Meet the Fall 2023 Innovation Catalyst Grantees

November 9, 2023 | 8:36 am

Congratulations to our Fall 2023 Innovation Catalysts grant recipients! 

The Jacobs Institute Innovation Catalysts is a grant program that helps Berkeley’s ambitious student innovators unlock potential in their projects. Over the semester, grant winners will work on their projects with the support of funding and mentorship from Jacobs Hall Makerspace to bring their ideas to life. Recipients of these prestigious grants will receive a Maker Pass and have access to all of our Makerspace resources in addition to ongoing mentorship from our Student Advisory Board, Jacobs Technical Staff, Design Fellows, and others.

This fall, ten projects were selected by our Student Advisory Board and leadership team to be part of the grant program. Three groups were selected for our Ignite grant, which awards student groups up to $2,000 to continue in-progress projects; and seven groups were selected for our Spark grant, which offers up to $500 for early-stage project ideas. This semester’s cohort includes 18 undergraduates,  two masters, and  four PhD students.

Learn more about each grant-winning project below—and then attend the Jacobs Winter Design Showcase to meet the grantees and see / experience their work!

Ignite grant recipients:

🌟 Haptic Ring:  Inga Zhuravleva and Aedan Cullen are embarking on a journey to create a revolutionary sensory addition ring. This wearable marvel will allow users to sense magnetic fields through haptic feedback, opening up new horizons in consumer products, research, and wearables.

🌟 EMG Body Wearable:  Riley Hernandez is crafting an EMG-based wearable device that transcends conventional boundaries. This device can be worn on various parts of the body and is designed for the collection of EMG signals in specific muscle areas, with applications spanning assistive technology, research, and technology.

🌟 BRVT: Building Relational Vocabulary Together:  Brittney Cooper, Manooshree Patel, and Michael Luu are championing an educational initiative like no other. BRVT is a system tailored to teach children with severe motor and communication impairments to express relational vocabulary using speech-generating devices. An incredible step forward in assistive technology, education, and special education.


Spark grant recipients:

⚡ No-B by Hanji Xu is redefining menstrual products with a sustainable, comfortable solution, enhancing control and dignity for menstruators.

⚡ Rocket Rolleron-Fins by Diego Luna is pioneering innovative rocket design by integrating a rolleron mechanism for enhanced stability and control in flight.

⚡ Printing Exploration by Divya Srinivasan focuses on exploring the capabilities of various nature-derived, water-degradable materials for 3D printing, bridging the worlds of art, environment, research, science, and technology.

⚡ NeuroMorph by Phil Xie is revolutionizing EEG headsets with customizable electrode positions and channel counts, empowering neuroscience researchers worldwide with more affordable tools.

⚡ Monitor Hive by Hugo Sappington and Cameron Stearn is reimagining honeybee hives to produce pollution data within pollen granules, promoting a healthier ecosystem.

⚡ TenniBot by Jerry Tang and Daisy Zhang is an autonomous tennis ball collector that transforms tennis practice sessions, revolutionizing the game with advanced technology.

⚡ WT-1 AI Robot by Chang Ding, Justin Kim, and Nykole Liu is a smart robot with the power to identify terrains and choose the best mode of traversal, with applications in emergency rescue, agriculture, and beyond.

We applaud the remarkable creativity and dedication of this new cohort of Innovation Catalysts. Their groundbreaking projects are set to make a lasting impact in diverse fields, from consumer products to assistive technology, research, education, and beyond. 

To stay up-to-date on our Innovation Catalysts’ project highlights and milestones, follow us on Instagram at @jacobsdesigncal, and attend the Jacobs Winter Design Showcase on December 5 & 6.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO APPLY FOR A SPRING 2024 INNOVATION CATALYST GRANT, check the program home page for details and how to apply.