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Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E)

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Axios

MIT has been named one of the top universities in the country for educating students that go on to found venture-capital-backed startups, according to PitchBook’s annual rankings, reports Steph Solis for Axios.

Reuters

QuEra, co-founded by faculty from MIT and Harvard, is a quantum computing startup that uses “neutral atoms in a vacuum chamber and use lasers to cool and control them,” reports Jane Lanhee Lee for Reuters. The startup has announced its “computer is now accessible to the public through Amazon.com cloud’s quantum compute service Braket,” writes Lee.

The Boston Globe

Vaxxes, a Cambridge startup based on research conducted at MIT and Tufts University, is working toward “the creation of a vaccine that’s easy to use, doesn’t require refrigeration, and releases slowly in the skin for a stronger immune response,” reports Ryan Cross for The Boston Globe.

Bloomberg

Biobot, a sewage data company co-founded by Mariana Matus PhD ’18 and Newsha Ghaeli PhD ’17, uses wastewater analysis to track the spread of Covid-19, reports Faye Flam for Bloomberg. “This kind of data gives Covid-cautious people the information they need to reduce their risk,” writes Flam.

Fortune

Jamie Karraker BS ’12 MS ’13 co-founded Alto Pharmacy – a full-service, online pharmacy that aims to create a transparent, straightforward and user-friendly experience, reports Erika Fry for Fortune. “All patients need to do after seeing their doctor is interface with the app (or via text) and pick up the prescription from their front door,” writes Fry.

CNBC

MIT startup Quaise Energy is developing an energy-based drill to make geothermal power more accessible, reports Catherine Clifford for CNBC. “The solution to drilling is to replace the mechanical grinding process with a pure energy-matter interaction,” says research scientist Paul Woskov. “Sufficient energy intensity will always melt-vaporize rock without need for physical tools.”

The Economist

The Economist highlights a paper by researchers from MIT and Stanford that finds new ideas are becoming harder to find in areas ranging from crop yields to microchip density. The Economist also spotlights how Prof. Danielle Li and Prof. Pierre Azoulay examined the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) model of funding and found that it “does best when its program directors have a clear understanding of the sort of breakthroughs that are needed.”

Associated Press

Ash Carter, a member of the MIT Corporation and innovation fellow, has died at the at the age of 68, reports Tara Copp for Associated Press. Carter – who opened combat jobs to women and ended the ban on transgender people serving in the military – was known “as a defensive thinker and strategist,” writes Copp.

Forbes

Forbes contributor Marija Butkovic spotlights Gloria Ro Kolb ’94, the founder of medical device company Elidah, which is developing “an external, home-use treatment for female urinary incontinence.” 

Bloomberg

MIT spinoff Quaise Energy is transforming a millimeter-wave drilling technique from nuclear fusion experiments to tap geothermal energy, reports Mark Bergen for Bloomberg. “The company’s drill – it is building three prototypes in laboratories – is about 100 feet tall and looks like convential equipment used in the oil and gas industry,” writes Bergen. “Except built into the center of the drill is a gyrotron, an electrical vacuum designed to heat plasma in thermonuclear fusion machines. 

The Boston Globe

MIT Museum Director John Durant speaks with Boston Globe reporter Mark Feeney about the significance of the new location of the MIT Museum and what makes the museum such a special place. Of the museum’s new home in the heart of Kendall Square, Durant says, “I think MIT is committing itself here to the importance of its museum as a kind of gateway institution, as a way of helping the wider community understand what MIT is about.”

The Washington Post

President L. Rafael Reif speaks with Washington Post correspondent David Lynch about innovation in America. “The U.S. is still innovating the way it once did, the problem is that the way it once did is not good enough now,” says Reif. “The global ecosystem is much more competitive. Others are doing very, very well. Others are catching up or running ahead of us. And we have to reassess our innovation ecosystem to figure out how to fine tune it to adapt to this new reality.”

Good Morning America

Milena Pagán ’11 speaks with Good Morning America about her inspiration for opening Little Sister Café, which is bringing a taste of Puerto Rican cuisine to Providence, Rhode Island. "This food is authentic to my experience, which is I lived half of my life in Puerto Rico, half of my life in America and I love to travel all over the world,” says Pagán, “so I'm just putting all of it together, and in that sense it's very authentic." 

NPR

David Moinina Sengeh MS ’12, PhD ’15 speaks with Ted Radio Hour host Manoush Zomorodi about his research in developing a more comfortable socket for prostheses. Sengeh “pioneered a new system for creating prosthetic sockets, which fit a prosthetic leg onto a patient's residual limb,” writes NPR.

Bloomberg

MIT spinoff Gradiant, a water treatment facility developer, is working on new technology aimed at limiting the amount of water needed to produce lithium, reports Annie Lee and Janet Wu for Bloomberg. Gradiant’s process “can vastly improve lithium recovery and allow almost all wastewater to be recycled, has been developed in connection with Schlumberger’s NeoLith Energy venture,” writes Lee and Wu.