The Partnership for Economic Innovation (PEI), a passionate collective of business and community leaders dedicated to accelerating Arizona’s economic opportunities, announced that the Arizona Commerce Authority had awarded over $1.8 million to support 8 new applied research projects through its WearTech Applied Research Center. State funding matches private and nonstate funds committed by the industry partners.
The applied research model accelerates product development and commercialization of new technologies by combining private and public sector support. PEI’s WearTech Applied Research Center focuses on guiding biomedical technology projects from the initial idea generation phase to project formation, validation and commercialization, effectively helping develop innovative tools that are instrumental to improving quality of life. The WearTech Center has so far supported the development and the path to commercialization of wearable technology projects, including a quasi-active wearable exoskeleton and a mixed reality medical training headband both allowing users to improve performance in their respective industries.
“At the WearTech Applied Research Center, we’ve witnessed several of our project teams validate their devices and bring them into the market because we’re able to partner them with businesses and universities,” said Kathleen Lee, Director of Applied Research Centers for the Partnership for Economic Innovation. “We are grateful to the Arizona Legislature for setting aside these public funds for applied research and appreciate the Arizona Commerce Authority for awarding these funds to help us advance critical research projects.”
During the 2022 legislative session, the State Legislature appropriated $3 million to distribute to applied research centers and institutes across the state for wearable technology applied research. The Arizona Commerce Authority then awarded funds to selected applicants of its Applied Research Program, including $1.8 million to a new cohort of 8 projects housed under the WearTech Applied Research Center. This funding will support new projects aiming to address issues like treating stress-related disorders, assisting, and supporting pain management, improving early diagnoses of cognitive decline, and more.
“The WearTech Applied Research Center’s new projects are helping establish Arizona as a leader in the wearable technology sector while de-risking public and private investments in future technologies,” said John Graham, President and CEO of Sunbelt Holdings and Board Chair of the Partnership for Economic Innovation. “Investment in these life-changing technologies will accelerate innovation and allow us to redefine what health looks like for millions of Arizonans.”
The WearTech Center’s newly unveiled cohort of eight projects each partner with one of Arizona’s universities including Arizona State University, University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University and Grand Canyon University. The projects are:
- Medtronic’s “Acute Kidney Injury and Chronic Heart Failure Wearable Monitor” is a wearable monitor that helps detect acute kidney injury and chronic heart failure.
- CenSyn’s “PenEEG Platform” is aportable concussion and recovery management device that allows sports trainers, athletes, and neurologists to track brain injuries.
- Hypersound Medical’s product is a wearable device that uses microwave to support pain management by providing immediate relief to people suffering from pain.
- ReSuture’s wearable capacitive sensor bed is a sensor that collects pressure data during surgeries so surgeons can make surgeries safer and smarter.
- Paxauris’ “Worker Safety Hearable” is a device that measures critical health data to protect a worker’s hearing.
- TF Health’s “Smart Driving Pad” is a sensing system that assesses driver performance and other factors of age-related cognitive decline to help healthcare practitioners diagnose and treat Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia.
- TouchPoint’s “Thodian™” is an AI-powered device that releases gentle vibrations to relieve over 70% of stress in 30 seconds.