Latest News 


Bolden Therapeutics Awarded Small Business Technology Transfer Grant  

October, 2021. Last month, Brown startup, Bolden, was awarded a Small Business Technology Transfer (SBTT) grant of $500,000 from the National Institute on Aging for their approach to enhance neurogenesis. Bolden Therapeutics is a biotechnology company that develops therapeutics to promote neurogenesis in patients with diseases that affect cognition, such as Alzheimer’s.

 Bolden has licensed several patents produced from Brown University faculty inventors. The projects funded by the SBTT grant will be completed in collaboration with the labs of Justin Fallon, PhD (Molecular Biology, Cell Biology & Biochemistry, MCB) and Ashley Webb, PhD (MCB). The work of Fallon and Webb has identified molecular pathways whose activity stimulates neurogenesis. Bolden plans to develop therapeutics that could promote neurogenesis and improve memory in Alzheimer’s patients. Read more, here.

New Patents to Brown 

October, 2021. Keeping apace with prior months, three new patents were awarded to Brown for research from the labs of Michael Black, Computer Science, Sherief Reda, Engineering, and Ben Kimia, Engineering. 

Michael Black and his team have developed a method to estimate body shape from a series of images. Standard measurements are computed from a series of images captured in different poses. Potential applications for this technology are body scanning, advertising, and online clothes shopping (CA2734143C). 

A new patent was awarded for Sherief Reda’s work which accelerates iris recognition (US 11,113,553). Iris recognition is considered a secure and more reliable form of biometric identification that is becoming increasingly common in electronic devices. 

Ben Kimia has developed a system which links visual information captured by a wearable device to path data for an indoor location. Together with an audio interface, the wearable device guides the user to their destination (US 11,112,261).

 Inventor’s Toolkit: RI Startup Week Oct 2021

October, 2021. The first-ever Rhode Island Startup Week happens this month at RI Hub, a network of innovators, investors, students, citizens and those interested in building our economy through new ideas. Rhode Island Startup Week, October 18-22, is five days of events that showcase RI’s startup community, where local entrepreneurs can connect. 

Events will include presentations from startups on topics from blockchain to digital health, pitch contexts, and tips and tricks on challenges such as IP management, financial modeling, and how to connect with VCs.

One highlight is an event hosted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which will share best practices for successfully securing a grant from the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Register here, and learn more about Rhode Island Startup Week, here.

About RIHUB: Located at the Wexford Innovation Center (225 Dyer St, Providence), RI Hub is dedicated to bringing together students, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders to effectively support entrepreneurship in Rhode Island. Founded in 2019 by Governor Gina Raimondo, Brown University, IBM, University of Rhode Island, Commerce RI, Arizona State University and MassChallenge, RIHub is Rhode Island’s first Innovation Campus and provides a new entry point for global accelerators such as MassChallenge and IBM Alphazone.


Inventor’s Toolkit: Climate Risk, Insurance & Innovation

September, 2021. CIC Providence will host Climate Risk, Insurance & Innovation on October 6th. The event will highlight innovation within the context of insurance and climate risk. Innsure (not a typo) connects investors, students, and academics, bringing leaders together through action. More here.

New Patents to Brown

September, 2021. Last month, Brown was awarded three patents: (1) for Jacob Rosenstein’s work on chemical computation methods (US 11,093,865); (2) Samir Gadre’s innovation to facilitate human training of robots (US 11,090,813); and (3) Peter Weber’s spectroscopy enhancing chemical vapor detection (US 11,099,129).

Faster Neural Networks to Tackle Data Modeling Challenges

September, 2021. George Karniadakis (Applied Math and Engineering) and his team recently received press coverage for DeepONet, a method they developed that uses neural networks to solve families of Partial Differential Equations (PDE). More here.

Oxford Nanopore Announces IPO in London

September, 2021. Oxford Nanopore announced a London IPO after reaching a $3.3B valuation. Nanopore offers DNA sequencing products and rapid COVID-19 tests. The company has licensed imaging and sequencing technologies from Derek Stein (Physics) and has sponsored related research in his lab. More here.

FY2021 in Review: Putting Brown Technology First

August, 2021. Brown Technology Innovations’ 2021 Annual Report highlights our highest recorded number of invention disclosures and 87% growth in industry sponsored research agreements, driven by Brown faculty inventors. The report walks you through progress towards Tech Innovations’ goals surrounding putting Brown technology first, stewarding Brown inventions, marketing and networking, and deal execution. You can also read our top stories and collaborations in the report, here.

