A Cleaner, Cheaper Way to Make Metals

A startup called Infinium promises to reduce a troubling source of carbon emissions.

Read more here.

Letter from Leonard Nimoy

Picture 1I’m writing to tell you about Project SEARCH, being run by Dr. Christopher Gill and a team of public health and engineering students at Boston University. They are trying to solve one of the fundamental problems in global public health: identification of children over Space and Time. Their approach is clever and simple: they are developing an iPho

ne app that identifies young children based on photographs of their ears. A tool like this could really make a difference in our efforts to support vaccine programs, HIV care, nutritional campaigns, and other efforts helping children in poorer countries.

I hope you will join me in supporting their work so that all children can live long and prosper!


You have my thanks.

Picture 2

Boston University’s Office of Technology Development hosts its fifth annual Tech, Drugs, and Rock n’ Roll conference

Boston, MA – On July 15th, 2014, the Office of Technology Development at Boston University will host its fifth annual networking conference entitled, Tech, Drugs, and Rock n’ Roll (TDRR), from 4-8pm at 775 Commonwealth Avenue. Registration for the conference opened on May 1st, 2014.

TDRR is a networking event designed to connect scientists and engineers with entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators. The event will showcase emerging technologies from Boston University’s research programs in the fields of life sciences, physical sciences, medical technology, new ventures, and student-based ventures. The event will also include participation from key translational research centers including the Evans Center – Affinity Research Collaboratives, Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Center for Regenerative Medicine, Wallace H. Coulter Translational Research Partnership, Boston Biomedical Innovation Center, Center for Future Technologies in Cancer Care, Engineering Product Innovation Center, Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering, Fraunhofer Center for Manufacturing Innovation, BU Start-up Summer Camp, and several new ventures launching from Boston University.

This year TDRR is going digital and using an outside vendor, ePosterboards, to provide us with 44” flat screen TVs to display content from the research centers mentioned above.

The event prides itself on finding a great band every year to provide lively music and foster a dynamic atmosphere for networking. This year, TDRR welcomes the live music of Poor Old Shine, an alternative americana touring band based in Mansfield, CT.

At 5:30pm, Provost of Boston University Jean Morrison will announce the recipient of this year’s Innovator of the Year Award. This award seeks to highlight translational research at Boston University by recognizing an entrepreneurial faculty member who translates his/her world-class research into inventions and innovations that benefit humankind.

Immediately following, Provost Jean Morrison, the Innovator of the Year Award, and Managing Director of the Office of Technology Development Vinit Nijhawan will participate in a photo-op and press conference. Members of the media may receive a media pass to gain access to the photo-op and press conference.

The sponsors of this year’s Tech, Drugs, and Rock n’ Roll conference are Nixon Peabody LLP, Pfizer Inc., Sanofi US LLC, Shore Chan DePumpo LLP, and Wolf Greenfield PC.

For more information about the conference and registration, please visit www.bu.edu/otd/tdrr.

OTD official partner of the TTS North America: July 21-22 at Rutgers University

BU’s Office of Technology Development is an official Partner of the TTS Global Initiative and this year’s TTS North America forum, which is coming to the East Coast after last year’s edition at UCSF in Mission Bay, San Francisco.

Our office’s Managing Director Vinit Nijhawan has been a keynote speaker at previous editions of the TTS Global Initiative in Asia (ETPL Singapore) and Europe (Institut Pasteur, France), and we are pleased to offer our preferred access and discounted rates to the only North American edition of the TTS Global Initiative. Using the Partner Code EBO14.

Founded in 2007, TTS brings together Key Opinion Leaders from all of the critical stakeholders involved in healthcare innovation to accelerate translation of world-class life sciences and biomedical research from the lab to the patient and the market. TTS provides a unique platform for open, panel–led round-table discussion, debate and deliberation under the Chatham House rule.  No pitches, no PR, no presentations other than the keynotes; the forum is simply a focused discussion on finding the best opportunities, collaborations and ways forward.

Special discounted rates for BU network members using the Partner Code EBO14. http://www.ttsglobalinitiative.com/

Boston University Launches Pilot Crowdfunding Platform

Boston University is proud to announce the pilot launch of its first-ever community fundraising platform: BU Crowdfunding. Think of it as a BU-exclusive, University-supported Kickstarter or Indiegogo. It’s an easy-to-use tool to collect donations, offer incentives, and get the word out.

Groups and individuals affiliated with BU, including students, faculty, and staff, can create their own crowdfunding projects on the site and raise money for innovative creations, service trips, events, research, and other BU-specific ventures—anything that supports BU’s overall mission and improves the BU community, on campus and beyond.

The first research project is a unique Mobile App that allows BU Global Health researchers to use ear biometrics to identify patients in Africa and other under-resourced countries: https://crowdfunding.bu.edu/project/535fc66e09206557630dfe47.

