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UB to honor inventors and entrepreneurs at reception


Published March 19, 2015

“The innovations of these UB researchers, students and their corporate partners show the incredible amount of entrepreneurial activity that is occurring in the Buffalo Niagara region.”
Robert Genco, vice provost

Computer software that can read facial expressions better than people. An antibody that prevents breast cancer tumors from metastasizing to other parts of the body.

Those are two of many breakthrough discoveries made by UB researchers and partner companies in 2014 that will be honored on March 23 at the university’s annual Inventors and Entrepreneurs Reception.

The event will honor:

  • UB researchers who developed seven technologies licensed to companies in 2014. These discoveries include the cancer-fighting antibody discovery made by Kate Rittenhouse-Olson, a UB biotechnology professor who founded For-Robin Inc., a company named in honor of Rittenhouse-Olsen’s sister who died of breast cancer in 1986.
  • UB researchers named on six patents granted in 2014. These inventors include Mark G. Frank, professor of communication, who helped develop the aforementioned facial expression software, and other researchers working in medicine, nuclear medicine, electrical engineering, chemical and biological engineering, and structural engineering.
  • Faculty winners of UB’s Entrepreneurial Spirit award: Rittenhouse-Olson (For-Robin), Julian L. Ambrus Jr., professor in the Department of Medicine (Boss Translational Medicine), and Kenneth R. Hoffmann, professor in the Department of Neurosurgey (Imagination Software Corp.).
  • Two companies that graduated from the UB Technology Incubator in 2014: OptoElectronic Nanodevices, which develops and commercializes novel optoelectronic nanomaterials to enhance the efficiency of devices such as solar cells and photodetectors, and Refulgent Software.
  • Seven companies that joined the UB Technology Incubator in 2014.

“The innovations of these UB researchers, students and their corporate partners show the incredible amount of entrepreneurial activity that is occurring in the Buffalo Niagara region,” said UB Vice Provost Robert J. Genco, who oversees the UB Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach (STOR). “Programs offered through STOR, including new ventures such as tenX and the WNY Innovation Hot Spot, will continue to foster this climate, which has helped catalyze the resurgence of entrepreneurial culture in Buffalo and has the potential to improve health and quality of life in our community.”

The Inventors and Entrepreneurs Reception is organized by STOR, which helps UB researchers commercialize their inventions. The office also runs the UB Technology Incubator; the UB Biosciences Incubator in the Clinical and Translational Research Center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus; Directed Energy, a virtual clean energy incubator; tenX, a co-working space within the UB Technology Incubator; and the WNY Innovation Hot Spot, which provides services to incubated companies across Western New York.

STOR also has partnered with the School of Management to run the university’s Entrepreneurship Lab program, a winter session class offered to students who want to turn their business ideas into reality.

Speakers at the reception include President Satish K. Tripathi; Provost Charles F. Zukoski; Venu Govindaraju, interim vice president for research and economic development; and Genco.