BBII Funds Faculty Projects With Potential for Patient Benefit 

July & August, 2021. Brown Biomedical Innovations to Impact (BBII) will fund four projects to accelerate their commercialization.The projects include drug developments to treat glioblastoma and a rare childhood genetic disorder, growth of human biomaterials, and videography improvements to enable collaboration in surgery. More, here.

A Year of Innovation 

July & August, 2021. Congratulations to Brown faculty for the most productive year for inventions to date with 90 invention disclosures received to date, surpassing the previous high of 76 in 2017!

Drug Delivery Advances: New License Agreements to Brown

July & August, 2021. Therapyx has licensed from Brown a proprietary protein micronization and encapsulation process developed by Edith Matthiowitz (Engineering). The process involves a crystalline matrix that enhances storage ability for active drugs and effectively shields them from environments that promote degradation, including the disease microenvironment. This method helped Therapyx develop a unique second-generation platform technology, EXStaM (patent pending) that allows commercial scale microencapsulation of therapeutic proteins. 

Therapyx is a biotech company dedicated to the development of microparticulate therapeutics to treat infectious disease, immune-mediated inflammatory disorders, and cancer. Our collaboration with Therapyx has been ongoing since 2011. Read more about EXStaM and Therapyx, here.

New Patents to Brown 

July & August, 2021. Brown was awarded a new patent last month (US 11,034,019) for a method enabling a robot to learn a mapping between English language commands and Linear Temporal Logic expressions, developed in the lab of Stefanie Tellex (Computer Science).The patent, which relates to robotics, would allow for non-experts to engage with particular robots without programming knowledge.

Brown Tech Innovations Participates in CDH 2021 Virtual Conference

July & August, 2021. Last month, the Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health hosted it’s 2021 virtual conference, “Leveraging Digital Health for the Post-Pandemic World.” The goal of the conference was to explore a role for digital health in ethical and effective reduction of mental illness, violence, and opioid use. Tech Innovations Director, Neil Veloso moderated the panel "Scaling for Impact: Digital Health investors discuss their metrics for success" with speakers Keith Kerman, MD; Rajiv Kumar, MD; Aike Ho; and Aneesha Mehta. Watch the symposia, here.

Inventor’s Toolkit: RI Startup Weekend 2020

July & August, 2021. RIHUB is hosting RI Startup Weekend online this year on November 20-21. The online event offers business and technology workshops, networking, and an opportunity to meet RI startup founders. More info and registration, here.

Brown Joins Program for Streamlined Technology Licensing

June, 2021. Brown is one of fifteen leading universities who will aggregate their engineering and physical science patents into broad bundles of technologies for commercialization as part of the University Technology Licensing Program (UTLP). This strategy streamlines the process for technology licensing from multiple universities to interested companies and investors. 

The culmination of discussions that began five years ago, Brown now joins Caltech, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, University of Illinois, Michigan, Northwestern, Penn, Princeton, SUNY Binghamton, UC Berkeley, UCLA, USC, and Yale as part of the UTLP. These universities will pool together patents across several technologies, including power management, image processing, and data management.

Developments in Clean Energy

June, 2021. Nitin Padture’s research team has developed a molecular glue that increases the efficiency of perovskite solar cells in converting sunlight into electricity. This work, published in Science, was included in a recent patent application guided by Brown Technology Innovations.

Stabilizing the multi-layered structure of the perovskite solar cells has been a big challenge to the expanded use of solar energy. Padture’s team identified a compound that forms strong bonds with different layers of the cells. This discovery extends the length of time at which the cells retain 80% of their peak efficiency from 700 to 4,000 hours. Full story here

Nitin Padture is a Professor of Engineering and Director of the Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation at Brown.

Oxford Nanopore Raises $217M

June, 2021. Oxford Nanopore raised $217M in a recent funding round to further develop its genetic sequencing technology. The UK-based company offers sequencing technology capable of analyzing a single DNA or RNA molecule at a time while providing data in real time.

There are many applications for nanopore technology from clinical to biological research. Most recently, OxFord Nanopore developed a rapid diagnostic test for COVID-19.

