Canon Solutions America Empowers Kingsborough Community College Team in International Competition to Solve Local Issues

December 14, 2017

Can Synthetic Biology Help Revitalize NYC’s Largest Open Space?

MELVILLE, N.Y., December 14, 2017 - 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.”

Kingsborough Community College Team

Brian McNally, Ph.D., Senior Manager, Canon BioMedical speaks with the iGEM Team at Canon’s Headquarters in Melville, NY.

Kingsborough Community College Team

iGEM Team members work in their lab at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, NY.

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.

About Kingsborough Community College

Founded in 1963 as part of the City University of New York (CUNY), Kingsborough Community College remains firmly committed to its mission of “providing both liberal arts and career education…[and] to promoting student learning and development as well as strengthening and serving its diverse community.”

Named one of the leading community colleges in the country by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program, Kingsborough has also earned national recognition for its creative and effective use of learning communities, for the large number of degrees it confers, for the high percentage of graduates who continue their studies, and for the innovative programs that draw thousands of non-traditional students to its campus every year. The college has articulation agreements with most City University and State University senior colleges, and transfer agreements with several private colleges in the region. More than 70% of Kingsborough graduates go on to pursue a baccalaureate degree.

About Canon Solutions America, Inc.

Canon Solutions America provides industry leading enterprise, production, and large format printing solutions, supported by exceptional professional service offerings. With the technology offerings of the Canon and Océ brands, Canon Solutions America helps companies of all sizes improve sustainability, increase efficiency, and control costs through high volume, continuous feed, digital and traditional printing, and document management solutions. A wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A., Inc., Canon Solutions America is headquartered in Melville, N.Y. and has sales and service locations across the U.S. For more information on Canon Solutions America, please visit csa.canon.com.

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Editorial Contact:
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About iGEM

The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of synthetic biology, education and competition, and the development of an open community and collaboration. This is done through the fostering of an open, cooperative community and friendly competition.

iGEM's main program is the iGEM Competition. The iGEM competition gives students the opportunity to push the boundaries of Synthetic Biology by tackling everyday issues facing the world. Made up of primarily university level students, multidisciplinary teams work together to design, build, test, and measure a system of their own design using interchangeable biological parts and standard molecular biology techniques. Every year nearly 6,000 people dedicate themselves to iGEM, and then come together in the fall to present their work and compete at the annual Jamboree. In 2017 iGEM introduced the After iGEM program. After iGEM supports our 30,000+ member community and international network of academics and industry professionals beyond the competition. After iGEM provides engagement opportunities within iGEM, in synthetic biology, and in the global community. For more information, visit igem.org.

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