Salt Lake City, UT – Over half a dozen Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative (USTAR) supported companies and technologies were recognized on Thursday as winners, finalists, and honorable mentions at the 16th annual Utah Innovation Awards, presented by Stoel Rives LLP and the Utah Technology Council. Companies supported through USTAR grants, Rosivo, Blacksand Technology, and EDX Magnetics, each won their award categories.
“We are honored to see so many companies we work with be recognized at the Utah Innovation Awards,” said Ivy Estabrooke, Ph.D., executive director of USTAR. “It is rewarding to see the endless appetite for innovation here in Utah. Few people understand the challenges to take an idea all the way to product. These awards recognize the hurdles that have been overcome to provide important technological advancements, grow our state’s innovation ecosystem, and diversify Utah’s technology economy.”
Electro-Dynamic Eddy Current Sorting by EDX Magnetics was the winner in the Clean Technology and Energy category. EDX Magnetics is based on a platform technology supported by a USTAR University Technology Acceleration Grant (UTAG) to University of Utah professor Raj Rajamani. The technology was then licensed to EDX Magnetics, a Utah company and winner of a USTAR Technology Acceleration Program (TAP) grant. The awarded innovation uses physics-based techniques to autonomously sort shredded scrap metals, including valuable rare earth metals. Current industry practice is to ship e-waste and other metals to China to be sorted by hand.
Cartesse by Rosivo won the Life Science – Medical Device category. The early-stage biological implants company is located at the USTAR BioInnovations Gateway (a life sciences incubator) in South Salt Lake. Products include an innovative cartilage implant that can be used for nose and ear repairs, and a trachea repair implant, which is currently under development through USTAR support.
The University of Utah/Blacksand Technology won the Mechanical Systems, Chemical, Manufacturing category. Blacksand Technology is based on a platform technology supported by USTAR UTAG recipient professor Z. Zak Fang. This group has developed a way to make tiny, uniform titanium spheres that can be used to 3D print medical implants not possible in the past.
Additionally, two USTAR-supported technologies were recognized with early-stage innovation awards. They include Clean Ammonia by USTAR professor Shelley Minteer and SondeFlux™ by RefloDX, LLC.
RefloDX, a biotech startup company housed at the USTAR Innovation Center at Falcon Hill (a business incubator and prototyping facility), is developing a non-invasive medical device to monitor gastroesophageal reflux, a disease that affects more than one-fourth of the U.S. population.
“Overall, USTAR gave us the resources we needed, including contacts and mentorship that I didn’t have before,” said Rudy Wilcox, founder of RefloDx. “USTAR gave us the initial skillsets our company needed to succeed.”
Two companies that received USTAR entrepreneurship services were also recognized at the event. RoviTracker Inc., a company supported by the USTAR Utah County Satellite Office, won the Enterprise Software, Cloud and Big Data category for their IoT Transparency Platform. Teaching It Right, a company supported by the USTAR SBIR Center, was recognized with an early stage innovation award in the consumer software category for a program to help children with autism.
Smartbeat by Photorithm was recognized as a finalist in the Computer Hardware/Electrical Devices category. Located in Cache County, Photorithm, Inc. is a biosensing technology company that can remotely track heart rate, blood pressure, and other key vitals biometrics. Photorithm, like Rosivo and EDX Magnetics, was a recipient of USTAR’s most recent round of TAP grants.
The winners were announced at the 16th annual Utah Innovation Awards at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center. More than 400 individuals from Utah’s technology, business, and academic communities attended the dinner honoring the 2018 Utah Innovation Awards’ winners, finalists, and honorable mention recipients.
2018 Utah Innovation Awards winners will have their technologies featured and on exhibit in the coming months at The Leonardo Museum located in downtown Salt Lake City.
The Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative (USTAR) is the state’s technology-based economic development agency. USTAR serves as a catalyst to develop ideas and research into marketable products and successful companies through its competitive grant and entrepreneur support programs. USTAR propels Utah’s economy forward by supporting innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly in the non-IT science and deep technology clusters. USTAR facilitates the diversification of the state’s tech economy, increases private follow-on investments, and ensures more companies successfully launch and survive the initial technology development and incubation stages, or the so-called "Valley of Death." In doing so, USTAR helps create a rich innovation ecosystem that grows the state’s economy, tax revenue, and workforce.