Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Launches First Interactive, Online Lighting Design Resource f
May 20, 2013
The Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has launched the first interactive website to help homeowners, contractors, and builders choose the right light bulbs, fixtures, and controls to maximize energy savings, calculate lighting costs, and achieve lighting effects to meet a wide range of needs in their homes. It also shows how to design safe, healthy lighting for aging adults.The site, Lighting Patterns for Homes, helps homeowners and others navigate the increasing number of lighting options in today’s marketplace and allows them to see how various options will actually look by viewing photo-realistic illustrations created by 3-D modeling software. Visitors to the LRC’s new website can learn the different ways to light a room, such as a kitchen or living room; compare the benefits of various lighting technologies and equipment, including light-emitting diodes (LEDs); and find out how to use different lighting techniques, such as task lighting or accent lighting. The site also includes an interactive economic calculator to determine how much money consumers can save with a new lighting design, along with initial costs, payback period, energy savings, and pollution reduction. In addition, site visitors can learn how to upgrade incandescent bulbs to newer technologies, which is important now that new Federal lighting standards are raising the energy efficiency requirements of light bulbs to help the U.S. decrease electricity use. As the large generation of Baby Boomers ages, they need more light to see well. Lighting Patterns for Homes has tips to help seniors see better, avoid falls, and sleep better, including ways to avoid shadows and glare with lighting. “This groundbreaking tool demonstrates the innovation that is driving development of New York State’s clean-energy economy under Governor Cuomo,” said Francis J. Murray, Jr., President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), which funded the LRC project. “The Lighting Research Center has once again proven itself to be a leader in the energy-efficient lighting industry. This site is a great resource for all New Yorkers who want to learn how to reduce their energy costs through lighting measures.”
May 8, 2013
A U.S. patent issued to inventors from the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute was featured in last month's issue of Scientific American. The April magazine's Patent Watch column reviewed the "Solid state light source light bulb", U.S. patent # 8,292,468, invented by LRC professor and director of research Nadarajah Narendran and LRC co-inventors Jean Paul Freyssinier, senior research scientist, and Yiting Zhu, research scientist. The patented light-emitting diode (LED) light bulb is designed to replace common incandescent and compact fluorescent lamps found in most homes, but addresses problems typically found in LED lamps currently available on the market. The unique design allows for better thermal management of the LEDs to significantly improve the reliability and the light output of the light bulb. The novel optical design, along with materials inside to refract and reflect light, allow the lamp's light output distribution to match that of a traditional incandescent lamp. When used in a luminaire such as a table or floor lamp, it maintains a similar appearance and overall light distribution, eliminating the dark shadows and spotlight effect common with other LED replacement lamps.
February 20, 2013
Major patent law provisions from the America Invents Act become effective on March 16, 2013 changing the U.S. from a first-to-invent system to a first-to-file system. Under the new system, patent rights are granted to the first inventor to file a patent application regardless of who was the first to invent. Come to the Office of Technology Commercialization’s brief information session on Wednesday, March 6, 2013, in the DCC room 337, at noon for pizza and to learn important information about the new law’s impact at Rensselaer. It is highly encouraged that Rensselaer researchers, inventors, and students and staff with ideas attend.
December 4, 2012
Antibodies developed by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are unusually effective at preventing the formation of toxic protein particles linked to Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, as well as Type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.The onset of these devastating diseases is associated with the inappropriate clumping of proteins into particles that are harmful to cells in the brain (Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease) and pancreas (Type 2 diabetes). Antibodies, which are commonly used by the immune system to target foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses, are promising weapons for preventing the formation of toxic protein particles. A limitation of conventional antibodies, however, is that high concentrations are required to completely inhibit the formation of toxic protein particles in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other disorders. To address this limitation, a team of researchers led by Rensselaer Professor Peter Tessier has developed a new process for creating antibodies that potently inhibit formation of toxic protein particles. Conventional antibodies typically bind to one or two target proteins per antibody. Antibodies created using Tessier's method, however, bind to 10 proteins per antibody. The increased potency enables the novel antibodies to prevent the formation of toxic protein particles at unusually low concentrations. This is an important step toward creating new therapeutic molecules for preventing diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. "It is extremely difficult to get antibodies into the brain. Less than 5 percent of an injection of antibodies into a patient's blood stream will enter the brain. Therefore, we need to make antibodies as potent as possible so the small fraction that does enter the brain will completely prevent formation of toxic protein particles linked to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease," said Tessier, assistant professor in the Howard P. Isermann Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer. "Our strategy for designing antibody inhibitors exploits the same molecular interactions that cause toxic particle formation, and the resulting antibodies are more potent inhibitors than antibodies generated by the immune system." Results of the new study, titled "Rational design of potent domain antibody inhibitors of amyloid fibril assembly," were published online last week by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The study may be viewed at: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/11/14/1208797109.abstract This research was conducted in the laboratories of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies at Rensselaer. Tessier's research represents a new way of generating therapeutic antibodies. Currently, most antibodies are obtained by exploiting the immune system of rodents. Mice are injected with a target protein, for example the Alzheimer's protein, and the animal's immune system generates an antibody specific for the target protein. Tessier's method is radically different as it relies on rational design approaches to create antibodies based on properties of the target proteins. Along with Tessier, co-authors of the paper are Rensselaer graduate students Ali Reza Ladiwala, Moumita Bhattacharya, Joseph Perchiaccaa; Ping Cao and Daniel Raleigh of the Department of Chemistry at Stony Brook University; Andisheh Abedini and Ann Marie Schmidt of the Diabetes Research Program at New York University School of Medicine; and Jobin Varkey and Ralf Langen of the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. This study was funded with support from the American Health Assistance Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trust, and the National Institutes of Health. Written by Michael Mullaney For more information about commercialization, see RPItechnology case # 1502
November 9, 2012
At Rensselaer, innovation is a way of life for many faculty and budding student inventors. To honor their contributions to science, engineering, and research, the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) recognized and awarded patent plaques to members of the Rensselaer community during the annual Innovation Luncheon. The event was held in Russell Sage Dining Hall on Oct. 17.
