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Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E)

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The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Scott Kirsner spotlights Boston as a potential leader in climate technology for their “incubator spaces like Greentown Labs in Somerville and The Engine in Cambridge.”

Fortune

MIT researchers have found that “automation is the primary reason the income gap between more and less educated workers has continued to widen,” reports Ellen McGirt for Fortune. “This single one variable…explains 50 to 70% of the changes or variation between group inequality from 1980 to about 2016,” says Prof. Daron Acemoglu

Forbes

Forbes reporter Stuart Anderson highlights Noubar Afeyan PhD ’87, a member of the MIT Corporation, and Prof. Hari Balakrishnan as two immigrants who have developed innovative technologies and startups.

TechCrunch

MIT spinoff E Ink, an ePaper technology company, has developed new color technology to provided stronger color displays for their devices, reports Harri Weber for TechCrunch. “Eventually, E Ink aims to build a magazine reading experience that’s good enough to win over even the most demanding publishers,” E Ink U.S. business lead Timothy O’Malley ’93 tells TechCrunch.

Forbes

Deepak Dugar MBA ’13, PhD ’13 founded Visolis, a biomanufacturing company developing carbon-negative, high-performance materials, reports John Cumbers for Forbes. “We use biology to make platform molecules. And then we use chemistry to turn them into a lot of different products. Because of this unique combination, we have an advantage both in terms of market as well as cost of technology development,” says Dugar.

CNBC

On a recent episode of “Shark Tank,” Amrita Saigal '10 scored a $250,000 investment in her company Kudos, which is focused on making disposable diapers from sustainable and natural materials, reports Megan Sauer for CNBC. Saigal, who also founded a company called Saathi that makes sanitary napkins from banana peel fibers, notes she was inspired by seeing “just how much plastic we were putting into sanitary napkins and diapers.” 

TechCrunch

Kevin Hu SB ’13, SM ’15, PhD ’19 co-founded Metaplane, a startup aimed at providing users with data analytics-focused tools, reports Kyle Wiggers for TechCrunch. “Metaplane monitors data using anomaly detection models trained primarily on historical metadata. The monitors try to account for seasonality, trends and feedback from customers, Hu says, to minimize alert fatigue, “writes Wiggers.

New York Daily News

Writing for the Daily News, Prof. Carlo Ratti and Harvard Prof. Edward Glaeser highlight a new report by the “New” New York Panel aimed at reimagining New York City. “This is the moment to embrace the ‘New’ New York Panel’s three-pronged approach of reducing the unnecessary regulations that limit entrepreneurship, investing in New York’s children and creating exciting, safe, walkable streetscapes,” Ratti and Glaeser write.

The Wall Street Journal

Alex Westner SM ’98 founded Xander, a company that uses augmented reality in personalized glasses to provide real-time closed captions for people with hearing loss, reports Dalvin Brown for The Wall Street Journal. “The glasses have an embedded display on the right side, where text appears almost as quickly as it’s picked up by a built-in microphone,” writes Brown. “There’s no wireless connection – all processing happens within the glasses.”

Forbes

Asimov - an MIT spinout co-founded by Prof. Christopher Voigt, Alec Nielsen PhD ’16, Raja Srinivas PhD ’16, and Boston University Prof. Douglas Densmore - is a biotechnology company developing tools to design living systems, reports John Cumbers for Forbes. “Every cell is capable of computing. Perceiving environmental signals, information processing, turning genes on and off,” says Nielsen. “The ability to engineer this gift of evolution is, in my view, going to be the most meaningful and impactful technology that humans have ever developed.”

PBS NewsHour

PBS host Jared Bowen highlights the scientific advancements on display at the MIT Museum. “We’re here to turn MIT inside out,” says Prof. John Durant, director of the MIT Museum. “We want people to understand what contemporary research and innovation are all about and what they mean for everyday life.”

Forbes

Vecna Technologies and Vecna Robotics co-founder Daniel Theobald ’95, MS ’97 speaks with Forbes reporter Heather Wishart-Smith about the future of robotics. “I believe that robotics can be one of the great tools for solving the world’s problems,” says Theobald. “The environment, equality, food scarcity, even happiness in allowing us to focus on being more human than today’s humans working like machines and doing jobs that really should not be done by humans.”

Associated Press

Sampriti Bhattacharyya PhD ’17, co-founder and CEO of electric hydrofoil startup Navier, speaks with AP reporter Matt O’Brien about the future of the company. “Our goal is to be the longest range-electric boat at cruising speed,” says Bhattacharyya.

Forbes

Harry McNamara PhD ’19, David Heller ’18, and Shara Ticku co-founded C16 Biosciences, a biotechnology company that uses synthetic biology to address environmental concerns, reports John Cumbers for Forbes. The company “wants to replace conflict palm oil with a sustainable alternative made in yeast using precision fermentation,” writes Cumbers.

The Hill

Writing for The Hill, President L. Rafael Reif emphasizes the importance of “enabling universities to undertake the use-inspired research that will seed future innovations.” He adds: “To secure national leadership and prosperity over time, the U.S. needs to be the birthplace of the new ideas that will determine the future — including the future of semiconductor technology, design, and manufacturing.”