B-BIC Grant Opportunity

The Boston Biomedical Innovation Center (B-BIC) is now accepting applications for PILOT and DRIVE grants, which support research and development of innovative devices, diagnostics, as well as therapeutics related to heart, lung, blood, and sleep. PILOT grants provide up to $50,000 for direct costs for one year, while DRIVE grants provide up to $200,000 for milestone achievements over 1½ to two years. Applicants are requested to contact their institutional site miner prior to submitting their application.

B-BIC is a grouping of academic centers, government, venture capital, non-profit organizations, and industry designed to accelerate translational research and the development of solutions that will have health, economic, and societal impact. B-BIC is one of three National Centers for Accelerated Innovations (NCAI) selected by the National Institution of Health to address the gap between discovery and invention, and commercialization.

PILOT grants support collaborative research projects that are in the early stages of pre-commercialization. This grant provides up to $50,000 for tasks that support proof of concept. That is, reproducibility experiments, testing of key elements, or early prototype development.

DRIVE grants provide investments in early-stage technologies for completion of activities that help demonstrate proof of value. This grant provides up to $200,000 for system level testing or complete prototype development. DRIVE projects also receive mentoring from a team of experts.

Both of these grants have an open call for applications; pre-proposals may be submitted at any time. For additional information please visit B-BIC.org

TDRR Unplugged 2014

The Office of Technology Development (OTD) is always working on creative ways to connect our research faculty with entrepreneurs and industry representatives. On February 26, Metcalf Trustee Ballroom in the School of Management played host to the third annual “Tech, Drugs, and Rock n’ Roll Unplugged” for over 70 attendees. BU’s Office of Technology Development organized the event, in a joint collaboration with the Boston University’s Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors. The event was designed as a networking and informational event to recognize the valuable contribution of BU’s innovative and entrepreneurial faculty.

Renuka Babu, Executive Director Accelerator Programs & New Ventures, moderated a panel discussion on “New and Alternative Perspectives of Funding Approaches”.  A distinguished panel of speakers was assembled from Boston University and Spinethera. In addition, TDRR Unplugged also featured various programs supported by The Office of Technology Development, Boston University’s Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors, and The Coulter Translational Partnership in Biomedical Engineering.

Boston University’s very own co-ed a cappella group, The Treblemakers, brought in a range of entertainment for the evening. Their one-hour set performance from 4:30 to 5:30 included the songs “Cry Me a River” by Justin Timberlake, “Never Let Me Go” by Florence and The Machine, “Eet” by Regina Spektor, and “Bills Bills Bills” by Destiny’s Child to name just a few. Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres from Catering on the Charles, and entertainment from the Treblemakers stimulated the audience into networking with fellow Boston University faculty and members of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Our “Tech, Drugs, and Rock n’ Roll Unplugged” event was a great showcase of what is to come this summer, July 15th, in our larger-scale “TDRR” event. We hope to intertwine the same themes of networking and enjoyment this summer with our fifth annual run of “Tech, Drugs, and Rock n’ Roll.” For more information about this summer’s event, please feel free to check out our website at www.bu.edu/otd/news/tdrr.

Ignition Awardees 2014

The Office of Technology Development has completed its annual Ignition Award cycle and is pleased to announce this year’s winners.  Ignition Awards are typically $50K, one year grants to validate early-stage technologies in the Life Sciences/High Tech domain with clear potential commercial and medical impact.  Between leading outreach through BU community to better advertise and solicit proposals and bringing on notable industry and investment figures to make award decisions through the Ignition Committee, Ignition awardees are seeing increasing success in finding follow-on funding.

This year, OTD has awarded Ignition grants to four technologies:

  • George Daaboul will use his award to reach proof-of-concept milestones for his new system for digital detection of single molecules, testing a potential way to significantly increase optical resolution and comparing the performance of his prototype to existing technologies.
  • Russell Giordano will be using his award to fabricate a new test line of his bullet-resistant ceramic composite, measuring their strength and flexibility and supplying samples for interested partners.
  • Michael Holick’s award will be used in a pilot study of his new vitamin-D producing LED, which could cheaply and easily treat vitamin deficiency.
  • John Caradonna will use his award to optimize the production of chemical catalysts for his green oxidation system, which has the potential to significantly change the pharmaceutical manufacturing process.

Of last year’s winners, with help from OTD and their Kindle Mentors, three are already in advanced discussions for investment or research partnerships with industry, and all of our Ignition Winners over the last three years are still actively developing, seeking funding, or have successfully licensed or found investors.  OTD looks forward to the continued success of past and present Ignition Awardees, and is excited to bring a new group of inventors into the program next year, with the application process for 2015 awards starting in the fall.