Founded in the 1990s, the OTC helps the Institute protect intellectual property and forges relationships with industry to bring discoveries to the marketplace.
The luncheon featured remarks from OTC Executive Director Ron Kudla and Patent Manager Sherri Dente, Intellectual Property, Technology Transfer and New Ventures. Special guest speaker was Nadarajah Narendran, director of research and professor at the Lighting Research.
"The Office of Technology Commercialization hosts the Innovation Luncheon each year to provide recognition of its inventors in the innovations they invented and were successful in obtaining patents for during the year. On October 17, 16 patent plaques were awarded to 20 Rensselaer inventors," said Ron Kudla, executive director of the office of intellectual property, technology transfer, and new ventures. "The Office of Technology Commercialization looks forward to licensing these technologies to companies that will develop, market, and sell products protected by these patents. The event also provides our office with the opportunity to provide the statistics on its activities, an update on the new America Invents Act of 2012, and an outstanding presentation by Professor Nadarajah Narendran from the Rensselaer Lighting Research Center on the patenting process. His talk provided the audience with a true representation of what it takes to be a successful innovator of new technology."
Patent plaques were distributed to current Rensselaer inventors who had United States patents issued between September 2011 and August 2012, and other Divisional and Continuation United States patents.
June 6, 2012
New Technology Increases Concentrated Solar Conversion Efficiency by 60 PercentMagnetoHydroDynamics (MHD) is derived from Magneto-meaning magnetic field, Hydro-meaning liquid, and Dynamics-meaning movement. MHD generates electricity directly from a body of very hot moving gas without any mechanical moving parts. Magnetohydrodynamics works by using magnets to extract electricity from superheated charged gas. In a sense MHD replaces the wires used in conventional electrical generators with ionized gas. This rendering depicts the solar MHD device that uses power from the sun to generate electricity. The system can also run on biodiesel or jet fuel JP8. In addition, it can also be used as a topping cycle to improve the efficiency to existing power plants. MHD generates electricity directly from a body of very hot moving ionized gas without any mechanical moving parts. Solar energy, concentrated by mirrors and lenses, creates superheated gases; magnetohydrodynamics works by using superconducting magnets to extract electricity from the superheated moving ionized gas. Right now, more than 6.5 billion people are competing for the dwindling supply of fossil fuels on Earrth. By 2050, it is estimated that there will be 8 to 10 billion, and major advances in energy technology will be required to meet their needs. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has faced that challenge by launching and expanding programs in renewable energy sources and energy conservation. Today, Rensselaer announced the signing of an exclusive license agreement with Concentrating Solar Power Utility for a new solar power technology utilizing what is known as magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). The promising technology uses superconducting magnets to increase the efficiency of conversion from sunlight to electricity by stripping electrons from high-energy plasma jets and thereby generating power with no moving parts. The three co-inventors are Concentrating Solar Power Utility founder Thomas P. Kay and two Rensselaer faculty members: Douglas Chrisey, professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Yoav Peles, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering. Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) is derived from the terms magneto meaning magnetic field; hydro meaning liquid; and dynamics meaning movement. "In developing this technology, the use of the extremely large superconducting permanent magnets will improve efficiency, and this is even more so when combined with the micro-channel cooling process developed by Professor Peles," said Chrisey. The team has been working on the project for more than two years. Some of their joint work was, in turn, based on two earlier MHD patents held by Kay. "Because of the higher temperature, generated solar MHD is more efficient than other types of solar thermal technologies that work at a much lower temperature. The laws of thermodynamics tell us that to generate power from a heat source, such as a burning fuel, the higher the temperature, the more efficient it will be, and that is the key advantage of this green technology," said Kay, who has worked in solar power since the 1970s. "We are delighted to partner with Concentrating Solar Power Utility," said Ron Kudla, executive director of the Office of Intellectual Property, Technology Transfer, and New Ventures at Rensselaer. "This is an excellent example of progress under The Rensselaer Plan in the area of clean energy and technology transfer that demonstrates Rensselaer's unique strength in its ability to translate scientific discoveries into practical application." Founded in the 1990s, the Office of Technology Commercialization resides within the Intellectual Property, Technology Transfer, and New Ventures portfolio. Along with the Rensselaer Technology Park, the OTC helps the Institute protect intellectual property and forges relationships with industry to bring Rensselaer's discoveries to the marketplace. The OTC also contributes to the local economy by spinning off new companies generated from the research on campus. Discoveries in nanotechnology, electronics, energy, biotechnology, and terahertz are all part of the Institute's expanding intellectual property portfolio as Rensselaer increases its aggressive research initiative. With the establishment of the OTC, Rensselaer has staked its claim in the changing landscape of American research universities, where researchers are increasingly encouraged to protect their discoveries and hopefully effectively license them to industry for life-enhancing products. This year, through OTC's efforts, licensing revenues and patent reimbursements paid to the Institute are expected to be approximately $1,722,900, building upon a steady annual growth rate of more than 18 percent since 2002 when Rensselaer only generated $62,000. Since 2000, more than 1,200 inventors have filed patent disclosures with the OTC. In addition, more than 200 patents have been issued and Rensselaer has over 70 active licenses and averages 12 to 15 new deals a year, according to Kudla. And thanks to the OTC, Rensselaer Professor Chrisey and Professor Peles, along with Kay, are one step closer to their dream of developing an innovative and cutting-edge solar energy system.
May 18, 2012
Ms. Sherri Dente joined Rensselaer’s Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) as Patent Manager on May 14, 2012. In her role, Dente will lead the patentability evaluation of new technology disclosures and will draft and prosecute patent applications. Dente previously worked as Patent Attorney at General Electric Global Patent Operation and at Wiggin & Dana, LLP, in Intellectual Property and Corporate Attorney positions. Her experience includes preparing and prosecuting U.S and foreign patent applications, managing due diligence, contracts, license agreements, and foreign patent assets. Dente is a Registered Patent Attorney and is admitted to the bar in New York and Connecticut. Dente earned her J.D. degree from Quinnipiac University School of Law and received her B.S. degree in Industrial and Management Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Please join us in welcoming Ms. Sherri Dente to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.The Office of Technology Commercialization at Rensselaer supports researchers in protecting intellectual property and bringing discoveries into the commercial marketplace. We are dedicated to building relationships with commercial partners to benefit Rensselaer, researchers, and the broader community.
