University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Showcase on Capitol Hill Spotlights Startup Company AEIOU Scientific Born Out of Federally-Funded Research at Ohio University

AEIOU Scientific, a startup commercializing innovative research conducted at Ohio University, was featured at The University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Showcase April 10 on Capitol Hill. Its noninvasive device is intended to improve diagnosis of osteoporosis. Hosted by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the Association of American Universities, the event spotlights twenty startup companies using federally funded, university-based research.

Washington, DC, April 11, 2019 --( AEIOU Scientific, a business born of research conducted at Ohio University, was selected through a highly competitive process and was featured at The University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Showcase April 10 on Capitol Hill. Hosted by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the Association of American Universities, the event will spotlight twenty startup companies from across the nation that have created products and services using federally funded, university-based research.

The showcase highlighted the important role of federally funded university research in driving high-value entrepreneurship and the U.S. innovation economy for members of Congress, their staff, and national economic development and innovation policy leaders. Speakers included: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Director Andrei Iancu; National Institute of Standards and Technology Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Services Phillip Singerman; House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chair Eddie Bernice Johnson and Ranking Member Frank Lucas; APLU President Peter McPherson; and AAU President Mary Sue Coleman.

AEIOU Scientific (AEIOU) is startup company commercializing Ohio University’s Cortical Bone Mechanics Technology™ (CBMT) to predict the strength of bone in living humans. CBMT is the first non-invasive and radiation-free test to accurately measure ulna bending and make other direct functional measurements of structural mechanical properties of bone in vivo. CBMT has been demonstrated to be significantly more accurate than alternatives such as bone mineral density (BMD) scans in predicting bone strength/fragility in cortical bone studies. AEIOU currently markets a scientific lab instrument for human bone research studies. AEIOU received a $477,000 Phase I SBIR grant from the NIH National Institute on Aging that was essential for technology validation and commercialization. The Company’s SBIR grant is critical now to its development of a CBMT medical device that may improve the diagnosis of osteoporosis (fragility fracture risk), a disease that will affect 44 million Americans at a cost of billions of dollars annually.

Development of the CBMT technology began almost a decade ago, in the laboratory of Anne Loucks, a professor of biological sciences in Ohio University’s College of Arts and Sciences. While conducting research on female athletes who experienced bone fractures, Loucks discovered that existing technologies did not accurately measure or predict bone strength. Federal research funding to her lab was essential to beginning the development of a solution and collection of preliminary data. Then in 2014, the Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute provided seed funding to Professor Loucks to support the project. In early 2016, Ohio University’s Innovation Strategy program awarded a team led by Loucks, co-inventor Lyn Bowman of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Brian Clark of the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine a $875,000 grant to further develop the patent-pending technology.

“This is a great example of a public-private partnership working,” said AEIOU president and CEO Jeff Spitzner. “Our story would not be happening without the federal research funding to the academic institution to perform the fundamental research and then SBIR funding to support important high-risk early stage commercial R&D that typically does not get funded by the private sector to validate the technology and ready it for market and investment. Federal research funding is not an expense, it is an investment in the future of our country. In this case, a future in which we hope AEIOU will improve the health and quality of life for millions of Americans and save the healthcare system billions of dollars through better targeting of osteoporosis treatment. Furthermore,” said Spitzner, “Ohio University’s commitment to commercialization and the outstanding resources it supports, such as its Innovation Center where AEIOU maintains its lab and offices, makes it an easy choice to grow our company here in Athens, Ohio, where we hope to add new jobs and opportunities to this Appalachian region in Southeast Ohio that needs it – a further benefit of federal and State of Ohio research funding we have received.”

“Path-breaking research is fundamental to the mission of public universities,” said APLU President McPherson. “Strong federal investment in university-based research is essential for our nation because that research provides the foundation for the development of new technologies that save lives, make us more secure, improve our quality of life, and power our economy forward. We’re thrilled to highlight some of the best startups sparked out of that investment to demonstrate how university-based research fuels innovation and entrepreneurship across the country. These startups are examples of why 88 percent of voters agree it’s important for the federal government to fund science and technology research. Scientific research spurs economic growth.”

Of the showcase, AAU President Mary Sue Coleman said: “The partnership between the government and American research universities lies at the heart of the U.S. scientific and higher education enterprise. This unique American partnership has empowered entrepreneurs to start companies and entire new industries that have advanced our health, national security, and economy.”

Startups were chosen by a selection committee comprised of innovation experts who considered the level of student engagement in the startup, the strength of the startup technology, and its connection to research. The committee also factored whether the affiliated university had earned APLU’s Innovation & Economic Prosperity University designation, a national recognition for higher education institutions that have demonstrated a substantial and sustainable commitment to promoting economic development.

In addition to Ohio University and AEIOU Scientific, the following universities and startups participated in the showcase:

KIYATEC (Clemson University)

MicroRid Technologies (Stony Brook University)

TissueForm (University of Colorado-Boulder):

Skylark Wireless (Rice University)

Xallent (Cornell University)

Ferric Contrast (University at Buffalo, SUNY)

Florida Insect Control Group (University of Florida)

Eonix (SUNY Polytechnic Institute)

N-Sense (Iowa State University)

NOWA Innovations (UC-Irvine)

Entrada Therapeutics (Ohio State University)

Lumme (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)

AEIOU Scientific (Ohio University)

Soteria Solutions (University of New Hampshire)

SpotLESS Materials (Penn State University)

Zeno Power (Vanderbilt University)

Magnitude Instruments (Penn State University)

Eco Carbon Tech (Washington State University)

Haptimage (Purdue University)

Roll-2-Roll Technologies (Oklahoma State University)
AEIOU Scientific LLC
Hannah Gleason