MSU Innovation Celebration

Tthe fourth annual MSU Innovation Celebration was Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 4-6 p.m. in the Huntington Club on the 4th floor of Spartan Stadium.

This networking reception showcases innovative technologies developed in campus labs and beyond. We honor MSU researchers who reported an invention, licensed a technology or were awarded patents during the academic year, and recognize the winners of awards for innovation and achievement in technology transfer.

Awardee Jim Hancock, Brian Abraham, Awardee Robert Abramovitch, Steven Hsu, Charles Hasemann, Rich Chylla, Awardee Anil Jain

The award for Innovation of the Year went to  Dr. Robert Abramovitch, Associate Professor, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, for his development of  Tuberculosis Anti-Virulence Chemical Compounds. Tuberculosis (TB) represents one of the single most lethal infectious agents worldwide, second only in lethality to HIV/AIDS according to the World Health Organization. This technology is a pair of biosensors that enable the identification of compounds that inhibit M. tuberculosis virulence adaptation physiologies required for chronic infections. One reason that TB has proven difficult to eradicate, particularly in poorer countries, is that current therapies require a six month long course of drugs to cure the disease. This has resulted in continued spread of the disease and the emergence of multidrug resistant TB. The compounds may work to cut TB treatment time considerably from the current average of 6 months.

The 2014 Innovator of the Year is Dr. Anil Jain, Professor, Department of Computer Science & Engineering for his work in Biometrics. Biometrics, the science of identifying individuals based on physical traits, represents a world market of over $10B. Once limited to fingerprints and composite sketches, the field is now on the cutting edge of digital technology. Jain’s research advances rapid facial and fingerprint recognition, to foil ever-advancing attempts to avoid detection. Results address challenges in terrorism, crime, and securing sensitive digital records. Dr. Jain’s work not only represents continued advancement in the realm of biometrics, but also serves as a critical rebuttal to the methods employed by criminals to thwart established biometric identification practices.

The 2014 MSU Technology Transfer Achievement Award is awarded to Dr. James Hancock, Professor, Agriculture and Natural Resources for hiswork in Northern Highbush Blueberry Cultivars.  Blueberries are highly praised for their antioxidant properties and micronutrient profile. Prof. Hancock has released four new Northern Highbush blueberry varieties: Draper, Liberty, Aurora and Huron. All have excellent fruit quality, are highly productive, produce robust and exposed berries that can be machine harvested, and have a long shelf life.  Dr. Hancock’s innovations regarding these new varieties of Northern highbush blueberries represent highly productive means of generating flavorful and long-lasting blueberries.   Draper, Liberty, Aurora and Huron are planted worldwide in areas suitable for Northern Highbush varieties. Approximately twenty million plants of these four varieties have been sold. They represent approximately 10% of worldwide Northern Highbush blueberry acreage, making them among the most widely planted of all Northern Highbush varieties.


MSU Innovation Center recognizes inventors and inventions - See more at:


AFEX Biomass Processing

Bruce Dale                                                                       

Department: ENG/Chemical Engineering

Via MSU Today: Award aids MSU biofuel technology development


"Imported from China" Documentary film (TEC2014-0034)

Geraldine Zeldes & Troy Hale

Department: COMM ARTS/School of Journalism

Via WKAR: "Imported from China" Highlights Rapid Growth of Chinese International Students


Laser for standoff detection (TEC2013-0111)

Marcos Dantus

Department: NAT SCI/Chemistry

Via MSU Today: Bomb Detecting Lasers Could Improve Security Checkpoints


Natural mineral tetrahedrite as a direct source of thermoelectric materials (TEC2013-0001 and TEC2014-0003)

Donald Morelli

Department: ENG/Chemical Engineering

Via MSU Today: Energy Savings: Easy at Dirt, Heat, Pressure


Non-Invasive Diagnosis of Gastroesophageal Reflux Using Very Low-Frequency Accelerometric Detection (TEC2008-0003)

Ira Gewolb

Department: HUM MED/Pediatrics & Human Development

Via MSU Today: Noninvasive baby reflux monitor among funded MSU innovations


Parkinson’s Research (TEC2014-0038 and/or TEC2013-0022)

Jack Lipton

Department: HUM MED/Translational Science & Molecular Medicine

Via MSU Today: MSU becoming center of excellence for Parkinson’s research


Silicone Veterinary Surgical Models (TEC2014-0028)

Beatrice Biddinger

Department: VET MED/Small Animal Clinic


Software for Fingerprint Detection, Face Sketch Detection

Anil Jain

Department: ENG/Computer Sciences & Engineering

Via MSU Today: 3D Fingerprint Phantoms Improve Fingerprint Matching Technology


MSU Spin Out Showcase: CourseWeaver

Rob Fulk, CEO

Via CBS Detroit: Learning Management Buyout: East Lansing’s CourseWeaver Acquires EduCog


Student StartUp: Folyo

Folyo is a social e-commerce platform that allows college students to sell their artwork.


Student StartUp: Air Fuel

Air Fuel is a wind-powered turbine used by cyclists to charge tracking, GPS and biometric devices.


Student StartUp: Carbon Cash

Carbon Cash offers students the ability to track and reduce their energy usage, and earn rewards while doing it.

Via MSU Today: Cashing In On Carbon Cash


Archived Info

Read more about 2012, 2013 award winners