April 25, 2012
Newly patented optical technology yields significant benefits for imaging systems requiring fast changes in focal distance.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued U.S. Patent No. 8,148,706 to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for a fast oscillating liquid lens that could be incorporated into microdevices or small, lightweight devices to improve their performance. The patent, including 20 claims, features resonating coupled droplets within channels. The advantage of the design is that the periphery of the coupled droplets is fixed making it easy to oscillate the liquid using a small pressure source (like a tiny speaker), continuously changing the lens shape rendering it sustainable with very little power input. Changing the focus is a simple matter of altering the timing of the image capture to synchronize with the oscillations of the lens. Since electronic control is much faster than mechanical manipulation such an adaptive liquid lens consisting of resonating coupled droplets is a desirable choice for high fidelity imaging in small, energy conscious devices. The technology is available for licensing through the Office of Technology Commercialization at Rensselaer (firstname.lastname@example.org) and more information can be found at www.rpitechnology.com, Case 1073. This new patent can be viewed through The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office at www.uspto.gov. Inventor Amir H. Hirsa is Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace & Nuclear Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute specializing in experimental fluid mechanics and interfacial phenomenon. His current research interests include monolayer hydrodynamics for applications such as lung surfactants. His co-inventor, Carlos A. Lopez, was a doctoral student in Mechanical Engineering and is now a researcher at Intel Corp.
August 25, 2011
The Office of Technology Commercialization will celebrate Rensselaer inventors by hosting a luncheon on September 21, 2011 at noon in the Banquet room in Russell Sage Dining Hall. All are invited to join us to honor inventors at Rensselaer. The Honorable Arthur J. Gajarsa ’62, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Rensselaer, will be the guest speaker.Patent plaques will be awarded to all Rensselaer inventors who have received a United States issued patent at Rensselaer between September 2010 and August 2011. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Natasha Sanford at email@example.com.
June 24, 2011
AUTM and Association of American Universities, American Council on Education, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, Council on Governmental Relations and Association of American Medial Colleges released the following statement on House passage of H.R. 1249, the America Invents Act:
The nation's research universities and medical colleges applaud the House of Representatives for approving the America Invents Act, which reforms the U.S. patent system.
This bipartisan legislation represents a thorough, balanced effort to bring the U.S. patent system into the 21st century so that it can support more effectively America's economic competitiveness and job creation in the increasingly competitive global economic environment.
Our universities and medical colleges are this nation's principal source of the basic research that expands the frontiers of knowledge. The patent system plays a critical role in enabling these institutions to transfer the discoveries arising from basic research into the commercial sector for development into products and processes that benefit society.
H.R. 1249 will clarify and simplify the patent application process and harmonize the U.S. patent system with that of our major trading partners. This will enable U.S. inventors at universities and elsewhere to compete more effectively in the global marketplace. The bill includes a number of carefully developed provisions to improve patent quality and reduce patent litigation costs. The bill also will provide the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office with the resources it needs to end the current major backlog of patent applications, streamline office operations, and enhance its capacity to support the modernized U.S. patent system.
H.R. 1249 reforms current U.S. patent law through carefully crafted provisions that effectively balance the interests of the various sectors of the patent community and substantially improve the patent system overall, strengthening the nation's innovative capacity and economic competitiveness. We look forward to the measure receiving final approval by the Senate and being signed into law by the President.
May 17, 2011
Rensselaer's Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) has developed a new Invention Disclosure form that is more comprehensive and thorough for invention submissions. OTC endeavors to protect all of Rensselaer's inventions and to license them to industry for further development and commercialization.The purpose of the form is to notify the OTC of a potential invention and any relevant sponsorship and publication history. The form also serves to establish a legal record of the date of conception of the invention. The form should be submitted as soon as something new and useful has been conceived or developed, or when unusual, unexpected or unobvious research results have been achieved and can be used in order to protect Intellectual Property. The form can be found at www.rpitechnology.com in the upper left-hand corner. Other useful information about Rensselaer's Technology Commercialization Program is also available on the landing page, including: Guidelines brochures for inventors, technology searches for industry, and Rensselaer's Intellectual Property Policy.
February 7, 2011
Building on decades of successful efforts to nurture new businesses and bring ideas from classrooms and labs to the marketplace, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is launching a distributed incubation program to help young businesses grow and succeed.
The new program, called the Emerging Ventures Ecosystem (EVE), will have a particular focus in areas of Rensselaer's signature research strengths and will help start-up businesses take root in Troy and the Capital Region. The new incubation program was launched at a ceremony Feb. 7 in downtown Troy. Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson, along with federal, state, and local government leaders and business officials, spoke at the launch.
"Rensselaer is a world-class research university where entrepreneurship is a core focus. Not only do we conduct ground-breaking research, but we also find ways to foster the movement of ideas, inventions, and research results from the nurturing environment of the classroom and laboratory into the real world, where businesses can transform them into products and services that stimulate the economy, generate jobs, create social impact, and build new industries," said President Jackson. "This new model, which places business incubation within a supportive innovation ecosystem, takes on the unique challenges of the 21st century marketplace, and we are confident it will play a critical role in the long-term national effort to build a revitalized, robust economy."
The Emerging Ventures Ecosystem builds on more than 30 years of the Institute's previous incubator program, the nation's first such program wholly sponsored and operated by a university. Capital Region companies ranging from MapInfo to successful video game company Vicarious Visions grew out of the previous incubator. The new EVE program will utilize an innovative distributed incubation model, maintaining a central office in the Rice Building at 216 River St., Troy, and working with each company to find an ideal matchup of space to enterprise in Troy and the surrounding area. EVE will be overseen by Richard Frederick, an experienced entrepreneur and a faculty member in the Rensselaer Lally School of Management and Technology.
"In order to remain competitive in a global economy, I strongly believe that America must continue to invest in science, research, and technology; the building blocks of an innovation economy," said U.S. Congressman Paul Tonko. "I congratulate Dr. Jackson and RPI as they announce the Emerging Ventures Ecosystem and I applaud these efforts that will launch new technology companies and create jobs in the Capital Region and beyond."
"RPI has once again proven that it is an outstanding academic institution dedicated to helping local small businesses grow, achieve, and succeed in the Capital Region. I commend RPI for this innovative program that will help our local community in a positive way," said State Senator Roy McDonald.
"The EVE program is the latest example of RPI as a global leader in innovation," said State Assemblyman and Majority Leader Ron Canestrari. "This new approach will harness the creativity of some of the best and brightest young minds in the world and build upon the university's proud tradition of academic and entrepreneurial excellence."
"Rensselaer's Emerging Ventures Ecosystem program will take advantage of the ideas and science generated in the classrooms by supporting the entrepreneurs who seek to turn those ideas into new technology and eventually products and services that can be marketed globally. With the support of EVE we expect these products and services to come from businesses located right here in Rensselaer County and the Capital Region. And those local businesses mean more local jobs for our current residents and a boost in our local economy that benefits everyone," said Rensselaer County Executive Kathleen M. Jimino. "I want to congratulate Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and especially its President, Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, for creating this program that I am sure will not only continue their tradition of supporting technical and entrepreneurial excellence but will also be a boost to our local economy."
"My administration has created more than 1,100 jobs over the last seven years because we've worked productively with companies of all types across all industries to open or expand in Troy. Many of these new businesses are direct descendents of RPI's incubator program. We will continue this partnership with RPI and look forward to seeing future entrepreneurs from up on the hill, make their home right here in Troy," said Troy Mayor Harry Tutunjian.
Under EVE, businesses that are accepted into the program will receive a series of specific services that will help accelerate their growth. Once a new company completes the application process(through which Rensselaer will determine, in part, whether the entrepreneur is willing to put in the effort to make the company successful) the program will assign a status to the company: pre-seed, emerging, or early stage. Assigning these descriptions will help EVE mentors and administrators determine the specific services needed by each business. (A complete list of services is provided at the end of this news release or at the EVE website: www.rpi.edu/about/eve)
EVE's "mentors" including seasoned professionals drawn from the Institute, from the local business community, and from Rensselaer's considerable pool of highly successful alumni/ae will help these new start-ups sharpen their business plans, establish clear goals and milestones, access technical and legal support services as needed, identify receptive markets, and discover additional funding opportunities. This will be accomplished through business plan competitions, grants, loans, and venture funds. The EVE director will work closely with the Rensselaer Alumni Association to assist in the selection and assignment of alumni/ae and other mentors. The Institute also is exploring the creation of an alumni/ae supported angel investment fund to provide funding ranging from $50,000 to $150,000 to augment some of the alumni-sponsored grant programs already available.
"As we have worked to reshape our business incubation approach, we have heard from many enthusiastic and prominent Rensselaer alumni and alumnae who are interested in participating in and supporting emerging ventures in the early transformative process," said Laban Coblentz, Rensselaer chief of staff and associate vice president for policy and planning. "Our graduates overwhelmingly share a vision of harnessing scientific and technological advances for social and economic growth. It is simply how they think. They are particularly eager to fuel the process of new business creation and growth."
While EVE is designed to elevate the standard of business incubation at Rensselaer, the focus of the "ecosystem" goes well beyond incubation, Coblentz said.
"Our goal is to facilitate and "turbo-charge," if you like, every aspect of technology transfer, from idea generation to patenting and licensing to global growth," Coblentz said. "To do that, we intend to tap the entire range of Rensselaer resources, and to create partnerships that take symbiotic advantage of strengths in the local community, for mutual benefit."
At the Institute, Coblentz cited a range of resources: the multitude of leading-edge research centers; Vice Provost for Entrepreneurship Rob Chernow; selected classes and courses of study designed around innovation and entrepreneurship; the Office of Technology Commercialization; the Rensselaer Technology Park; and the Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship. The Severino Center's mission, for example, is to expose Rensselaer students to the practices and principles of entrepreneurship, and to extend Rensselaer's leadership and national prominence in technological entrepreneurship.
"After more than a year of effort," Coblentz said, "what we are seeing is an unprecedented degree of coherence and cooperation among all of these Rensselaer entities. EVE will extend this same 'ecosystem' philosophy and approach into our partnerships in Troy and the Capital Region because economic growth is not a zero-sum game."
In announcing EVE today, Rensselaer provided a list of initial participants:
Microrganic Technologies: A student company focused on using microbiotic technology to reduce the volume of solid food wastes. Their process reduces the volume of solid waste by 80 percent, creates heat that can be converted to electricity, and produces commercial-grade compost.
WindMec: A student company working on a new design for a wind turbine that is can be used for light industrial and commercial applications.
L.I.M.B.: A student company working on an artificial hand that is designed to have all the functionality of the human hand.
Paper Battery: Rensselaer technology that is an advanced energy storage device utilizing nanotechnology on a paper-like substance to develop a device that is six times more effective than current supercapacitors.
Ithos: This company licenses a software product from Atrion International used to track regulatory changes and publishes hazardous material content lists to monitor product safety.
Ethermetrics: Manufacturers the DataCubeÃ�Â®, a data management system that is used to monitor the consumption of energy and water usage.
HeliOptix: Rensselaer technology used to develop a solar building product known as the Integrated Concentrated Solar Facade System ( ICSF System). This is an architectural daylighting system, designed to reduce the mechanical cooling system costs while simultaneously capitalizing on high-efficiency concentrating photovoltaic cells with active heat capture and transfer, resulting in a highly integrated and powerful system for both energy savings and production.
Bluestone Telecommunications: A software company that has developed a cloud-based telephony product that mirrors all the features of big box phone systems without the complexity, reducing operating costs and the carbon footprint through more efficient use of server technology.
Voice Flight: A software company that has developed the only FAA-certified voice-activated GPS flight control system for light aircraft. They are currently working on a version of the product for commercial airline applications.
Early stage companies:
Prospect Genius: A software company that utilizes Rensselaer-licensed technology to deliver qualified sales leads to small to mid-sized companies in specific geographic locations.
1st Playable Productions: Started by a Rensselaer graduate, this is a software company that seeks to make games specifically aimed at children that stimulate, entertain, and leave lasting, positive impressions.
Ecovative Design: This company produces 100 percent biodegradable products that are used for insulation and packing utilizing Rensselaer licensed technology. The company has been recognized throughout the world as a leader in the development of sustainable, green products.
Services to be provided by the new incubation program include:
A board of advisers will be established from community resources or alumni/ae as may be appropriate. If a company already has a board of advisers or directors, EVE will assign an additional person to the board to act as a liaison to mobilize resources within the Institute.
Quarterly goals and objectives: With the belief that new businesses need a concrete plan to succeed, each company will develop with its advisory board three or four key objectives, with milestones they need to accomplish each quarter. These goals will be tracked and measured each quarter with new goals developed for succeeding quarters. Companies must continue to show steady progress in order to remain in the program.
Access to Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) and other RPI resources: The Institute representative will identify resources within the Institute that can be utilized to assist the company as needed. As a member of EVE, a company will have access to the Entrepreneur(s) in Residence at the Lally School as well as other resources including labs, patenting and licensing services, faculty, and students for work study assignments, internships (REIP), and student projects.
Help Desk with access to professional resources: Alumni/ae and community volunteers (e.g., attorneys, accountants) will be available on a rotating schedule to answer questions, provide advice, and offer one-time assistance for basic questions. If an EVE company requires regular ongoing assistance, it will be encouraged to select a professional service company from a list provided through the EVE program. Such services may be offered at a discount to seed and early stage companies.
Monthly CEO Roundtable discussions (may be more frequent): EVE will host monthly peer review meetings where the CEOs of the incubated companies get together to talk about topics and issues of importance to them. Participants will sign a non-disclosure agreement allowing a platform for confidential open discussions. The mix of pre-seed, early stage, and emerging companies provides a framework for peer-to-peer coaching.
Funding: EVE will promote and introduce its companies to investors, assist them in identifying and seeking grant opportunities (NYSERDA, SBIR, etc), and help them prepare for business plan competitions. The companies will be given assistance in preparing applications, presentations, and pitches. Additionally, members will be provided access to professional grant writers to assist them as needed.
Networking: The companies will be invited to networking opportunities within the local business and academic community to expand professional networks and increase exposure to decision makers.
Rensselaer Community: The companies and their employees will be part of the Rensselaer community. In that regard, the companies will be invited to participate in campus events and workshops as they occur.
Speakers Bureau: The companies will be invited to a monthly meeting featuring a speaker or a lecturer based upon a topic selected by the EVE company CEOs.
Quarterly Meet-Ups: EVE will host a quarterly meet-up for all employees of the incubated companies. This meeting will allow the employees to build relationships and exchange ideas.
Technology Showcases: Periodic presentations of all EVE participating companies will be used to showcase the companies to the Rensselaer community, venture organizations, news media, and the community at large.
Republished February 7, 2011
Contact: Mark Marchand
Phone: (518) 276-6098
September 1, 2010
The Office of Technology Commercialization will celebrate Rensselaer inventors by hosting a luncheon on September 14, 2010 at noon in the Banquet room in Russell Sage Dining Hall. All are invited to join us to honor the inventors. Francine Berman, Vice President of Research, will speak about Technology and Innovation. Patent plaques will be awarded to all Rensselaer inventors who have received a United States issued patent at Rensselaer between September 2009 and August 2010.
For more information or to RSVP, please contact Natasha Sanford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 26, 2010
From Inside Rensselaer Newsletter
Determined to play a key role in solving global dependency on fossil fuels, Javad Rafiee, a doctoral student in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering, has developed a new method for storing hydrogen at room temperature.
Rafiee has created a novel form of engineered graphene that exhibits hydrogen storing capacity far exceeding any other known material. For this innovation, which brings the world a step closer to realizing the widespread adoption of clean, abundant hydrogen as a fuel for transportation vehicles, Rafiee is the winner of the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Rensselaer Student Prize.
"Invention is the key ingredient of progress, and the Lemelson-MIT Rensselaer Student Prize rallies our students to innovate world-changing solutions for the grand challenges facing all people of all nations," said President Shirley Ann Jackson. "Javad Rafiee has the vision of a robust national hydrogen economy and a world less dependent on oil and gasoline. I applaud his efforts toward this noble goal, and congratulate him on this prestigious award. I thank all of the entrants and finalists for their effort, zeal, and for being ambassadors of progress."
Rafiee is the fourth recipient of the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Rensselaer Student Prize. The prize is awarded annually to a Rensselaer senior or graduate student who has created or improved a product or process, applied a technology in a new way, redesigned a system, or demonstrated remarkable inventiveness in other ways.
Enabling Greener Transportation With Graphene Hydrogen storage has proven to be a significant bottleneck to the advancement and proliferation of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies in cars, trucks, and other applications. Rafiee has developed a new method for manufacturing and using graphene, an atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms arranged like a nanoscale chain-link fence, to store hydrogen. His solution is inexpensive and easy to produce.
With adviser and Rensselaer MANE Professor Nikhil Koratkar, Rafiee used a combination of mechanical grinding, plasma treatment, and annealing to engineer the atomic structure of graphene to maximize its hydrogen storage capacity. This new graphene has exhibited a hydrogen storage capacity of 14 percent by weight at room temperature--far exceeding any other known material.
