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Innovation and Entrepreneurship Showcase Spotlights Startup Companies Born Out of Federally Funded, University-Based Research

The following is a statement from the Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities announcing that the third annual University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Showcase will occur virtually on Dec. 7-11:

The Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities will host their 3rd annual University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Showcase virtually on Dec. 7-11. The showcase will spotlight 22 startup companies from across the nation that have created products and services using federally funded, university-based research.

The virtual event is designed to highlight the important role of federal funding for university-based research in driving high-value entrepreneurship and the American innovation economy. The event – in previous years held in person, but this year being held online – targets members of Congress, their staffs, and national leaders in economic development and innovation policy.

In addition, the virtual showcase coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Bayh-Dole Act on Dec. 12. The Bayh-Dole Act significantly increased and accelerated the transfer of federally funded university discoveries to the marketplace. University-based research leads to the formation of thousands of startup companies and commercial products every year.

“The federal research that public universities undertake is foundational to innovation and economic growth,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “This research spurs life-changing new technologies, life-saving new medical therapies, and can even launch entirely new industries. Federal investment is a cornerstone to building a more healthy and prosperous society. These startups illustrate the critical importance of federal investment in university-based research.”

Of the showcase, AAU President Barbara R. Snyder said: “The longstanding and productive partnership between the federal government and America’s leading research universities has not only driven much of the most important scientific, technological, and medical advancement of the post-World-War-II era, but has also empowered countless entrepreneurs to start companies and even create new industries. This entrepreneurship has expanded our economy and advanced our health and national security.”

Startups featured in the showcase were chosen by a selection committee composed of innovation experts who considered the level of student engagement in the startup, the strength of the startup technology, and its connection to research. The committee also factored whether the affiliated university had earned APLU’s Innovation & Economic Prosperity University designation, a national recognition for higher education institutions that demonstrate a substantial and sustainable commitment to promoting economic development.

The featured startups and affiliated universities are:

Andluca Technologies, Princeton University

Federal Funding: U.S. Department of the Navy, National Science Foundation

Andluca has developed UV-solar-powered smart glass for improving the energy efficiency of buildings. Andluca’s patented technologies can reduce building energy use by up to 40 percent while significantly enhancing occupant comfort and productivity.

Anelleo, Inc, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

IEP Designee

Federal Funding: National Institutes of Health

AnelleO is harnessing the advancements in the speed and scale of 3D printing technology for novel solutions in women’s health. AnelleO’s Intravaginal Rings offer a unique platform for sustained delivery of therapeutics – a non-invasive, self-administered, and retrievable platform that can deliver drugs over a period of weeks or months.

Apt immune Biologics, Inc, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

IEP Designee

Federal Funding: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Aptimmune Biologics specializes in developing autogenous mucosal vaccines for viral diseases that are costly to the swine industry.

Beta Bionics, Boston University

Federal Funding: National Institutes of Health

Beta Bionics is developing a bionic pancreas called the iLet® – a fully integrated medical device that is designed to reduce the burden and cost of diabetes care by automatically and autonomously managing blood sugar levels 24/7 in people with Type 1 Diabetes.

CenSyn, University of California, Irvine

Pursuing IEP Designation

Federal Funding: National Science Foundation

CenSyn provides a quick, efficient, and accessible electroencephalogram device to monitor brain health during emergencies.

CROPTIX, The Pennsylvania State University

IEP Designee

Federal Funding: National Science Foundation

Croptix is developing a practical turn-key solution for identifying crop disease, allowing you to spot problems long before they’re visible to the naked eye, to help mitigate crop loss.

Darwin Biosciences, University of Colorado Boulder

IEP Designee

Federal Funding: U.S. Department of Defense

Darwin Biosciences specializes in the development of portable diagnostics for the detection of infectious diseases.

ETALYC, Iowa State University

IEP Designee

Federal Funding: National Science Foundation

ETALYC is a software as a service provider that focuses on improving traffic operations through the integration of modern technologies, such as the Internet of Things, machine learning, and big data analytics.

FreshAir Sensor, Dartmouth College

Federal Funding: National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

FreshAir Sensor develops technology available for hotels and apartments to monitor for, immediately detect, and prove tobacco and marijuana smoking.

