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Museum of Science honors four New England companies with 'Invented Here' awards

Posted by Scott Kirsner  September 21, 2012 12:34 PM

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Boston's Museum of Science held its second annual "Invented Here" awards ceremony last night, in partnership with the Boston Patent Law Association. The event "honors New England's newest and most innovative technologies," according to a press release. "We aim to showcase breakthrough technologies that will fulfill important individual and/or social needs in novel ways, and ensure a more sustainable future for our environment."

Here are the four companies that received awards, with descriptions supplied by the Museum. (Pictured at right are a pair of $90 padded "Crash Shorts" from G-Form LLC of Rhode Island, one of the winners.) Love that one winner makes knee pads and elbow pads for extreme athletes, and another makes a customizable implant for broken bones... Synergy, baby!

IlluminOss Medical Bone Stabilization System Inventors: Robert Rabiner, Dennis Colleran, Anthony O'Leary, Justin Dye, Mark Drew Assignee: IlluminOss Medical, Inc. (East Providence, RI)

The patented IlluminOss Photodynamic Bone Stabilization System is a revolutionary orthopedic system for minimally invasive stabilization and treatment of broken bones. The ground breaking IlluminOss Photodynamic Bone Stabilization System fixes fractured bones from the inside out. By positioning a customizable implant into the intramedullary cavity of the fractured bone, support and stability for the bone fracture is achieved as the bone is healing. The system utilizes a photodynamic (light-curable) reinforcing material to customize the implant in the body, and is intended to eliminate the need for traditional, inconvenient and painful methods of bone fixation with external pins, plates and screws.

iWalk Power-Foot BiOm
Inventors: Hugh Herr, Joaquin Blaya, Gill Pratt
Assignee: MIT (Cambridge, MA)

The invention is a variable-impedance active ankle foot orthosis (Power-Foot BiOM) that simulates the responsiveness of a human foot and ankle joint to changes in gait during a normal walking cycle. The orthosis allows individuals, whether they are single or double amputees, or the victims of loss of motor control, such as from stroke, to walk, run and negotiate stairs with a normal stride and at variable speed.

TeraDiode Wavelength Beam Combining
Inventors: Bien Chann, Tso Yee Fan, Antonio Sanchez-Rubio
Assignee: MIT (Cambridge, MA)

The invention is an apparatus and a method for combining the output of any number of laser emitters, of any type, wavelength or power, into a single, incoherent laser beam while retaining the brightness of the original emitters (brightness = watts/steradian/square centimeter). The invention is called wavelength beam combining, or WBC. In less technical terms, imagine one thousand laser pointers, each emitting 10 milliwatts of laser light. An industrial laser product with WBC at its core is expected to launch in 2012. This kilowatt-class laser will be aimed at the global metal cutting market, which includes automotive, consumer products, aerospace, and medical devices among its segments. TeraDiode has won numerous defense contracts since 2010, and is delivering a series of experimental systems to its customers.

G-Form Flexible Cushion Pads (Fan Favorite)
Inventors: Daniel Wyner, Richard Fox, Thomas Cafaro, Stephanie Rogers, Ami Newsham, David Foster
Assignee: G-Form, LLC (North Scituate, RI)

G-Form's proprietary Reactive Protection Technology (RPT) leverages a composite blend of rate-dependent and other proprietary materials and technologies to provide athletes with superior protection without compromising range-of-motion. Other protective pads can be heavy, hot, non-breathable, and restrictive. G-Form's pads are lightweight, flexible and conform to your body shape so that they are comfortable and don't get in your way. On impact, at a molecular level, the pads absorb the shock by stiffening temporarily like body armor, and then immediately return to their soft and flexible form. The harder the impact, the more G-Form's RPT reacts, absorbing 94% of the impact forces. G-Form also integrates the same proprietary RPT in to protective cases for cell phones, tablets, and laptops.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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