The innovation that comes from the University
Inovatie recently interviewed on their Youtube channel the Electronic Engineer Suelia Fleury Rosa, who graduated from Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho, with a Master’s degree in Electronic Engineering – Mechatronics from the Technological Institute of Aeronautics (ITA), a PhD in Electronic and Biomedical Engineering from the University of Brasília (UnB) and postdoctoral fellow at the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The central theme of the interview was the innovation that comes from the university , and during the conversation Suelia highlighted, among other points, the importance of the partnership between different stakeholders for Brazil to advance in the development of technologies that bring benefits to the health of the population.
She talked about her trajectory as a researcher and developer of new technologies and highlighted: “when I graduated 20 years ago, my dream was to make a difference. And I soon realized that internal motivation is important for us to overcome obstacles.”
Suelia commented that it is common for researchers, when they start a research, to emphasize that their desire is for the product, drug or device created to be applied in the Unified Health System (SUS), but that there are so many variables to be considered, so many sectors who need to be connected for everything to happen, which most of them are unaware of.
“I myself, when I started doing research, was unaware of topics such as regulatory aspects, I had no idea what an ethics committee was. But I went looking for information and knowledge, until I became the first engineer to be part of the Ethics Committee of the University of Brasília.”
Suelia highlighted that the first step in the development of a technology is for the researcher to realize that there are several links and that it is necessary to count on different stakeholders, from the most varied sectors, so that it can be viable to build something feasible and incorporated into the SUS.
Following her vocation for the constant search to develop products that can contribute to the health of the population, Suelia coordinated a research group that developed the Vesta respirator, a PFF2 type mask that has three layers of protection, and it was recently approved by the National Health Agency. Health Surveillance (Anvisa).
In order for the dream to become reality, she relied on Inovatie's support and knowledge in several stages of the project, such as in the design of the clinical study.
“For the project to truly impact and make a difference in health, we sought partnerships with companies that were interested in developing the idea. Until, after some adjustments, we closed a partnership with Life Care Medical.”
Some changes were necessary, such as in the machinery, so that the new part could be produced. But not only the company was involved. The university had to leave the bench aside and also dialogue with Anvisa and other bodies.
Plans for the future
Suelia said that for the next two years she intends to focus her work on the development of two projects: one focused on tissue neoformation (protocol for treating diabetic foot) and another for the development of a radiofrequency ablation device.
Message for university researchers
“We must try to stay motivated, whatever the scenario. But beyond that, seek help to understand all the stages of a research project, to clarify the path. It's time to deconstruct the information that research is only done in the laboratory. We have to seek support from partner companies, laboratories, and connect researchers so that we can truly transform what is in our minds and on paper into reality.”
And he concluded: “we need to be able to see that a research is not ours. She is of society; so please share it with other fellow researchers.”
Check out the full interview at the link below to our YouTube channel or its podcast format on Spotify: