FIU at eMerge: Pushing boundaries with startups, biomedical breakthroughs and ecological research

At this year’s eMerge Americas conference, FIU is showcasing new companies associated with StartUP FIU, in addition to scientific breakthroughs and new technologies designed to improve life for humans and creatures from the deep

 “eMerge Americas has become a magnet for innovators, entrepreneurs and investors from South Florida, the Americas and beyond,” said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg. “We look forward to sharing our best projects at eMerge and drawing on the creative energy that permeates this event.”

The two-day exhibition portion of eMerge Americas takes place Monday and Tuesday, June 12 and 13, at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The FIU pavilion is in section C1, between the Facebook lounge and the Hiring Market.

On Monday at 11:20 a.m. Rosenberg will present on the eMerge stage the role of universities in preparing students to be entrepreneurial and find solutions to the challenges of the 21st century economy.

For the first time this year, FIU will feature companies incubated at FIU’s own accelerator, StartUP FIU.

  • PilotVR developed innovative virtual reality goggles that bring patients into an interactive virtual world, marrying motions needed to complete physical therapy with gaming technology, to create a more engaging experience. By programming therapy sessions through the technology, physical therapists can work with several patients at the same time.
  • Stealth Simulations has developed a device for students who participate in simulated patient encounters with actors as part of their medical training. The DxBAT attaches to the student’s stethoscope and makes sounds correlating to illnesses the actors simulate. The DxBAT also incorporates location and synchronization features to create a more realistic clinical experience.
  • Addigy is a cloud-based IT management platform designed specifically for Apple (Mac) users. Although few companies offer such a platform for Macs, the use of the computers is expected to grow as more Mac-devoted millennials enter the workforce.

As Miami’s only public research university, FIU is always looking for solutions to society’s most pressing challenges. Several of FIU’s most recent innovations will be on display at eMerge:

  • Chemical test results in minutes: Technology developed at FIU combines common fabric with a special coating to create a faster, cheaper and more accurate way to prepare lab samples for testing. The technology could revolutionize a multi-billion dollar industry and change the way blood, urine and environmental testing is done. The lead researchers on this project are Kenneth G. Furton, currently the university’s provost and executive vice president as well as a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors; and Abuzar Kabir, an expert in materials chemistry and assistant professor of chemistry in the College of Arts, Sciences & Education.
  • Protecting predators: Researchers are working across the planet to save the oceans’ predators using innovative monitoring technologies, including animal-borne cameras and baited video surveillance. Their unique projects are investigating threats to shark habitats, tracking predator and prey movements as they fight for survival on this changing planet, and are leading to improved conservation strategies. The lead researchers on these initiatives are Mike Heithaus, dean of the College of Arts, Sciences & Education and professor of biological sciences; Demian Chapman, associate professor of biological sciences; and Yannis Papastamatiou, assistant professor of biological sciences.
  • Pioneering device may restore sensation to amputees: People who have lost an arm are one-step closer to successfully picking up a cookie or an egg. The neural-enabled prosthetic hand system (NEPH) is the first fully implantable, wirelessly controlled system that can directly stimulate nerves to restore sensation to amputees. The FDA has granted an investigational device exemption for the first in-human trial for this system. The lead researcher on this project is Ranu Jung, interim dean of the College of Engineering and Computing and a Wallace H. Coulter Eminent Scholars Chair in biomedical engineering.
  • Wearable sensor to monitor drinking: Engineers at FIU have created a device that can be worn like a watch to monitor alcohol consumption through the skin. The device will create an alert when the reading is high that will be sent to a designated friend or family member via an app. The lead researcher on the project is Shekhar Bhansali, chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and an Alcatel Lucent professor.

Additionally, on Monday at 4:10 p.m. on the Texpert Stage, Life Sciences South Florida (LSSF), spearheaded by FIU’s Office of Engagement, will host a panel about innovation in healthcare technology. Daniel Cane, CEO & co-founder of Modernizing Medicine, will be the moderator of the panel featuring key life science ecosystem drivers. At 5 p.m. LSSF will host their annual Lifees award ceremony at FIU’s Miami Beach Urban Studios. The event recognizes industry leaders for the life sciences work they are doing with students, researchers and higher education institutions.

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