MELVILLE, N.Y. - Canon Solutions America, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A., Inc., recently sponsored a team from Kingsborough Community College in the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition in Boston, MA. A five-day event that challenges student-led teams to solve real-world problems with synthetic biology, the iGEM Giant Jamboree hosts over 3,000 students participating amongst 310 teams from 44 countries. The Kingsborough team won a bronze medal for their project, which focused on an environmentally responsible solution to remove nitrogenous waste more effectively from sewage.
The team was inspired by their desire to find solutions to clean their local waterway of Jamaica Bay. Comprising an area almost equal to that of Manhattan, Jamaica Bay is an 18,000-acre wetland estuary that consists of numerous islands, a labyrinth of waterways, meadowlands, and two freshwater ponds. This rich ecosystem provides vital habitat for hundreds of migratory bird species and is an integral part of the larger, regional ecosystem.
Canon hosted the Kingsborough team members in their Melville headquarters earlier this year, giving the students a tour of the showroom and a chance to learn about Canon BioMedical, a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A., focused on biomedical research and healthcare by developing, manufacturing and marketing innovative technologies and solutions. Brian McNally, Ph.D., Senior Manager of Strategic Marketing & Communications with Canon BioMedical, discussed the latest genotyping solutions. "It was great being able to meet with these students who are engaging in a global community, harnessing the potential of synthetic biology to solve local issues," said McNally. "Their passion for their work was apparent."
During their visit, the students took notice of Canon's corporate philosophy of Kyosei, which translates to 'All people, regardless of culture, custom, language or ethnicity, living and working together for the common good.' This resonated with their goals of not only improving their local and global environment, but also engaging and educating the community about ecology and sustainability. "The Kyosei corporate philosophy was a gratifying surprise…It's reassuring to see a company engaged in social responsibility on a global scale, and I'm thrilled that our goals align," said student Wendy Zhao.
"Kingsborough is the only community college to have ever earned a bronze medal in this competition," said Devin Cameneras, team mentor and Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. "Our result helps to challenge assumptions about what community college students are capable of and what they can achieve."
"We were excited to support this team in the iGEM competition, especially when we saw how their project aligned with Canon's focus on environmental initiatives," said Andrea Rai, Senior Manager of Strategic Partnerships in Canon Solutions America's Enterprise Managed Services Division (EMSD).
Strategic alliances have become the foundation of EMSD's engagements with higher education clients. To assist in this effort, the Higher Education Advisory Team (HEAT) was created to conduct primary research on industry trends and to focus on opportunities to create positive impacts on student experience, institutional strength, and the communities surrounding its customers.