Halophore, Indiana University
IEP Designee

Federal Funding: National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy

Halophore aims to grow the medical laser market with a corresponding boost in employment in the sectors of device manufacturing, chemical and materials production, and treatment. The potentially revolutionary medical device could be used to address a broad array of health issues, from mundane conditions like acne to serious interventions like skin cancer treatment, wound sterilization, and scar remodeling.

HeroWear, Vanderbilt University

Federal Funding: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

HeroWear is a wearable technology company that makes assistive clothing solutions that reduce fatigue and physical strain on workers. Their first product, a back-assist exosuit that fits like a comfortable piece of clothing, is the first exosuit built from the ground up for both men and women.

IllExcor Therapeutics, LLC, Virginia Commonwealth University

Pursing IEP Designation

Federal Funding: National Institutes of Health

IllExcor Therapeutics is committed to the discovery and development of new therapeutics to treat a range of blood-related diseases and conditions, including Sickle Cell Disease, hypoxia, and ischemia.

IR MedTeck LLC, The Ohio State University

IEP Designee
Federal Funding: National Institutes of Health

IR Medtek has licensed technology developed at Ohio State, including the James Cancer Hospital, for the early, non-invasive diagnosis of skin and other cancers.

IS3D, LLC (Cogent Education), University of Georgia

IEP Designee

Federal Funding: National Institutes of Health

IS3D, LLC (Cogent Education) partners with high school teachers, game designers, digital artists, computer programmers and science education researchers to create interactive worlds in which students learn biological concepts through inquiry and problem-solving.

OWiC Technologies, Cornell University

Federal Funding: National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

OWiC Technologies, Inc. aims to securely connect physical objects to the digital world online using a new class of microscopic optical smart ID tags called microLinks.

Plasma Bionics LLC, Oklahoma State University

Pursuing IEP Designation

Federal Funding: Department of Defense, Department of Agriculture

Plasma Bionics LLC is a veterinary device manufacturing company specializing in plasma-based sterilization. Their patented cold plasma generation technology allows rapid sterilization of veterinary instruments at low temperature, with no water or harmful chemicals, and with little power input.

The Protium Company, Washington State University

IEP Designee

Federal Funding: National Science Foundation, Department of the Army

The Protium Company invents and manufactures novel liquid hydrogen tanks to power-clean, high-quality, affordable, and reliable electric transportation.

Seurat Therapeutics Inc, University of Chicago

Federal Funding: National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Seurat Therapeutics’ mission is to transform neurological research breakthroughs into novel medications to treat debilitating nervous system disorders such as migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, other chronic pain syndromes, and epileptic seizure disorders.

SpeechVive, Purdue University

IEP Designee

Federal Funding: National Institutes of Health

SpeechVive’s mission is to improve the quality of communication for people with Parkinson’s disease by empowering care partners and clinicians with technologies and support to restore the ability to communicate.

Sunthetics, New York University

Federal Funding: National Science Foundation

Sunthetics is developing sustainable and electrically driven chemical processes to replace traditional heat-powered ones.

Squishy Robotics, University of California, Berkeley

Federal Funding: U.S. Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Squishy robots are rapidly deployable mobile sensing robots for disaster rescue, remote monitoring and space exploration. The emergent technologies are at the fusion of robotics, mobile sensing, machine learning, big data fusion and smart Internet of Things.

W7 energy, University of Delaware

Federal Funding: U.S. Department of Energy

W7energy is producing and innovating the highest performing hydroxide exchange membrane for a variety of applications. The primary goal is to aid in the development of electrochemical systems that can help reduce the carbon emissions of our society.

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Founded in 1900, the Association of American Universities is composed of America’s leading research universities. AAU’s 65 research universities transform lives through education, research, and innovation. Our member universities earn the majority of competitively awarded federal funding for research that improves public health, seeks to address national challenges, and contributes significantly to our economic strength, while educating and training tomorrow’s visionary leaders and innovators. AAU member universities collectively help shape policy for higher education, science, and innovation; promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education; and strengthen the contributions of leading research universities to American society. Follow AAU on Twitter, on Facebook , and on LinkedIn.

APLU is a research, policy, and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. With a membership of 246 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations, APLU's agenda is built on the three pillars of increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research, and expanding engagement. Annually, member campuses enroll 5.0 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.3 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff, and conduct $49.3 billion in university-based research.