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Introducing 'infocus' women in innovation applicants part III

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1. myHappymind


Who are you?

I’m Laura Earnshaw and I am the founder of (@EarnshawLaura).

I’ve spent most of my career working in large global corporations leading Global Leadership Development, Diversity and Talent functions and teams. Fascinating as this work was, as a mother to 2 young children I knew that my real passion lay in preparing our next generations for the complex and ever changing world in which we now live.

The mental health epidemic is growing at an exponential rate with 1 in 10 children now suffering with a mental health disorder. This is against a backdrop of schools being tight on the resource, time and budget to proactively address these issues. With 2 young children of my own, I feel this issue deeply and decided I wanted to do something about it.

That is why I created myHappymind in April 2016.

What is your business?

myHappymind is an innovative solution that allows primary schools to bring a preventative and positive curriculum into the classroom which helps them build resilient, balanced and happy minds. It is heavily enabled by technology which saves huge amount of time and money for schools and creates a highly engaging experience for kids!

myHappymind is all grounded in neuroscience, positive psychology and character education so children learn how their brains work, how they can look after their minds and so, be their very best selves!

We teach children how to celebrate themselves and others, to embrace and seek out diversity and to understand other perspectives. They learn resilience, self-regulation, mindfulness, goal setting and lots more – it set them up for a positive and growth mindset.

We use lots of animation, activities and fun to bring this learning into the classroom and the home.

Crucially, we enable teachers to lead the development of a positive whole school culture around mental wellbeing vs relying on outside agencies coming in which, is costly and not sustainable.

Our sole purpose is to give today’s children the skills they need to thrive in tomorrow world. It’s about time right?

What are your dreams for your business?

Imagine a world where children can genuinely thrive in an unknown future, where they see failure as a learning opportunity and embrace change as a positive force. We want to help children develop those habits. I know I could of used some of that in life up to now!

My dream is that all children have the opportunity to develop an understanding of how their brain works so that they can take ownership of their own mental wellbeing.

I believe mental wellbeing is as important as physical wellbeing and want to lead the change in schools to ensure it earns its rightful place on the curriculum.

I also want to disrupt how education is delivered by continuing to deliver and innovate our technology solution to show how easy it can be to deliver relevant up to the moment learning in a fun and dynamic way.

Want to learn more, check out our video:

2. Ecaterina McCormick

Ecaterina McCormick

Who are you?

My name is Ecaterina McCormick and when I am not daydreaming about traveling to Mars, I share my time working at the edge of innovation at Transport Systems Catapult and my company, Kinematics.  What wakes me up early in the morning is a fascination for everything that exists and the curiosity to understand why life displays particular properties.

Modeling phenomenons, intelligent systems able to make autonomous decisions and predictive software based on machine learning and artificial intelligence is my long term passion. I embed part of myself in my work.

What is your business?

The project proposed is designed to investigate the possibilities of road hazard prediction using the latest technology in machine learning. With a growing population there are real concerns on how to safely transport people and goods. A tool capable of predicting road accidents could decrease the number of casualties and help the relevant providers take appropriate measures. Saving human life is a core value. Deriving intelligence from data is another one.

There is a lot of debate about intelligent systems. It is very important to analyse if these models are disconnected or not from the real people’s lives. I personally believe that disruptive innovation is the only way to increase our species survival.

What are your dreams for your business?

I have always been fascinated with the concept of paradigm shift and innovation that is able to change our society. I would like to be part of this game changing process by creating products and services around deriving intelligence using machine learning. Unsupervised learning is my next step.


3.  TrueInvivo


Who are you?

I am Shakardokht Jafari from Afghanistan. I came to the UK and did a MSc and then PhD in medical physics during which I discovered the radiation detection properties of simple silica-based beads. My initial plan is to use strings of beads to measure the dose and spread of radiation in the body during radiotherapy so that subsequent side-effect damage can be inhibited. Similar detection products can be used in other industries. That is why I incorporated TrueInvivo Limited (@TrueInvivo) that I am the CTO, to commercialise the technology and have now reached the proof-of-concept stage. We have run Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth which are showing promising results and had our first customer (the National Physical Laboratory). We are also working closely with the University of Surrey who have help us to register a patent. The next stage will be to speed up the calibration process and to develop a reader capable of analysing the irradiated beads quickly and accurately.

My longer term plan is to build a business to deliver these solutions but also to let me research new solutions to other problems.

What is your business?

Current radiotherapy treatments for cancer use beams of radiation to kill the actual tumour cells and try to miss the healthy surrounding cells and organs. However, the beams are invisible and very often damage does occur.  Many radiotherapy centres use a pattern of tiny beams to closely match the shape of the target tumour but it is hugely difficult to know what radiation hits where. In a typical treatment of 20 sessions clinicians want to know quickly if the radiation is hitting anything it should not.

TrueInvivo has developed small re-useable strings of tiny calibrated silica beads to measure received radiation. The silica beads can be used on the skin but crucially, as they are safe inert material, they can be used inside the body much closer to the tumour.  After treatment, the beads can be scanned by an automated reader to provide accurate measurements of the levels and spread of the received radiation. The patient’s treatment can then be adjusted accordingly.

With our bead arrays and automated readers, radiotherapy teams worldwide will be able to adjust treatments or environments far more quickly, will be able to reduce damage to potentially millions of people and will be able to extend countless more lives.

What are your dreams for your business?

I would like to expand the use of our glass dosimeters (and other forms of glass) in nuclear decommissioning, in radiation detection in nuclear submarines, in food irradiation, in blood bank cleansing etc. In all those areas that old-fashioned spot radiation detectors are now totally inadequate. Array dosimeters do the job.


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