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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.

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Scott Kirsner spotlights the work of Katie Rae, CEO of The Engine, on his roundup of some of the key figures in Boston’s tech network. The Engine is “for startups focused on ‘tough tech,’ technology that can often take years to perfect and build a business around,” writes Kirsner.

Bloomberg

Katie Rae, CEO of The Engine, an entity created by MIT to help support tough tech startups, speaks with Akshat Rathi of Bloomberg about the importance of investing in climate technology. “We have fundamental risks that, if we don’t tackle with real deep science and engineering, that will take us a full step forward, or two steps forward, we’re in trouble,” says Rae.

Newsweek

Hasier Larrea MS ’15 - CEO of Ori, a company that creates expandable tiny apartments - writes for Newsweek about his journey and inspiration for developing expandable housing options. Larrea writes that Ori is focused on creating, “expandable urban apartments that are more flexible, functional, affordable and sustainable—in short, living spaces that can suit the amazing diversity of people who want to live in the world's most incredible cities.”

Reuters

VulcanForms, an MIT startup co-founded by Prof. John Hart, is a 3D printing company that aims to provide cutting edge, clean and futuristic manufacturing, reports Timothy Aeppel for Reuters. “VulcanForms builds metal parts by layering on and fusing together materials bit by bit – rather than cutting them out of blocks of metal or stamping them out in metal foundries,” writes Aeppel.

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Kyle Wiggers spotlights DynamoFl, a company founded by Christian Lau PhD ’20 and Vaikkunth Mugunthan PhD ’22 that is developing a federated learning platform, a technique for preserving data privacy in AI systems. 

TechCrunch

Research scientist Barmak Heshmat, CEO and founder of MIT spinout Brelyon, speaks with TechCrunch reporter Haje Jan Kamps about the company’s work in immersive digital monitors. “Our logic is pretty simple: If we can give you even half of the immersion of headsets with a device that doesn’t have to sit on your face and works with all existing content, then that would be a much more compelling progression of your computer experience and thus a better bridge to the emerging metaverse,” says Heshmat.

Fortune

Researchers from MIT’s Research Laboratory for Electronics have developed a portable desalinator that can turn seawater into safe drinking water, reports Ian Mount for Fortune. Research scientist Jongyoon Han and graduate student Bruce Crawford have created Nona Technologies to commercialize the product, writes Mount.

Forbes

Prof. Hari Balakrishnan speaks with Forbes contributor Stuart Anderson about his decision to leave India to pursue a PhD in computer science in the U.S., his love for teaching students as a professor at MIT and his work co-founding Cambridge Mobile Telematics, a software company that utilizes technology to make roads safer. “Immigration and immigrants make the United States stronger,” said Balakrishnan. “Immigration is the biggest strength that we have. We need to be able to attract and retain talent, no matter where people come from.”

Vox

MIT and Harvard startup GiveDirectly, “identifies poor people and villages, usually in developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and distributes cash to them directly, usually via cellphone payment, instead of donations like food and livestock,” reports Dylan Matthews for Vox.

The Boston Globe

Boston Metal, an MIT startup, is working to transition the steel industry from coal-based fuel to sustainably produced electricity, reports Scott Kirsner for The Boston Globe. The “key to making iron and steel production less environmentally damaging is getting access to sustainable power from wind, solar, hydro, or nuclear, and finding ways to store that power to use when it’s needed, such as in large-scale batteries,” explains Kirsner.

Fast Company

Jamie Earl White BS ’10, MS ’12 speaks with Fast Company reporter Clint Rainey about his startup, Unit of Work, which provides free consulting to workers trying to unionize their workplaces. “Our goal is to get resources to workers in underserved workplaces, but not make them a part of our own union,” says White. “We act more like consultants who help them get where they want to be with unionizing their workplace.”

The Wall Street Journal

Researchers from MIT, Harvard University, and the Georgia Institute of Technology have examined the impact of tech startups working in close proximity, reports Cheryl Winokur Munk for The Wall Street Journal. The researchers found that “'knowledge spillovers' were greatest between dissimilar startups that worked within 20 meters (22 yards) of each other,” writes Munk. “Working in such close range allowed for socialization, which in turn led to idea sharing about the types of technology the startups were using as part of their overall tech infrastructure.”

The Boston Globe

Alumni Carter Huffman ’14 and Mike Pappas ’14 co-founded Modulate, an artificial intelligence technology that helps differentiate between friendly banter and inappropriate outbursts in video game voice chats, reports Scott Kirsner for The Boston Globe.  “Modulate highlights for a game’s human moderators the most severe violations of the game’s guidelines and allows them to decide on the consequences after they examine the situation,” writes Kirsner. “They may send the player a warning, mute them temporarily, or ban them from the game.”

The Boston Globe

Prof. Mircea Dincă and Grama Sorin co-founded Transaera, a company dedicated to designing air conditioners that require significantly less energy, reports Scott Kirsner for The Boston Globe. “Grama and Dincă cofounded Transaera in 2018 and supported their early work with about $2 million in state and federal grants, from agencies that included the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center,” writes Kirsner.