Derek Stein (Physics) has a long standing relationship with Oxford Nanopore leading to sponsored work in product development. Full story here.

Inventor’s Toolkit: Marketing to Industry

June, 2021. AUTM offers a guide for matching technologies with an industry partner in their Marketing to Industry Toolkit, here. These can be used to organize ideas and conversations with Brown Technology Innovations.

Explore Commercial Applications of Life Sciences Research

June, 2021. In this short video, our team describes ways that Brown researchers can explore commercial pathways for life sciences discoveries, including licensing, sponsored research agreements, and startups. We also describe Brown's accelerator fund in life sciences, the Brown Biomedical Innovation to Impact program.

Brown Licensee, Deeplite, Raises Funds to Expand AI Access

May, 2021. Deeplite, a start-up based in Montreal, closed a $6-million seed fundraising round to “bring AI to Everyday Life”. Power and processor capacity are two big limitations to AI and deep learning. Deeplite’s automated software engine enables AI computing on any device.

BTI supported the development of a collaboration between Sherief Reda and Deeplite which led to the licensing of key IP from Brown to make this possible. Full story here.

New Patent on Sensors Awarded to Brown

May, 2021. Brown was awarded a patent for research by Gang Xiao (Physics) on ultrasensitive magnetic tunneling junction (MTJ) sensors (US 10,983,182). The patented MTJ sensor--which can achieve a sensitivity of 30 picoTesla--has applications in the disk drive and semiconductor industry.

Coulombe Earns NSF CAREER Award

May, 2021. The National Science Foundation bestowed a CAREER Award to Kareen Coulombe, Assistant Professor of Engineering, Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology and Biotechnology. The award supports work included in a recent patent application (guided by the Brown Technology Innovations office). 

 Coulombe’s NSF project aims to understand the onset of atrial arrhythmias in non-inherited Wolff-Parkinson White (WPW) syndrome. Her team will develop cardiovascular tissue in a dish using patient-derived human induced pluripotent stem cells through a collaboration with RI Hospital. The vast majority of WPW patients lack an inherited genetic mutation; the in vitro cardiac models will help identify biomechanical and biochemical stressors that contribute to atrial arrhythmia. Full story here.

New Center for Alzheimer’s Research at Brown

May, 2021. With two gifts to the university totaling $30 million, Brown will establish a new Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research (Brown News). The new center will focus on the early detection and treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease, drawing together research scientists and physicians from Brown’s Division of Biology and Medicine and the Carney Institute for Brain Science. One of the early goals of the center is to establish a biomarker facility dedicated to collecting patient samples to identify disease biomarkers and test treatment efficacy.

By fostering collaboration, the new research center will augment Brown’s existing strength in neuroscience and neurodegenerative research. The Brown Technology Innovations office continues to support new neuroscience startups and partnerships,  including Bolden Therapeutics and BridgeBio.

Brown neuroscience researchers interested in exploring commercial applications of their work can start the disclosure process here or email us at [email protected].

Save the Date: 2021 Conference on Digital Health at Brown

May, 2021. The 2021 Digital Health Virtual Conference will be held on June 22. Open to the public, this conference will explore how digital health has transformed over recent years and what its future may hold. Hosted by the Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health. More details forthcoming. The CDH website.

Inventor’s Toolkit: Fridays for Founders

May, 2021. RIHub facilitates connections between entrepreneurs and industry leaders through its many programs, including mentoring, networking, and community events. Now, RIHub has launched a program that provides entrepreneurs, faculty, and students an opportunity to book a 30 minute one-on-one consultation with a business expert. Learn more about RI business laws or how to tell compelling stories through marketing with Fridays for Founders.

Biomedical Entrepreneurship Summer Course

May, 2021. The University of Vermont is offering an intensive Biomedical Entrepreneurship summer course in June. The course will present a roadmap on how to bring products to market, the deadline to apply is May 15th.

New Patents to Brown

April, 2021. A new patent has been issued this month for work in the lab of Dr. George Karniadakis (US 10,963,540). Professor of Applied Mathematics and Engineering, Karniadakis uses machine learning to model physical and biological systems. This patent is for an approach that uses differential equations to analyze objects.

