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Ohio University, affiliated startup company selected for 2019 University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Showcase


The Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) and the Association of American Universities (AAU) have selected Ohio University and its affiliated startup company AEIOU Scientific, LLC, to participate in the 2019 University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Showcase on April 10 in Washington, D.C.

The event will spotlight 20 startup companies from across the nation that have created products and services using federally funded, university-based research. The showcase will highlight the important role of federally funded university research in driving high-value entrepreneurship and the U.S. innovation economy for members of Congress, their staff, and national economic development and innovation policy leaders.

This is the first time Ohio University and one of its affiliated startups have been selected to participate in the showcase.

“Having a startup selected through this competitive process affirms OHIO’s commitment to commercialization of technologies. It shines a light on OHIO’s ability to attract, retain and support faculty with novel ideas. In the case of AEIOU Scientific, it also cements and affirms OHIO’s commitment to supporting a technology that will benefit society,” said Stacy Strauss, director of the Innovation Center, Ohio University’s business incubator.

Ohio University licensed a technology that can accurately estimate bone strength to AEIOU Scientific, which is now a client of the Innovation Center. AEIOU Scientific began offering the Cortical Bone Mechanics Technology™ for sale as a scientific research product during fall 2018. It also plans to begin conducting clinical trials in 2019 to gain approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to sell the technology as a medical device for osteoporosis diagnosis, according to the company. AEIOU received a Phase I SBIR grant from the National Institute on Aging that was essential to the technology commercialization.

Ohio University’s academic and administrative leadership successfully moved the faculty technology through the commercialization pipeline, Strauss noted. The project received funding from internal sources, including the Innovation Strategy program. In addition to its federal funding, the company has received support from state of Ohio programs and angel investors.

The University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Showcase attracts government contractors, federal agencies, legislators, potential customers and federal representatives that work within the many facets of the commercialization process, according to Strauss. Examples include the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Patent Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration.

“As a result of this opportunity to showcase its technology to potential partners, funders and customers, AEIOU will experience an expedited path to market and may also experience an uptick in investment and governmental support,” Strauss said.

Anne Loucks, a professor of biological sciences in Ohio University’s College of Arts and Sciences, initiated development of the technology almost a decade ago. While conducting research on female athletes who experienced bone fractures, Loucks discovered that existing technologies didn’t accurately measure or predict bone strength.

The Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute provided seed funding to Professor Loucks to support the project in 2014. In early 2016, Ohio University’s Innovation Strategy program awarded a team led by Loucks, co-inventor Lyn Bowman of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Brian Clark of the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine a $875,000 grant to further develop the technology, which is patent-pending.

Ohio University is one of the APLU’s 241 members across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, four U.S. territories, Canada and Mexico. OHIO President M. Duane Nellis was appointed to a three-year term on its inaugural Commission on Economic and Community Engagement earlier this year.

The other featured startups and affiliated universities attending the showcase are:

  • KIYATEC (Clemson University)
  • MicroRid Technologies (Stony Brook University)
  • TissueForm (University of Colorado-Boulder)
  • Skylark Wireless (Rice University)
  • Xallent (Cornell University)
  • Ferric Contrast (University at Buffalo, SUNY)
  • Florida Insect Control Group (University of Florida)
  • Fonix (SUNY Polytechnic Institute)
  • N-Sense (Iowa State University)
  • NOWA Innovations (UC-Irvine)
  • Entrada Therapeutics (Ohio State University)
  • Lumme (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
  • Soteria Solutions (University of New Hampshire)
  • SpotLESS Materials (Penn State University)
  • Zeno Power (Vanderbilt University)
  • Magnitude Instruments (Penn State University)
  • Eco Carbon Tech (Washington State University)
  • Haptimage (Purdue University)
  • Roll-2-Roll Technologies (Oklahoma State University)