This 14-percent capacity surpasses the U.S. Department of Energy 2015 target of realizing a material with hydrogen storage capacity of 9 percent by weight at room temperature. Rafiee said his graphene is also one of the first known materials to surpass the Department of Energy's 2010 target of 6 percent.
After oxidizing graphite powder and mechanically grinding the resulting graphite oxide, Rafiee synthesized the graphene by thermal shock followed by annealing and exposure to argon plasma. These treatments play an important role in increasing the binding energy of hydrogen to the graphene surface at room temperature, as hydrogen tends to cluster and layer around carbon atoms.
Rafiee joined Rensselaer in 2008, following an internship at the City University of Hong Kong and earning his bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical and manufacturing engineering from the University of Tabriz in Iran. At Rensselaer, Rafiee and his brother, Mohammad, joined Koratkar's research group.
"Javad is extremely knowledgeable, has great confidence in his abilities, and has demonstrated a very high level of creativity and originality. However, it is his deep passion and enthusiasm for research and discovery coupled with his amazing drive and energy that differentiates him from his peers," Koratkar said. "This passion and excitement for discovery and innovation is not something that can be taught or learned. It is an intrinsic quality of an individual--either you have it or you don't--and Javad is the most intellectually curious student I have ever had the privilege to advise here at Rensselaer."
In his time at Rensselaer, Rafiee, from Tehran, Iran, has authored five, and co-authored three, journal papers in various disciplines. He expects to earn his doctorate in 2011. Following graduation, Rafiee and his brother plan to start their own business with a focus on clean energy and green manufacturing.
The $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Rensselaer Student Prize is funded through a partnership with the Lemelson-MIT Program, which has awarded the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize to outstanding student inventors at MIT since 1995.
For commercialization inquiries about the graphene material technology (OTC case 1323) email email@example.com.
March 3, 2010
For most researchers, commercialization is ultimately about delivering the benefits of their research to actual patients or end users so as to have a real and tangible impact on the world. However, most often it is a foreign, confusing and mysterious process seemingly populated by people who think and speak in very different ways from your typical researcher. The Research Commercialization Introductory Course is designed to help researchers better understand what research commercialization really is and how it actually works. Even for researchers who purportedly want nothing to do with commercial activity, key concepts like patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, intellectual property rights, and assignment of IPRs are inescapable in the simplest employment or research agreements with universities, governments or industry. As a result, every researcher needs an understanding of basic commercialization concepts to be an informed person and understand what is going on around them in connection with their research activity. Willful blindness is seldom an optimal strategy for intelligent researchers. The Research Commercialization Introductory Course is recommended for all medical, science and engineering researchers in public or private research institutions (e.g., grad students, post-docs, professional staff and faculty) and in commercial enterprises (e.g., startups, SBIRs, research-based small businesses and Global 1000). Areas covered in the free 9-lecture course include intellectual property, patents, copyrights, trade secrets, trademarks, licensing agreements, employment agreements, consulting agreements, creating and funding companies, marketing strategy, product development, tech transfer, early stage funding and federally funded SBIR programs Each lecture is a 90-minute online webinar. There will be expert guest speakers for each session. For more information, visit http://126.96.36.199/~courses/
September 8, 2009
The Office of Technology Commercialization has planned its annual Inventor Recognition Luncheon for Thursday, September 24th, 2009 at noon in the Russell Sage Dining Hall Banquet Room. The Office will recognize and award plaques to all current Rensselaer faculty and students who had U.S. Patents issued between 2/24/08 and 8/31/09. All Rensselaer faculty, staff, and students are invited to join us in celebration of the efforts. RSVP required. For more information, please contact Natasha Sanford at 276-3675.
March 9, 2009
Yuehua Tony Yu's innovation could lead to new medical devices, drug delivery technologies.
A student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has developed a new method for harnessing the enormous potential of nanoparticles, which could lead to a new generation of medical devices, drug delivery technologies, and other applications.
Yuehua Tony Yu, a doctoral student in Rensselaer's Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, is the first researcher to create binary guanosine gels, or G-gels, with unique, highly tunable properties. The discovery, which could enable a practical, cost-effective, and scalable method for better exploiting the beneficial properties of many nanoparticles, earned Yu the $30,000 Lemelson-Rensselaer Student Prize.
Future global challenges will demand leaders who are not only skilled scientists and engineers, but also innovators adept at problem solving and out-of-the-box thinking. The Lemelson-Rensselaer Student Prize recognizes ingenuity and inventiveness, while inspiring students toward excellence, said Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson. Yuehua Yu is a shining example of this innovative spirit. A keen thinker and passionate researcher, he enjoys a rich understanding of technology, as well as a sharply focused determination to use his abilities for the betterment of all. We celebrate his achievement, and applaud all of the finalists for their dedication and effort. May they, and all of us, continue to foster a healthy scientific curiosity, and an unyielding drive for progress.
Yu is the third recipient of the $30,000 Lemelson-Rensselaer Student Prize. The prize, first given in 2007, is awarded annually to a Rensselaer senior or graduate student who has created or improved a product or process, applied a technology in a new way, redesigned a system or in other ways demonstrated remarkable inventiveness.
For videos and photos of the winner and award finalists, as well as a Webcast of the announcement ceremony, please visit: www.eng.rpi.edu/lemelson.
Helping hand for nanotech Breakthroughs in nanotechnology hold the promise of touching and revolutionizing medicine, energy production and storage, water purification, electronics, and a host of other diverse fields. A key challenge for many researchers working with nanoparticles is simply getting the nanoscopic materials, some of which measure only a few billionths of a meter in length, where they need to go. Using liquid to disperse nanoparticles seems like a natural fit, but most materials have a tendency to aggregate, or clump together, when placed in liquids. Current solutions for properly dispersing nanomaterials in liquid often impact the materials' properties, cause irreversible damage, or result in concentrations too low to be effective.
To address this problem, Yu investigated guanosine gels, or "G-gels." Yu was the first researcher to develop a G-gel comprised of more than one guanosine compound. He discovered that some of these new binary G-gels were liquid at low temperature, but formed firm gels when heated to room or body temperature. Further study showed that binary G-gels were highly tunable.
