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HKU start-up wins championship at the Hong Kong finals of the IMAGINE IF! Competition


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Lifespans, a start-up company formed by HKU professors and alumni, won the grand prize on 16 February 2019 at the Hong Kong Finals of IMAGINE IF! (2018-19), a global accelerator organised by Innovation Forum headquartered in Cambridge, UK.

Lifespans develops proprietary technologies that make orthopaedic implants safer and more effective when treating fractured hips, shoulders, and spines in elderly patients.

As the Hong Kong champion, the team will participate in the Global Final of IMAGINE IF! at the “Health Horizons - Future Healthcare Forum” from 26-27 June 2019 in Cambridge, UK.

The Forum will be attended by key industry decision makers of major pharma and biotech companies, clinicians and investors in the health tech industry, and will offers top teams from across the globe the opportunity to compete for non-dilutive funding for their ventures.

This is the third technology prize that Lifespans has won in the past six months; Lifespans recently received the grand prize at the Hello Tomorrow Regional Competition held in Singapore, as well as the 1st runner up and audience choice prizes at the Cocoon Hong Kong 2018 pitch competition finals. Lifespans will also be compete at the Hello Tomorrow Global Summit in Paris in March.

IMAGINE IF! is a global accelerator organised by Innovation Forum headquartered in Cambridge, UK. It offers an excellent opportunity to widen exposure and network with mentors and other innovative teams from across the globe. (Website:

About Lifespans Limited (“Lifespans”)
Lifespans is an HKU medical device start-up, co-founded by Dr. Sloan Kulper (HKU PhD / MIT alumnus), Dr. Erica Ueda Boles (HKU scientist / MIT alumna), and three faculty members of the Department of Orthopaedics & Traumatology: A/Professor Christian Fang FRCS, Professor Frankie Leung FRCS, and Professor William Lu. The Lifespans technology portfolio also includes inventions by other members of the HKU community, including Dr. Xiaoreng Feng (HKU Med PhD candidate), and Professor Alfonso Ngan of the Faculty of Engineering. Lifespans research collaborators also include A/Professor Tak Man Wong and Dr. Grace Teng Zhang of the Department of Orthopaedics & Traumatology, as well as Professor KY Sze of the Faculty of Engineering. Lifespans is a recipient of the TSSSU@HKU award.

Lifespans has developed three innovative implants that are shown in laboratory conditions to provide superior performance for repairing fractures in the elderly: the Lifespans Soft Hip, Soft Shoulder, and Soft Spine. It is presently completing the final safety and efficacy testing required to bring these three innovative orthopaedic devices through the regulatory approval processes in the US and EU, followed by Asian countries, with patents filed internationally and in the US, EU, and China. The company anticipates receiving its first approvals for sale to hospitals through its distributor partners starting Q2 2019. (Website:

For the online press release and photos, please visit:

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