2021 Better World Project Award

2021 Better World Project Award Winner

Congratulations to the 2021 Better World Project Award Winner, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile! Their tech transfer office's work on ThyroidPrint, the first molecular test for indeterminate thyroid nodules, garnered a majority of the 900 votes cast in the contest. Here's a preview of that work:
The Tech Transfer Office at Universidad Católica —under the purview of the Office of the Vice-Chancellor of Research—is the driving force behind applied research at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. The Tech Transfer Office oversaw supporting the research team, raising public funds for the research and development projects, developing the intellectual property strategy, creating the spin-off GeneproDX to expand into Latin America, and raising private investment.
This test will prevent thousands of unnecessary thyroid surgeries. Read the full story, "ThyroidPrint: First Molecular Test for Indeterminate Thyroid Nodules."

Watch our interview with Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Chile about their work on ThyroidPrint:

The Better World Project Award illustrates the global impact of research commercialization and honors the vital role that technology transfer plays in that process. More than 50 entries were considered for this year’s Award and were narrowed down to three worthy finalists. See them here.


You may have come face-to-face with this innovation in the last year, as it’s been essential in keeping many people safe during the pandemic: the n95 mask, created at the University of Tennessee. The innovation, born three decades ago, has become vital in protecting against COVID-19. The technology is widely used in products such as HVAC filters and medical face masks. An estimated one billion people have used N95s to protect and improve their health.
The inventor, Dr. Peter Tsai, has a 25-year long partnership with the university’s tech transfer office, the University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF), that includes 12 U.S. patents and more than 20 commercial license agreements. This year, UTRF has played an important role in connecting Tsai and his research to a growing number of facilities around the world; he has shared his expertise with many companies interested in producing the charged nonwoven fabric or in scaling up production. We congratulate UTRF and Dr. Tsai on earning the 2020 Legend Award, and thank them for their work. 

Click here to see all of the COVID-19-related innovations in the Better World Project collection.