This ability to easily convert the G-gels from liquid to gel, and back again, was a natural fit for the reliable delivery of nanoparticles. Yu's G-gels proved to be an inexpensive and scalable means to gently, nondestructively disperse single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) and other nanoparticles at a high concentration. By simply controlling the temperature, Yu engineered G-gels that can selectively solubilize specific SWNTs, and then be easily removed from the site after the SWNTs are in place. The gels can be tuned to selectively solubilize SWNTs based on different properties, including conductivity and structure.
Another key application of G-gels is their ability to preserve, and even restore, enzyme activity. Because they begin as liquids and form gels at body temperature, the G-gels could be used to encapsulate live cells, enzymes, or other materials for delivery into the human body, with potential applications in drug and gene delivery, as well as implantable devices. Yu has also demonstrated the ability of G-gels to keep certain enzymes stable for months at room temperature, which has captured the attention of cosmetics and sunscreen companies.
Gifted scientist Yu joined Rensselaer as a doctoral student in 2004, after earning his bachelor's degree in chemistry and master's degree in polymer science from Nankai University in China. In early 2005 he joined the research group of Rensselaer Professor Linda McGown, who heads the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.
"Tony is one of the most brilliant and most creative students with whom I've ever worked. The elegance and simplicity of his inventions belie their novelty and ingenuity," said McGown, who is also Yu's academic adviser. "It's been a privilege to work with such a gifted scientist."
In his time at Rensselaer, Yu has filed for two patents related to his G-gel research, co-authored two journal papers, and delivered 10 presentations. He received the prestigious Rensselaer 2008 Founders Award for of Excellence, as well as the 2008 Slezak Memorial Fellowship and Baruch '60 Award for Excellence in Energy-Related Research from Rensselaer. He is also an active member and former coach of Rensselaer intramural soccer and basketball teams.
Yu hails from the scenic city of Jiujiang, China, near the foot of Lushan Mountain. He expects to earn his doctorate in analytical chemistry from Rensselaer this spring.
Yu's wife, Yuexi Wang, is a graduate student in chemistry at Rensselaer. Their daughter, Grace, is 8 months old.
The Lemelson-MIT Program Yu joins last year's winner of the $30,000 Lemelson-Rensselaer Student Prize, graduate student Martin Schubert, who invented the first polarized light emitting diodes (LED), an innovation that promises to improve the energy-efficiency and performance of liquid crystal displays (LCDs) for televisions, computers, cell phones, cameras, and other devices. In 2007, Rensselaer doctoral student Brian Schulkin won the first-ever $30,000 Lemelson-Rensselaer Student Prize for developing the first portable terahertz sensing device, the "Mini-Z," which has since been commercialized and brought to market.
The $30,000 Lemelson-Rensselaer Student Prize is funded through a partnership with the Lemelson-MIT Program, which has awarded the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize to outstanding student inventors at MIT since 1995.
Geoffrey von Maltzahn, a graduate student in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, is the 2009 winner of the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize. Von Maltzahn's inventions include a new class of therapeutics that provide more precision to cancer ablation, and a communicating system of nanoparticles to more efficiently deliver drugs to tumors, enhancing the overall efficacy of cancer therapy. He is also the co-founder of two companies dedicated to this research and development. More information is available at http://web.mit.edu/invent/n-pressreleases/n-press-09SP.html.
"The Lemelson-MIT Collegiate Student Prize finalists and winners have the potential to be the technological and entrepreneurial leaders of tomorrow," states Joshua Schuler, Executive Director of the Lemelson-MIT Program.
"The winners were selected based on the potential societal impact of their inventions, their ability to act as role models, and their unwavering dedication to invention. These innovators are helping to close the gap between science and societal needs by making contributions that will foster cultural appreciation for invention's role in strengthening the U.S. economy."
The Lemelson-MIT Program recognizes outstanding inventors, encourages sustainable new solutions to real-world problems, and enables and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention.
Jerome H. Lemelson, one of U.S. history's most prolific inventors, and his wife, Dorothy, founded the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. It is funded by the Lemelson Foundation, a philanthropy that celebrates and supports inventors and entrepreneurs in order to strengthen social and economic life in the U.S. and developing countries.
For more information about the Lemelson-Rensselaer Student Prize, go to http://web.mit.edu/invent/.
For information about commercialization, see Case 1003 under FIND TECHNOLOGY or contact Natasha Sanford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Story written by Michael Mullaney (email@example.com)
February 23, 2009
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have discovered and demonstrated a new method for overcoming two major hurdles facing solar energy. By developing a new antireflective coating that boosts the amount of sunlight captured by solar panels and allows those panels to absorb the entire solar spectrum from nearly any angle, the research team has moved academia and industry closer to realizing high-efficiency, cost-effective solar power.
?To get maximum efficiency when converting solar power into electricity, you want a solar panel that can absorb nearly every single photon of light, regardless of the sun?s position in the sky,? said Shawn-Yu Lin, professor of physics at Rensselaer and a member of the university?s Future Chips Constellation, who led the research project. ?Our new antireflective coating makes this possible.?
Results of the year-long project are explained in the paper ?Realization of a Near Perfect Antireflection Coating for Silicon Solar Energy,? published the journal Optics Letters.
An untreated silicon solar cell only absorbs 67.4 percent of sunlight shone upon it ? meaning that nearly one-third of that sunlight is reflected away and thus unharvestable. From an economic and efficiency perspective, this unharvested light is wasted potential and a major barrier hampering the proliferation and widespread adoption of solar power.
After a silicon surface was treated with Lin?s new nanoengineered reflective coating, however, the material absorbed 96.21 percent of sunlight shone upon it ? meaning that only 3.79 percent of the sunlight was reflected and unharvested. This huge gain in absorption was consistent across the entire spectrum of sunlight, from UV to visible light and infrared, and moves solar power a significant step forward toward economic viability.
