University of Macau (UM) alumni won several awards at the third ’Parafuturo de Macao’ Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition. The automated genetic testing system developed by Team A,  Digifluidic Biotech Ltd., won the overall championship and five other awards, including a Torch Award, an IEEAC Award, a Protechting Award, an Alibaba Cloud Award, and a Best Investment Value Award. The team will participate in other major international entrepreneurship competitions.

The award-winning automated genetic testing system received support from the State Key Laboratory of Analog and Mixed Signal VLSI at UM. A portable system based on digital microfluidics technology, it can perform automated nucleic acid analysis. UM alumnus Chen Tianlan (Class of 2017, PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering), the person in charge of the project, says that their success would not have been possible without the support of the Macao SAR government, the Science and Technology Development Fund, and UM, during the project’s early stage. Chen adds that with the COVID-19 pandemic raging across the globe, this system can realise real-time testing and support the long-term anti-epidemic efforts of various institutions. He adds that the system can also be used to test influenza viruses, and he hopes to set up production lines in both Macao and the mainland to meet market demand.

Another team formed by UM students, Team B, Zidian Technology Co, Ltd, won a third place and a University Category Award. Cen Bangjie, the person in charge of Zidian Technology Co, Ltd, says that their award-winning project is based on an advanced air disinfection technology, which can reduce the size of a regular disinfection filter to within 2.2 cm. The ultra-thin filter can be installed in any air conditioning system to meet medical-grade disinfection standards. It can effectively protect against germs without causing any harm to the human body.

The competition was co-organised by Parafuturo de Macau Investment and Development Limited, Macao Young Entrepreneur Incubation Centre, and the Association for Promotion of Science and Technology of Macao. The winning team from UM will participate in other major international entrepreneurship competitions on the organisers’ recommendation. Team A with the automated genetic testing system will participate in the China Innovation & Entrepreneurship Competition, the IEEAC International Youth Entrepreneurship Competition, the Alibaba Cloud Startup Contest, and the ‘Protechting-Innostar’ Global Innovation Competition (to be held in Portugal). Team B will participate in the China International College Students’ “Internet+” Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition. 

Source: Institute of Collaborative Innovation