • 2015 Biomedical Engineering Society competition for undergraduate biomedical and bioengineering students

It’s not about the awards

But when it comes down to it, both Stephen John and Joseph Barnett didn’t create NeoVent for the money or the recognition. They did it for personal reasons. Both John and Barnett helped out in developing countries before spending two years creating NeoVent.

Winning the Collegiate Inventors innovation contest really helped bring John and Barnett’s creation to life. The World Health Organization said, “Almost 3 million of all babies who die each year can be saved with low-tech, low-cost care.” With NeoVent’s brilliant development, that number is likely get less overtime.