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Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E)

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Science

In an editorial for Science, Prof. Sangeeta Bhatia, Prof. Emerita Nancy Hopkins and President Emerita Susan Hockfield underscore the importance of addressing the underrepresentation of women and minorities in tech transfer. “The discoveries women and minority researchers are making today have great potential as a force for good in the world,” they write, “but reaching that potential is only possible if paths to real-world applications are open to everybody.”

The Washington Post

Washington Post reporter Dalvin Brown spotlights Nextiles, a company spun out of MIT and the NSF that has crafted machine-washable smart fabrics that capture biometric data. “Just imagine all the biochemicals that come out of you and get released into your clothes,” says Prof. Yoel Fink of the future of e-textiles. “Today, all of that stuff gets erased in the washing machine. But at some point, your fabric could learn, listen to subtle changes, and alert you to go to the doctor for a checkup.”

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Nate Weitzer spotlights the GRIT Freedom Chair, an all-terrain wheelchair developed by Global Research Innovation and Technology, an MIT startup. “The GRIT Freedom Chair can go where regular wheelchairs can’t – including grass, mud, or rocky terrain,” writes Weitzer. “For athletes who use wheelchairs, it offers the opportunity to compete in events such as a Spartan Race, or the ability to join friends on a hike or a beach day.”

The Boston Globe

LiquiGlide, an MIT startup, has announced several new partnerships aimed at developing sustainable, zero-waste packaging solutions, reports Janelle Nanos for The Boston Globe. “LiquiGlide wants to fix one of life’s longstanding frustrations: trying to squeeze out the end of a toothpaste tube,” writes Nanos. “Since it’s often difficult to empty out sticky pastes, gels, and creams, hundreds of millions of dollars worth of those substances are discarded annually, still stuck to the insides of their containers.”

Boston 25 News

Prof. Kripa Varanasi speaks with Boston 25 reporter Jim Morelli about a food-safe coating, called LiquiGlide, that makes it possible to squeeze every drop out of containers of items like ketchup and toothpaste. “It’s a universal kind of a problem,” Varanasi says. “The interface between the liquid and the solid is what makes these products stick to containers.”

HuffPost

Gizmodo reporter Andrew Liszewski writes that LiquiGlide, an MIT startup, is working with Colgate to introduce a “new recyclable toothpaste container that leverages LiquiGlide so that every last drop of the product can be squeezed out with minimal effort.”

Fast Company

MIT startup Graviky Labs is partnering with the fashion label Pangaia to create clothing featuring graphics made from pollution sucked out of the air, reports Elizabeth Segran for Fast Company. “It’s an entirely new approach to carbon capture,” says alumnus and Graviky Labs co-founder Anirudh Sharma. “We’re literally extracting carbon particles from the atmosphere and selling it to the consumer.”

The Boston Globe

Writing for The Boston Globe, President L. Rafael Reif emphasizes the importance of finding affordable, equitable ways to bring the global economy to net-zero carbon by 2050. “If individuals and institutions in every part of the economy and society tackle the pieces of the problem within their reach and collaborate with each other,” writes Reif, “we have a real shot — an Earthshot — at preserving a habitable world.”

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Brian Heater spotlights MIT startup Pickle, which has developed a package-picking robot dubbed Dill that “is capable of 1,600 picks per hour from the back of a trailer.” 

Bloomberg

Rebellions Inc., a company founded by alumnus Park Sunghyun S.M. ’11, PhD ’14, is developing a microchip aimed at “running artificial intelligence more efficiently, which could cut precious millionths of a second off the reaction times of automatic-trading machines,” reports Hooyeon Kim and Whanwoong Choi for Bloomberg. 

Times Higher Ed

A new ranking by Times Higher Education and the French consultancy Emerging honors MIT as one of the top universities in the world for digital education. 

Times Higher Ed

MIT has been ranked the top university in the world for digital entrepreneurship in a new ranking by Times Higher Education and the French consultancy Emerging. Times Higher Education notes that MIT “has a strong reputation for teaching and learning in science and technology courses. As well as undergraduate and postgraduate courses, MIT also offers a range of executive courses in digital business strategy, AI and business analytics.” 

Gizmodo

Gizmodo reporter Andrew Liszewski spotlights MIT startup OPT Industries, which has created a new type of Covid-19 nasal swab “that’s faster at absorbing samples, and better at releasing it for analysis.”

Stat

Prof. Emerita Nancy Hopkins speaks with Rebecca Sohn of STAT about the Boston Biotech Working Group’s goal of increasing the number of women leaders and entrepreneurs in biotech and her hopes for the future of women in biotech and the sciences. “You want people to feel that they are free to participate in all the things wherever it leads them,” says Hopkins. “So I think the goal is just that people who really want to do this [pursue biotech] don’t face any greater barrier than anybody else. That everybody has equal access and education to do as they want to.”

Boston Globe

A group of MIT scientists has announced a new plan, called the Future Founders Initiative, aimed at addressing gender inequities in the biotech industry, reports Anissa Gardizy for The Boston Globe. “If we can’t advance discoveries at the same rate for women and men, that means there are drugs, therapies, devices, and diagnostics that are not getting to where they can actually benefit people,” says President Emerita Susan Hockfield. “If as a region we want to continue to lead the world, the best thing to do is not squander our resources.”