Celebrating Our Kindle Mentors

In the last two years, the Boston University Office of Technology Development has significantly grown its Kindle Mentoring Program to increase the engagement of successful BU alums and the greater Boston entrepreneurial community with the New Ventures process.  Boston University and BMC together represent more than $400 million in research awards and support a research community of more than 3,900 faculty and 32,000 students, and the Kindle program provides a unique opportunity for seasoned entrepreneurs and business executives to have direct and meaningful interaction with the BU community to facilitate early stage business formation.

Our Kindle Mentors are seasoned entrepreneurs and business executives from a variety of industries and business occupations, who volunteer to work individually or in groups with their chosen mentee projects.  Through this engagement, they have opportunity to network with other mentors via regular meetings, needing to commit only a few hours a month.  All mentors agree to adhere to a strict code of conduct, consistent with the university’s mission, to ensure that the mentees receive objective counsel.

The BU Kindle Program brought has brought on over 80 new mentors since 2011, with over 65 currently active.  At a recent meeting, OTD thanked several outstanding mentors for their service, including Joe Caruso (Owner, Bantam Group), Matt Crowley, (CEO, Sonify and former OTD Director), Ed Berger (Founder, Larchmont Strategic Advisors), Ian Mashiter (Entrepreneurial Educator, BUSM), Steven Saunders (Patent Attorney and Angel Investor), Terry Russell (Managing Director of Interface Ventures and serial entrepreneur), and Joe Straight (former CEO, Verax, ZymeQuest).  We look forward to seeing the results of their continued efforts.

If interested in being a mentor, please register here:



OTD Director Vinit Nijhawan (center) and Michael Pratt (second from left) thank:  Ed Berger, Matt Crowley, Steven Saunders, Terry Russell, Joe Straight, Ian Mashiter, and Joe Caruso (not pictured) at February’s Kindle Mentor meeting.


Healthcare Startup Constant Therapy Raises First Round Funding to Continue Developing, Launching Mobile Brain Rehabilitation Solutions

Adoption of its iPad Solutions Growing 50% Month-Over-Month; Now Employed by Thousands of Registered Clients and Therapists

BOSTON – Feb. 24, 2014 – Constant Therapy, a developer of a cloud-based iPad solution that enables people with cognitive, language, communication and learning disorders to access science-based brain therapies, today announced that it has raised first round funding.

This funding round is led by Boston University, TiE Angels Boston and serial entrepreneur Andy Palmer.
The undisclosed amount will go towards the development of Constant Therapy’s ground-breaking mobile brain rehabilitation iPad solution to meet the demands of a rapidly expanding user base as well as to officially launch and expand marketing efforts. The company’s solutions are designed for use by victims of traumatic brain injury, stroke, aphasia and learning disabled clients in addition to speech and language pathologists/occupational therapists.

According to Constant Therapy co-founder and CEO Veera Anantha, “Constant Therapy is the only application combining science-based tasks with advanced analytics enabling patients to take advantage of the latest and most advanced research on brain rehabilitation. Adoption of our application has been growing 50% month-over-month, reaching new milestones with thousands of registered users. This funding will enable us to better and more quickly meet their critical needs.”

Vinit Nijhawan, managing director of Boston University Office of Technology Development, said, “We are proud to support a solution based on advanced brain rehabilitation research performed here. More importantly, we believe the Constant Therapy solution has the potential to transform the way therapy and developmental care is delivered to brain injury survivors and children with learning disorders.”

According to Andy Palmer, “There are few early-stage companies that have the potential to both create economic value and change people lives in such a significant way – Constant Therapy is one of them. The strong demand for the Constant Therapy application serves as testimony to the critical need it fills and the efficacy of its development.”

Constant Therapy enables patients to access tools for high-quality, science-based therapies from anywhere and at anytime. Clinicians can create highly customized rehabilitation programs for each patient, assign homework and monitor patient performance 24×7. This can translate into better patient outcomes and, importantly, continuing improvement.

Free Trial Download and Video Demo

Patients and clinicians can download a free trial of Constant Therapy’s iPad application here. They can view short video demos of the product here.

About Boston University

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With more than 33,000 students, it is the fourth-largest independent university in the United States. BU consists of 16 schools and colleges, along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes integral to the University’s research and teaching mission. In 2012, BU joined the Association of American Universities (AAU), a consortium of 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada.

About Constant Therapy (www.constanttherapy.com)

Founded in 2012, Boston-based Constant Therapy provides iPad tools for continuous and personalized therapy to people with cognitive, language, communication and learning disorders. Born out of groundbreaking research at Boston University and in pilots with prominent and nationally recognized rehabilitation institutions, Constant Therapy provides the most comprehensive set of tools for care to people who have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), stroke or dementia, or children who need special education and care due to learning disabilities or other disorders. Therapy tasks are based on the latest research and are easy to use. With 50 science-based categories of tasks and over 12,000 items, patients can continue to get better at home or even after traditional care ends in the clinic.

Elyse Familant
GCC, Inc.