Lin?s new coating also successfully tackles the tricky challenge of angles.
Most surfaces and coatings are designed to absorb light ? i.e., be antireflective ? and transmit light ? i.e., allow the light to pass through it ? from a specific range of angles. Eyeglass lenses, for example, will absorb and transmit quite a bit of light from a light source directly in front of them, but those same lenses would absorb and transmit considerably less light if the light source were off to the side or on the wearer?s periphery.
This same is true of conventional solar panels, which is why some industrial solar arrays are mechanized to slowly move throughout the day so their panels are perfectly aligned with the sun?s position in the sky. Without this automated movement, the panels would not be optimally positioned and would therefore absorb less sunlight. The tradeoff for this increased efficiency, however, is the energy needed to power the automation system, the cost of upkeeping this system, and the possibility of errors or misalignment.
Lin?s discovery could antiquate these automated solar arrays, as his antireflective coating absorbs sunlight evenly and equally from all angles. This means that a stationary solar panel treated with the coating would absorb 96.21 percent of sunlight no matter the position of the sun in the sky. So along with significantly better absorption of sunlight, Lin?s discovery could also enable a new generation of stationary, more cost-efficient solar arrays.
?At the beginning of the project, we asked ?would it be possible to create a single antireflective structure that can work from all angles?? Then we attacked the problem from a fundamental perspective, tested and fine-tuned our theory, and created a working device,? Lin said. Rensselaer physics graduate student Mei-Ling Kuo played a key role in the investigations.
Typical antireflective coatings are engineered to transmit light of one particular wavelength. Lin?s new coating stacks seven of these layers, one on top of the other, in such a way that each layer enhances the antireflective properties of the layer below it. These additional layers also help to ?bend? the flow of sunlight to an angle that augments the coating?s antireflective properties. This means that each layer not only transmits sunlight, it also helps to capture any light that may have otherwise been reflected off of the layers below it.
The seven layers, each with a height of 50 nanometers to 100 nanometers, are made up of silicon dioxide and titanium dioxide nanorods positioned at an oblique angle ? each layer looks and functions similar to a dense forest where sunlight is ?captured? between the trees. The nanorods were attached to a silicon substrate via chemical vapor disposition, and Lin said the new coating can be affixed to nearly any photovoltaic materials for use in solar cells, including III-V multi-junction and cadmium telluride.
Along with Lin and Kuo, co-authors of the paper include E. Fred Schubert, Wellfleet Senior Constellation Professor of Future Chips at Rensselaer; Research Assistant Professor Jong Kyu Kim; physics graduate student David Poxson; and electrical engineering graduate student Frank Mont.
Funding for the project was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy?s Office of Basic Energy Sciences, as well as the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research.
Written by: Michael Mullaney, RPI
November 4, 2008
The emergence of electric lighting at night nearly a century ago has positively affected countless aspects of human life, ranging from improved safety and security to stronger economic development. But too much nighttime illumination can cause problems for stargazing, animal health, and may even compromise sleep, often leading some people to say ?lights out.?
Balancing public and private interests for nighttime lighting has been a difficult undertaking, as too little lighting may increase safety and security issues, while too much lighting may cause problems for the environment and for human well-being. Scientists in the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer have developed the first-ever comprehensive method for predicting and measuring various aspects of light pollution.
The method, called Outdoor Site-Lighting Performance (OSP), allows users to quantify ? and thus optimize ? the performance of existing and planned lighting designs and applications to minimize excessive or obtrusive light leaving the boundaries of a property.
?Until now the conversation about light pollution has been just that ? a lot of talk with no data,? said Mark Rea, LRC director and principal investigator on the project. ?The Lighting Research Center?s Outdoor Site-Lighting Performance measurement method is a powerful tool, allowing users to address three important aspects of light pollution ? sky glow, light trespass, and discomfort glare ? quantitatively and at the same time.?
Sky glow is defined as total amount of light leaving a property. Light trespass describes the amount of light crossing from one property boundary onto another, and discomfort glare predicts the level at which light coming from a luminaire is uncomfortable for viewers.
Although the three factors are independent of each other, each is measured using OSP, allowing users to control and maximize the positive benefits of nighttime lighting, while simultaneously minimizing their negative consequences for the public, according to Rea.
Developed as a practical system for assessing outdoor lighting performance, the OSP method can be used with any commercial lighting software. Using this software, the designer establishes a calculation ?box? following the natural division between a public and private space, the property line.
In order to provide insights into the values of glow, trespass, and glare produced by nighttime lighting, Rea and LRC scientists Jennifer Brons and John Bullough worked with application engineers to study 125 lighting designs for four common nighttime lighting applications ? car parking lots, roadways, sports fields, and plazas.
A database of results has been created to help engineers compare the performance of their own projects to the glow, trespass, and glare levels measured at nighttime lighting applications located across North America and Europe.
Bullough says a more extensive, continually growing database updated by the lighting community would be invaluable for making systematic progress in reducing light pollution.
Based on the 125 sites examined, LRC scientists have developed provisional limits for glow, trespass, and glare, offered as starting points for subsequent discussion among all stakeholders in nighttime lighting, according to Rea.
OSP can be used by lighting engineers immediately, particularly for the investigation of glow and trespass (glare analyses are more complex to perform and current commercial software does not readily allow them), and can help users compare several lighting design alternatives for the same site.
The research was funded by Acuity Brands Lighting, Lumec, Philips Lighting, and R-Tech Schreder.
May 15, 2008
The Office of Technology Commercialization at Rensselaer will celebrate the annual Inventor's Luncheon on May 21, 2008 at noon in the Alumni Conference room at the Heffner Alumni House. All are invited to join us to rejoice in innovation at Rensselaer. Laban Coblentz, the new Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President for Policy and Planning, will be the guest speaker. Patent plaques will be awarded to all innovators who have received an issued patent at Rensselaer between May 2007 and February 2008. For more information, please contact Natasha Sanford at (518) 276-3675 or firstname.lastname@example.org.