Register for the inaugural FIBRE Wearable Tech Hackathon today!

The Hackathon will take place May 13-15.

Students from academic institutions across Southern Ontario and India will come together next month for an innovative three-day tech competition designed to spur health-care innovation one stitch at a time.

The inaugural FIBRE Wearable Tech Hackathon aims to kickstart the design of textile-based wearable technologies to aid in the prevention of pressure injuries, also known as bedsores. People with limited mobility, such as those who use wheelchairs or are bedridden as well as the elderly and those with prosthetic limbs, are at a higher risk of developing pressure injuries.

 “The Hackathon will serve as a training ground for the next great innovator in the healthcare field,” Kirsten Schaefer, event director and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at KITE, says. “By creating connections between students that normally wouldn’t work together we hope to foster a mindset that embraces multidisciplinary partnership and out-of-the-box thinking.”

Students from differing areas of study, including science, engineering, design, and business are invited to participate in the Hackathon, which takes place online May 13-15. Participants will join multi-disciplinary teams and compete to win prizes for their innovative design concepts. During the event, they will receive mentorship from academic and industry experts, as well as feedback on product design ideas from patients through the University Health Network’s Patient Partner program to provide insight to health-related needs.

 “We are truly excited about this event as it will introduce students to an opportunity to apply their skills in a way that will positively impact the lives of generations to come,” Anthony Palma, director of operations at KITE, says.

This year’s event will be the first of many Hackathons organized by the Fabric Based Research Platform or FIBRE. FIBRE is an academic research platform in the field of textile-based technologies based at The KITE Research Institute, which is part of the UHN. The Hackathon will be open to students at partner institutions which are: the University of Toronto, Centennial College, George Brown College, Humber College, OCADU, Ryerson University, Sheridan College, and Sona College of Technology in India. As well as limited availability to non-FIBRE partners. 

 “Our goal is to utilize innovations made in the science, engineering, healthcare, and design fields to develop textile products that will revolutionize the way we prevent, monitor, and treat Canadians with complex healthcare needs,” Schaefer says.

 “We want to create solutions that will address multiple areas of chronic diseases in order to reduce the burden on patients and the health care system.”

Students’ designs will be evaluated by a panel of judges who will award the top teams cash prizes. 

This is an online event but partner institutions are invited to open their spaces to students for in-person access to facilities in accordance with institution and provincial health and safety guidelines.

Anyone interested in participating in the event as a student or mentor/judge can do so by registering on the Hackathon website.  

For Hackathon sponsorship inquires reach out to Schaefer at

Those interested in FIBRE partnership opportunities please contact