Building a Faculty Inventor’s Toolkit

April, 2021. BTI kicks off a monthly initiative to share resources focused on educating and encouraging faculty interested in patents, startups and licensing. Check out this playlist of short podcasts, A Guide to University Spinouts hosting several researchers and entrepreneurs. Sangeeta Bhatia, (Brown class of ’90), Professor of Engineering at MIT, has launched multiple biotech companies leveraging nanoparticles developed in the lab for medical use. Pulling from her own experience, Dr. Bhatia shares a “playlist” of short podcasts describing what a faculty entrepreneur should know before starting a new company.

“How do I know when technology is ready to be commercialized?” That is just one of many questions answered by a panel of academics who have launched startups, business development directors, and current CEOs. 

BridgeBio collaborates with Brown

April, 2021. Brown is partnering with BridgeBio to advance new treatments for neurological diseases with genetic origins. BridgeBio will work with scientists to evaluate discoveries made in the lab and develop them into potential treatments for patients. The partnership will support Brown scientists as technologies transition to clinical development and maintain Brown scientists involved as company leaders through BridgeBio’s affiliate companies.

Bridging Industry with University Technology

April, 2021. The annual AUTM meeting supports engagement between industry partners and university tech transfer offices. This year’s virtual AUTM meeting took place in March and featured 39 exhibitors including Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and the National Institute on Aging. The keynote speakers were Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic woman to go into space, and Dr. Antwi Akom, Director of the Social Innovation and Urban Opportunity Lab.

2021 Quarter 3 Report

April, 2021. A key strategy to achieve financial sustainability is to achieve diversity in revenue streams. As our office is part of a university-wide strategy to diversify funding sources, we are glad to report some initial success. See our Quarterly Report, here.

Exclusive Insights from JPM 2021

March, 2021. At a conference, the conversation in the hallways is often where the insights and connections happen. While the JP Morgan Health Care Conference was not in person in San Francisco this year—like it usually is—the Brown Technology Innovations team attended the virtual meetings. One year into the “Decade of Neuroscience”, the JPM Conference was a chance to learn about which neuro-technologies and strategies life science companies are pursuing. This report shares our insights about where companies are looking for innovation.

A Year Later, Brown’s Contributions to COVID Solutions

March, 2021. Looking back a year—everyone is doing it—we see Brown inventors who pivoted to find ways to address the pandemic. 

First up: making schools and public spaces safer from COVID-19 and Influenza A virus H1N1 in under one minute. Amanda Jamieson, a respiratory virologist (Molecular Microbiology and Immunology), performed independent testing of a nano-material, GC Ink™. According to her report release at the end of February, GC Ink™ neutralized 100% of the virus present. 

This fast-acting, extremely effective, and safe formulation of graphene and silver nanoparticles can be applied to masks and other PPE, and in particular, applied to filters in ventilation systems. When used in filters and masks, GC Ink™ is highly effective at trapping and neutralizing airborne coronaviruses and other viruses/bacteria for several weeks. When used in wipes, GC Ink also leaves a thin, highly effective, safe layer of protection against viruses and bacteria that lasts for 24 hours. The press release is here.

Last spring, researchers in Dan Harris’s lab began developing a rapidly-deployable ventilator, addressing critical shortages worldwide. The design utilizes 3D-printed mechanical components, off-the-shelf parts and open-source electronics that allow for easy use in resource-limited settings. Called Brun02, the team—which now includes collaborators from other universities—is working to submit a specific variant of the BrunO2 ventilator prototype to the United States for review under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) authority. Brown recently signed a collaboration agreement with Stanford and the University of Utah for continued work on this project. See the Brun02 website for more.

Streaming Now: More Patent Awards and Disclosures to Brown

March, 2021. Last month, Brown was awarded three patents. Christoph Rose-Petruck and Brian Sheldon led the research behind an in-situ x-ray scatter imaging of battery electrodes (US 10,833,374). Nitin Padture and Yuanyuan Zaho’s team patented discoveries from their work with the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) on perovskite films and methods (Padture, Zhao, US 10,910,569). The most recent patent from Gabriel Taubin—whose work has led to many patent awards to Brown—was for a method that uses high frequency sinusoidal patterns to measure three-dimensional objects (US 20190101382A1).

Also, we are proud to share that we passed last year’s total for number of disclosures—a key entry point to explore commercial applications of research—before the third quarter was out (53 YTD 2020, vs 54 Q3FY2021). Brown researchers can start the disclosure process here.