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University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships
University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships

Celebrate Invention 2019


Celebrate Invention

Members of the University of Michigan community joined with regional leaders on October 22 to celebrate the accomplishments of U-M innovators, who, once again, broke records in terms of productivity and impact, disclosing a total of 502 new inventions and launching a total of 22 new startups in FY 2019. Following is a comprehensive list of the day’s events, illustrated with photos taken of U-M inventors, university administrators, and representatives of campus organizations who, along with U-M Innovation Partnerships, work to translate the benefits of U-M research to the outside world. 



11 AM – Everything You Need to Know about Open-Sourcing

  • Drew Bennett, Associate Director of Licensing, Software, Mobile and Digital Technologies, U-M Innovation Partnerships

12 PM – Innovation to Impact: A Conversation on the Opportunities for Impact at the Nation’s Leading Public Research University

  • Rebecca Cunningham, Interim Vice President for Research and William G Barsan Collegiate Professor of Emergency Medicine
  • Kelly Sexton, Associate Vice President for Research, Technology Transfer and Innovation Partnerships

1 PM – Remarks by the 2019 winners of the Distinguished University Innovator Award – followed by
panel session – Increasing Opportunities for Hardware Startups in the Post-CMOS Machine Learning Era


  • David Wentzloff, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Director Academic Programs, Center for Entrepreneurship, College of Engineering


  • David Blaauw, Kensall D Wise Collegiate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, College of Engineering
  • Dennis Sylvester, Associate Chair and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science,
    College of Engineering
  • Wei Lu, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Reetuparna Das, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, College of Engineering

2 PM – Ann Arbor as an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Powerhouse: Do We Have What it Takes?



  • Alec Gallimore, Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering, University of Michigan
  • Bill Brinkerhoff, CEO, Evoq Therapeutics and Founder, Argus Farm Stop
  • Doug Neal, co-founder and Managing Director, eLab Ventures
  • Patti Glaza, SVP and Managing Director, ID Ventures

1 PM – 3 PM
Representatives from over 20 translational funds provided inventors the opportunity to learn about resources and programs available to advance innovation into the marketplace.

ADVANCE Grant Proof-of-Concept Fund
Michigan Drug Discovery Early-Stage Grants
Coulter Translational Research Partnership Program
FFMI & MCTI Therapeutic Innovation Fund
MTRAC for Life Sciences Innovation Hub (FFMI)
Frankel Cardiovascular Center (FCVC) Innovation Challenge & Aikens Innovation Academy
U-M Surgical Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Program
U-M Innovation Partnerships Gap Fund
TUS Gap Fund
MCIRCC Critical Care Grand Challenges for Traumatic Brain Injury and Sepsis
Michigan-Pittsburgh-Wyss Regenerative Medicine Resource Center’s Interdisciplinary Translational Project Program
MICHR (Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research) Pilot Grant Program
MTRAC for Ag/Bio (MSU)
MTRAC for Transportation (U-M)
MTRAC Kickstart for Transportation
MTRAC for Materials (MTU)
UM-BICI Advanced Manufacturing Collaboratory
UM-BICI Partnership Program
MTRAC for Advanced Computing (WSU)
Precision Health Investigator Award
Precision Health Scholar Award
ESSI: Exercise and Sport Science Initiative
Economic Growth Institute’s Small Company Innovation Program

1 PM – 3 PM
Leaders from 10 organizations representing 20 different startup funds met with startups and potential startups. Participants include:

U-M Office of Technology Transfer (Accelerate Blue Fund)
Osage University Partners
U-M Investment Office (MINTS)
Invest Detroit (Accelerate Michigan, First Capital Fund)
Fast Forward Medical Innovation (Michigan Biomedical Venture Fund)
Invest Michigan (Pre-Seed 2.0)
Ann Arbor SPARK (Pre-Seed, Michigan Angel, Business Accelerator Funds)
Center for Entrepreneurship / Zell Lurie Institute (Desai Accelerator)
Michigan SBDC (Michigan Emerging Technologies Fund)
Zell Lurie Institute (Wolverine Venture, Social Venture, Zell Founders, Zell Lurie Commercialization Funds)

3 PM – 6 PM

Members of our business, venture, and university community gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of University of Michigan innovators at the 19th annual Celebrate Invention.

3 PM – 6 PM

The reception highlighted technologies to illustrate the breadth of U-M discoveries and encouraged networking with our inventors and entrepreneurs.

  • BlueConduit – Eric Schwartz, Jake Abernethy – BlueConduit developed machine learning methods that allowed Flint to understand the quantity and location of its lead-tainted service lines, saving millions of dollars and accelerating pipe replacement. This same method can do the same for America’s 6-10 million lead service lines in cities with aging infrastructure.
  • CRIMSON: An Advanced Simulation Environment for Subject-Specific Hemodynamic Analysis – C. Alberto Figueroa – CRIMSON integrates best-in-class open-source solutions for parallel flow solvers, fluid-structure interactions, GUI-based specification of boundary conditions, Kalman-filter based methods for parameter estimation, medical image processing and segmentation, mesh generation, transitional hemodynamics, cloud computing, and much more.
  • Voxel51 – Jason Corso, Brian Moore – Voxel51’s video-first solution unlocks valuable intelligence from videos. Our custom analytics classify objects, actions and patterns in video scenes with incredible accuracy, and our scalable platform enables users to tag, search and integrate detected content into their human-decision making processes.
  • ArtOva – Ariella Shikanov, James Day, Marillia Cascalho, Margaret Hammersley, Jeff Platt, Anu David – ArtOva promotes restoration of ovarian endocrine function in young women with premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) by utilizing a novel immuno-isolating capsule to facilitate allogeneic transplantation of ovarian tissue to restore physiological balance and pulsatility within the HPG axis.
  • Artificial Photosynthesis – Srinivas Vanka, Baowen Zhou, Zetian Mi – Using only sunlight and low-cost silicon wafers treated with a special catalyst, we can achieve artificial photosynthesis, converting carbon dioxide and water into green hydrogen and hydrogen carbon fuels. [This technology is being brought to market by the U-M startup Carbon Fuels.]
  • DGD Pharma – Mukesh Nyati, Chris Whitehead, Ted Lawrence – DGD1202 is a first-in-class, small molecule therapeutic that targets mutant epidermal growth factor receptor (mtEGFR) driven tumors. Unlike EGFR kinase inhibitors, this agent induces degradation of mtEGFR. DGD1202 exhibits favorable efficacy, toxicity, and drug-like properties in various preclinical models.
  • Machine Learning Models to Design Next – Generation Antimicrobials – Angela Violi, Nick A. Kotov, J. Scott VanEpps, Alfred O. Hero, Paolo Elvati, David Sherman, Tom Schmidt – Next generation hybrid ML algorithm to design interventions that control microbial communities, biofilms and associated multi drug resistant pathogens.
  • Mixed Reality Design & Analytics – Michael Nebeling – A suite of tools to make AR/VR application design easy and fast. Our tools target the entire design process, from the early stages via novel physical prototyping methods and tools, to testing and development through mixed reality interaction tracking, to deployment and evaluation using mixed reality analytics.