By Dan Shingler
Akron's got another software startup that appears to be gaining traction, although treading water — in a good way — might be a better way to put it.
Fontus Blue, which moved into the downtown Bounce Innovation Hub in June, doesn't make the sort of app most people will ever use, though millions may taste its results.
The company's offering, Decision Blue, is a subscription-based software as-a-service product that helps water-treatment plants address issues and produce water that consistently exceeds testing requirements by providing treatment formulas and regimens based on real-time modeling.
Faculty researchers in The University of Akron’s (UA) College of Engineering – now in its 106th year – earned $10.9 million in research grant funding in the 2018 calendar year.
The grants were awarded by diverse government entities, industry partners and foundations for projects ranging from improving cancer treatment to making it safer to drive America’s roadways.
“UA’s College of Engineering is home to world-class faculty conducting cutting-edge and transformative research that cuts across all sectors: manufacturing, automotive, environmental, transportation, biomedical, structural, chemical and more,” said Craig Menzemer, Ph.D., interim dean of the College. “I’m proud of the pioneering research my colleagues have devoted themselves to, which is a testament to the College of Engineering’s strong reputation as the premier engineering school in Northeast Ohio. Our faculty’s research will have an enormous impact on the way we live and work. All of this is happening right here, at The University of Akron.”
By Sue Walton, Crain's Cleveland
After years of laying the groundwork, a local startup has launched its first products to consumers, hoping buyers will help company officials figure out where its work will best stick.
Akron Ascent Innovations (AAI), which Crain's first profiled two years ago, last month launched sales of its ShearGrip-brand fiber-based, dry-adhesive products online.
The products, which for now include repositionable bulletin boards, sticky-note paper and photo paper, among other things, are born from technology that uses electrospun nanofibers to create a super-strong dry adhesive. The fibers have a small enough diameter to grab surfaces to hold on tight, but can still peel away without damaging surfaces, the company says.
By UA Online Newsroom
Former Biomimicry Fellows Dr. Emily Kennedy and Dr. Bor-Kai (Bill) Hsiungsuccessfully completed the prototyping and testing of a hedgehog-inspired impact protection technology, using funding provided by the University of Akron Research Foundation’s Spark Fund. This marks the successful completion of the second of six projects funded by the Spark Fund, starting in 2017. Kennedy and Hsiung also collaborated with Dr. K.T. Tan, assistant professor of mechanical engineering; Nathan Swift, recent Case Western Reserve University graduate; and Douglas Paige, an industrial design professor at the Cleveland Institute of Art.
Every patient dreads the pain of removing an adhesive bandage. Soon, “ripping off the bandage” to avoid pain could be a thing of the past.
Spark Fund was created to provide resources and support to develop the proof needed to transform UA technology into a validated prototype that can be licensed to a scalable startup company. In 2017, Spark Fund committed $450,000 in UARF and State of Ohio funding to five projects, all of which are to be completed by the end of 2018.
By Elyse Ball
Spark Fund – a University of Akron Research Foundation initiative to fund prototyping and testing to lead to more technology licenses – has announced $255,000 in funding to support its first three funded projects.
Dr. Abraham Joy, at right, an associate professor of polymer science, and graduate students Kaushik Mishra and Cesar Lopezreceived funding to prototype and iteratively test a light-releasable medical adhesive. The 11-month project aims to produce a fully validated negative pressure wound therapy bandage to start FDA testing, as well as a scaled production process. The team was mentored by Dr. Gopal Nadkarni, an associate professor of mechanical engineering.
By Lisa Craig, firstname.lastname@example.org
By Courtney Bosetti