2019 Annual Report

by Bright International

Published March 1, 2020, last updated March 2, 2020, 2:20 a.m.

Table of Contents

Message from the Executive Director
- University of Calgary
- Oxford University
- University of Toronto
- Public Health Ontario

Message from the Executive Director

BRIGHT International started as a group of interdisciplinary professionals and trainees from around the world with a common passion for bringing cutting edge health innovation technology to serve the public good. Together, our journeys have spanned four continents with backgrounds in clinical medicine, law, business, scientific research, and public health.

From the very beginning, we have received extensive support from our international advisors from the University of Toronto, Harvard University, the World Health Organization, Harbin Medical University, the Autonomous University of Nicaragua, and the University of Oxford. Our more recent collaborations with projects involving agencies including Public Health Ontario, New Medicine Partners, and the League of European Research Universities have further enabled us to both showcase and investigate novel strategies for health innovation translation.

We have initiated local research Chapters across four continents, including the University of Toronto, National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, Harbin Medical University, the University of Calgary, and the University of Oxford. Each Chapter has focused on topics ranging from health innovation landscape surveys to local strategies on enhancing access to public health service, with several manuscripts for publication in progress.

In the years to come, we look forward to sustainably continuing our research and advocacy collaborations with agencies with common values while fortifying strong foundations for existing and new local research chapters. We look forward to establishing an ongoing conference series to unite local chapters, researchers, and professionals with a common interest in enabling health science innovation to benefit the public and continuing our efforts for research and evidence-based advocacy on health innovation translation.

Best wishes,

Peter J. Liu
Executive Director
BRIGHT International


The Department of Research has made it a goal to elaborate three peer-reviewed journal articles and one global primary publication in coordination with the various Chapters across the BRIGHT International network. Chapters in China and Nicaragua will be assessed in order to revive operations in Asia and Latin America.

To further strengthen cross-collaboration among the BRIGHT International network, the Research Department will facilitate at least one project for each Chapter to work on simultaneously. As Chapters produce local research projects and publications, BRIGHT International will host a conference where advisors, research partners, and universities will present findings and reflect on critical themes in Health. Ultimately, BRIGHT International will work on providing sustainability and resources access so that local Chapters can begin initiating regional events.

University of Calgary

Improving access to mental health and addiction services in Calgary

The Alberta Health Services (AHS) Health Business Plans is a public accountability document highlighting the goals, standards, and responsibilities to be met by the provincial healthcare system between 2017 and 2020. These include patient experiences, population health outcomes, safety, and healthcare finances. Specifically, we will be focusing on GOAL 1: Part 4, which targets the improvement of access to community addiction and mental health services for adults, children, and families.

The Calgary Chapter is currently writing the first draft of the research report. In addition, as our current Lead Analyst begins medical school in Edmonton, a new panel of Research Analysts has been assembled to take over operations post-submission of the current Paper. They are now in the process of exploring potential areas of interest for the 2020-21 BRIGHT International Calgary Paper.

Oxford University

Oxford University Scientific Society

The National Health Service (NHS) represents a valuable model to understand how to accelerate translational research and uptake of high-impact innovations for patients. Through ad hoc support for innovators and international partnerships, NHS expedites the adoption and spread of high-impact innovations, thus enabling effective public delivery. These approaches allow a rapid and effective transfer of basic science to the clinic.

The NHS “Five Years Forward Plan” laid out strategic approaches for innovation development and the BRIGHT International Oxford team identified four core areas of focus: innovation acceleration, clinical trials, data mining accessibility, patient empowerment and experience, and tailored models of care adoption. We conducted a comprehensive review of accessible data to evaluate outcomes, success, and shortcomings of such key points. Our results are further illustrated with representative case studies.

The Oxford University Chapter recently completed a public presentation for research results at Oxford University Scientific Society. The Chapter has completed a research article on the NHS Innovation Accelerator Program to be submitted to the peer-reviewed journal.

University of Toronto

The BRIGHT International Toronto Chapter is currently recruiting Research Analysts.


As BRIGHT International continues to grow, updating our website and strengthening our brand awareness will be key to sustain our research collaborations. Chapters will be given an opportunity to elaborate on one advocacy or opinion article to increase their local impact in their respective regions. Local communication plans with key social media strategies will be developed for each Chapter to create partnerships with non-governmental organizations and private sector stakeholders.

Public Health Ontario

BRIGHT International Blogs serves as a platform to present topics on translational research in a way that is accessible to everyone. These personal stories highlight the value of propelling scientific innovation into clinical application, which is the guiding principle of BRIGHT International. We hope to transform the abstract idea of translational research into something tangible so more people can be inspired by it.

The Public Health Ontario Blog project has created an opportunity to continue engaging local partners in advocacy efforts. Three additional blog posts will be posted on BRIGHT International’s website in order to strengthen brand awareness and gain followers for the research projects taking place.


BRIGHT International is always seeking enthusiastic volunteers from around the globe to join us. We rely on our university chapters to focus on a theme in health innovation each year. These chapters examine policies, health systems, and translation processes. With this knowledge, we aim to discover the strengths and challenges of each region to facilitate mutual support and advance the health innovation process globally.

In 2019 we recruited two members for the Board of Directors: Director of External Affairs and Director of Operations. We also hired a Research Coordinator to aid the work of the current Director of Research.

The researchers we are recruiting for our chapters are undergraduate, postgraduate or postdoctoral students and/or healthcare professionals. Our strategy consists of recruiting one or two Lead Research Analysts at a regional university and aid them in developing a BRIGHT International university chapter. This model has been proven successful at the University of Calgary and Oxford University. Despite having a team, the chapter at the University of Toronto did not gain sustainability so we are exploring other recruitment and operational methods.

We have also observed that our attempts to open chapters in Nicaragua and China were met with low application interest. To address this, we believe that we need to build qualitative research capacity with the Lead Research Analyst and offer workshops and seminars besides the Research and Recruitment aid. Additionally, we are considering the creation of agreements directly with the universities.