CBB and Sorbonne Universités Partnership for Innovative Health Engineering


Photo: May 2016 workshop at the University of Waterloo 

This partnership seeks to build a new collaboration between CBB researchers at the University of Waterloo and the Sorbonne Universités in the transdisciplinary area of Health Engineering.  Health engineering is a research theme that cuts across UW strengths in engineering, applied health, computer science and aging.  A MOU was signed between UW and the Sorbonne Universités in November 2015.

The first CBB/Sorbonne workshop is scheduled May 9-11, 2016 here in Waterloo with the goal to look for key areas of synergy.  The second workshop will leverage those synergies towards building a strong ongoing partnership with the end goals of:

  • Applying for joint grant applications to Canadian and European funding agencies in the field of health engineering for Horizon 2020, European Space Agency, European Research Council, and national funding programs in Canada and France.
  • Research oriented exchanges of graduate students or faculty visits to deepen knowledge on an individual level.

An IRPG was created between Waterloo's CBB and the Sorbonne Universités in April 2016 to further develop international collaboration for Innovative Health Engineering.


Date (Newest to oldest) Event
  • CBB's NSERC CREATE Bio-Hackathon and Summer School  Training in Global Biomedical Technology Research and Innovation is the first "Needs-First" biomedical hackathon for Graduate Students in Canada. The hackathon featured 3 days of teamwork, design training, solving a real-life problem, a final pitch competition and prizes. The bio-hackathon and summer school was supported in part by the University of Waterloo, Starfish Medical, Synaptive Medical, Intellijoint Surgical, and Sorbonne Universités. [Poster]
  • (June) The French-Canadian BIOMEDInnov Summer School took place June 18 to 22, 2018, and engaged students designing innovative new technologies for health and medicine. The program focused on needs-driven design to develop clinically relevant biomedical technologies. 22 students (from all universities) and 6 researchers from the University of Waterloo travelled to France to attend the summer school. The Summer School is supported in part by the University of Waterloo, Sorbonne Universités, Université de Technologie de Compiegne (UTC), Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC),CELSA Paris-Sorbonne, Medtronic.
    UW Participants:  Catherine BurnsJennifer BogerMaud GorbetNing JiangPlinio MoritaTom Willett
  • (June) ERASMUS+ Awarded with Waterloo and UTC for 16 exchanges (8 each way) between institutions over 2 years.
  • (June) University of Waterloo International Research Partnership Grant (IRPG-EU) Awarded "Innovative Health Engineering" to help facilitate UW Faculty to attend the BIOMEDInnov Summer School.
  • (May) Research update and collaboration discussions at University of Waterloo. Covered next steps and summer school planning. 
    UW Participants: Catherine Burns,  Jennifer Boger,  Maud GorbetNaveen ChandrashekarAdrien Côté,  Ning Jiang,  Xianguo Li,  Plinio MoritaJohn McPheeChristine McWebbSean Peterson,  George ShakerAlfred YuTom WillettCarolyn RenKarin SchmidlinHamid Tizhoosh
  • (May) Workshop at Sorbonne Universités, France
    UW PI Participants: Catherine Burns and Maud Gorbet, Systems Design Engineering, George Shaker, Electrical and Computer Engineering.
  • (February) Discussions on planning for future internships with BIOMEDInnov coordinators.  Progress meetings with the UW students and research activities in France.  Planning and development of the summer school program in June 2018.
  • (November) Workshop at University of Waterloo.
    UW Participants: Catherine Burns, Maud Gorbet, Jennifer Boger, Ning Jiang, John McPhee from Systems Design Engineering, Adil Al-Mayah from Civil and Environmental Engineering, Trevor Charles, Biology; Plinio Morita, School of Public Health and Health Systems, Sean Peterson and James Tung from Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, Safieddin Safavi-Naeini and George Shaker from Electrical and Computer Engineering, Christine McWebb from French Studies.
    Proposal discussions on research collaborations and development of the joint academic exchange program.
  • Sorbonne Forminnov grant "BIOMEDInnov", awarded 130k EUR to create a joint academic exchange and summer school between the universities. [List of research projects]
  • Workshop at Sorbonne Universités, France
    UW PI Participants: Catherine Burns and Maud Gorbet, Systems Design Engineering, Safieddin Safavi-Naeini and Alfred Yu, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Trevor Charles, Biology, Sivabal Sivaloganathan, Applied Mathematics, Christine McWebb, French Studies
    Proposal discussions on research collaborations in ageing, e-health, applied math/modelling, energy, environment, digital communications, sustainable cities. MITAC research fellowship program for graduate student internships at the Sorbonne. Joint lab resources and proposal development discussions.
  • University of Waterloo International Research Partnership Grant (IRPG-EU) Awarded "Innovative Health Engineering" with Sorbonne Universités, France.
  • A MOU was signed between UW and the Sorbonne Universités.