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Posted: November 14, 2007

NorTech Announces 2007 Innovation Award Winners

(Nanowerk News) NorTech, Northeast Ohio’s leading technology-based economic development organization, recognized winners of the 2007 Innovation Awards yesterday during the NorTech Summit at LaCentre in Westlake, Ohio. NorTech hosts the annual Innovation Awards to honor individuals, companies and organizations producing innovative products and processes in Northeast Ohio. The Summit was keynoted by Dr. Stanley Gryskiewicz, a consultant and an international authority with over thirty- five years of experience in leadership, creativity, innovation and change management.
The 2007 Innovation Award winners were selected based on the theme “breakthrough innovation”–technologies that have the potential to dramatically impact a specific industry or market sector. A distinguished panel of judges chose seven companies/organizations in Northeast Ohio with inventions in a variety of technical fields including: nanotechnology, robotics, cancer diagnostics, medical imaging, air filtration, electronic sensory technology, and advanced energy (fuel cells).
“At the turn of the century Northeast Ohio was a primary location for entrepreneurs, industrialists, and inventors. So it’s important for our region to continue that legacy of innovation to remain globally competitive in today’s marketplace,” said Dorothy C. Baunach, President and CEO of NorTech. Baunach continued, “That’s why NorTech celebrates our region’s innovators and their accomplishments–to encourage and foster a ripe environment for technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.”
Below is a complete list of 2007 NorTech Innovation Awards winners and a brief description of their innovation.
AnalizaDx is a Cleveland-based cancer diagnostics company. The company has developed a proprietary platform technology that is capable of distinguishing changes in the structure of proteins in common biological fluids such as blood, urine, etc. These changes, when connected to an underlying disease process, could then serve as sensitive detection method for cancer. AnalizaDx’s technology offers important advantages compared to other biomarker approaches, in particular, its inherent insensitivity to the natural biological variation in the amount of protein that can complicate reproducibility and interpretation of most conventional technologies. Furthermore, the technology platform is performed in a highly cost-effective, high-throughput manner, affording an economic basis for early diagnosis and screening. AnalizaDx has already demonstrated a clear feasibility to identify promising biomarker candidates for ovarian and breast cancer in preliminary clinical studies, and is also performing advanced studies with prostate cancer. The Company has formed multiple clinical collaborations with leading institutions, including the National Cancer Institute, University Hospitals of Cleveland, and The Cleveland Clinic Foundation.
EyePlusPlus‘ lightweight, fully functional system provides rich, dynamic information to individuals with blindness or impaired sight. The Forehead Sensory Recognition System (FSRS) is an electronic travel aid that is for use by appropriately trained individuals to supplement existing travel aids (e.g., white cane, guide dog, etc.) by providing additional sensory information via electrical stimulation regarding the user’s physical environment. The FSRS converts video images captured by a miniature sunglasses-mounted camera into electro-tactile stimulation patterns applied to the user’s forehead through an array of stimulation electrodes, which allows the user to perceive objects.
MemPro Ceramics has combined polymer processing with ceramic production to make a new filtration technology using ceramic nanofibers to capture/filter undesirable particles while removing gaseous pollutants from the environment. The innovation will dramatically reduce the costs of using catalysts in the production of pharmaceutical and biotech products, fine and bulk chemicals, as well as food and beverages. Recently, a working prototype was built in partnership with the University of Akron to demonstrate the efficacy of the filters and the benefits of employing ceramic nanofibers to take advantage of large surface/volume ratio these nanostructures offer.
Nanomimetics Inc. is focused on the development and commercialization of its unique nanocoatings for a variety of medical and industrial applications. Founded in 2004, Nanomimetics has demonstrated that its patented technology can improve medical device efficacy by increasing compatibility with the human body. In addition, the company is actively developing coatings that will prevent biological fouling in aqueous environments.
SpineMatrix®, Inc. (SMI) is an Akron, Ohio-based spinal imaging company that has developed the CERSR® (Computerized Electrophysiological Reconstruction of Spinal Regions) device for evaluating low back physiology related to the origin of low back pain (LBP) and injury. CERSR® aids the neuro or orthopedic surgeon in accurately diagnosing the true source of LBP non-invasively with the real potential to significantly reduce total healthcare cost by directing the LBP patient to the appropriate diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical procedures. CERSR is the first and only FDA cleared device to do this. SMI has completed clinical efficacy studies at the Texas Back Institute, The Cleveland Clinic, Ohio State University College of Medicine and others. Two thousand, nine hundred patients were studied, with 581 under blinded protocols. There have been 10 published, peer-reviewed clinical effectiveness of the CERSR system. The system utilizes 4 CPT reimbursement codes. The system currently has 10 US and 5 foreign patents and 2 registered trademarks. The Company is led by Ben Shappley, a twenty-five-year veteran of the orthopedic and spine industries.
TeamCASE has partnered with both local and national corporations such as Goodyear, National Instruments, Roadway, ENSCO, Inc., Argon ST, Bendix, Innovative Engineering & Consulting and has been supported with donations from the Gund Foundation, Case Alumni, and others to produce a world-class autonomous robot capable of bringing high-technology recognition to Cleveland. DEXTER, a full-size robotic, self-driving vehicle is the creation of Case Western Reserve University engineering students, faculty, and corporate sponsors. DEXTER is short for Deployable Extreme Environment Robot. DEXTER has not only caught the eyes of young, aspiring engineers at the 2007 Cleveland Auto Show, but DEXTER and TeamCASE will compete in the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge, a 60 mile race on city streets without any human intervention and will also be featured in documentary about the Urban Challenge to be aired in February 2008 on the The Discovery Science Channel.
Technology Management, Inc. (TMI), Ohio’s oldest independent fuel cell systems developer, was organized in 1990 for the sole purpose of commercializing a modular, multi-fuel Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) system into mobile, rural and remote markets using multiple strategic alliances. Today, with over $25MM invested, TMI is among less than a dozen companies in the world to have publicly demonstrated a kilowatt class fuel cell system operating on ordinary fuel. TMI is now engineering systems for initial field tests and pre-commercial manufacture. Early funding by the U.S. Department of Defense for mobile military applications provided the basis for TMI’s current systems, which can be shipped overnight by common carrier, field maintainable by one person without special tools or equipment, and operate on a wide range of common fuels. These include natural gas, propane, military JP-8 kerosene, diesel and renewable fuels such as ethanol, biodiesel, digester biogas, and (soy) vegetable oil.
Source: NorTech