Celebrate Invention Was a Showcase for U-M Innovators, Startups, and Partners
On Thursday, October 13th Innovation Partnerships hosted its annual Celebrate Invention at the Michigan Union. Members of the university community and entrepreneurial ecosystem turned out for the opportunity to connect with U-M innovators and celebrate the successes of the broader U-M research community over the past year.
The event kicked off at 1:00 pm with the Ecosystem Fair. This fair offered attendees the chance to connect with commercialization support services, discover translational research funding opportunities and meet startup investors from across southeast Michigan.
At 2:00 pm Kelly Sexton, assistant vice president for research and innovation partnerships, officially welcomed attendees to the event and introduced 2022 Distinguished University Innovator of the Year, Dr. Wei Lu, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, who presented a brief overview of his research into artificial intelligence (AI) and semiconductors. Dr. Lu is a serial entrepreneur and a prolific inventor with several groundbreaking innovations in his portfolio.
The public was then invited to a panel discussion on “Harnessing the Power of Michigan to Drive Ann Arbor’s Tech Transformation.” The panel was moderated by Mingyan Liu, Peter and Evelyn Fuss Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and included the following panelists: Wei Lu; Rick Wallace, Chief Executive Officer and President of KLA, an Ann Arbor-based technology company; Dave Wentzloff, professor of electrical engineering and Computer Science; and Eric Michielssen, Louise Ganiard Johnson Professor of Engineering and Computer Science and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Engineering.
Following the panel, doors opened for the Celebrate Invention Reception and Technology Showcase. Attendees were invited to tour the room where ten dynamic up-and-coming U-M startups and technologies had kiosks available to visit. They included:
- CRISPR-Cas3, a genetic engineering technology that allows for the deletion of specific genetic material in human DNA
- Digital External Ventricular Drain (DEVD) Device, a brain and cerebrospinal fluid monitoring system for patients who have a traumatic brain injury
- Minutes, a new technology which compiles Michigan city council meetings into an easily accessible podcast format
- Mitovation, an infrared light-based technology that allows for non-invasive treatment of brain damage
- MONSTR sense, precision instrumentation for use in semiconductor development as well as chemical and biological analysis
- NewHaptics, a fully digital tactile display for the blind
- Plasma Water Purification, a high-voltage purification technology designed to remove bacteria, parasites, algae and more from local water systems
- PREACT, motion sickness reduction technology for use in driverless vehicles
- Ulendo, software designed to improve the quality and reliability of manufacturing machines
- xBOT, robotics technology to assist with the testing of driverless vehicles
Community members were not the only attendees enthralled by the university’s exciting technological ecosystems. Much excitement was also felt with the arrival of President Santa Ono, U-M’s 15th president. Ono connected with several of the inventors and startup founders at the Technology Showcase and even snapped a few photos with the attendees.
The reception activities concluded with Vice President of Research Rebecca Cunningham officially presenting the Distinguished University Innovator of the Year Award to Dr. Lu in recognition for his research and commercialization successes in AI.
Attendees were then invited to stay and continue to network, enjoy tasty food and drink, and listen to the musical stylings of a local jazz ensemble.