innovation economy

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Furman cited for excellence by global organization see more

    Furman University’s Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has been named an Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Center by the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers, a group of more than 250 universities.

    Other recipients of the 2020 award were Boston University, Eastern Washington University and Smith College. The centers, which had to have been nominated for the award within five years of launching, were judged on early success, engagement with stakeholders on and off campus, an established management team, novel or unique approaches and clearly established goals and objectives. Winners in recent years include Dartmouth College, Brown University, Vanderbilt University, Virginia Tech and Babson College.

    “This recognition is a testament to Furman’s commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship and the unparalleled support by the campus community, alumni, parents, community members, administration and Board of Trustees,” said Anthony Herrera, executive director of Furman Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “In just two short years, we have built a globally recognized institute and paved a way for Furman to lead nationally among liberal arts and sciences universities in the space of innovation and entrepreneurship.”

    According to Herrera, three strengths set Furman apart from other universities. 

    “Our engaged faculty and students from across disciplines; strong ties with the community, including city and state government organizations as well as local venture capital groups; and a core group of alumni and parents who provide financial support, make the effort self-sustaining,” he noted.

    “This award signals that a liberal arts and sciences education can be a catalyst for innovation, that students who come to Furman can have a profoundly impactful experience as innovators and entrepreneurs regardless of their choice of major,” said Furman President Elizabeth Davis. “We are grateful that the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers recognized Furman’s role in creating an ecosystem of entrepreneurship for our students, faculty and the community.”

    “The heart of innovation and entrepreneurship is creativity, in identifying opportunities and solving problems,” said Kem Wilson III ’98, a Furman trustee and alumnus, principal of Kemmons Wilson Companies and supporter of Furman Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “The entrepreneurial experience Furman students can experience will benefit them regardless of their career path.” Wilson’s grandfather founded Holiday Inn. The company that bears his name now manages a diverse portfolio of companies spanning a myriad of industries, from hospitality to green technology to consumer brands.

    Furman Innovation and Entrepreneurship sprang from The Furman Advantage and its focus on self-discovery, engaging the community and experiential education. It launched in August 2018 with Herrera’s hiring and has become “a perfect vehicle to encourage cross-disciplinary thinking and provide students, faculty and community members a place to participate in engaged learning experiences,” Herrera said.

    Early successes include:

    • pitch competition that attracted more than 80 student competitors and culminated in the most-attended pitch competition in South Carolina’s history; 530 people attending the final round between six students, where $30,000 in startup grants were awarded.
    • The Summer Business & Innovation virtual boot camp that has attracted 42 students from 10 universities across the Southeast. Following the boot camp, the City of Greenville funded 10 student internships with local startup ventures.
    • A virtual academy for high school students that led 62 teens from 11 states and 11 countries through a capstone project to pitch a venture in innovation and entrepreneurship, sustainability or community health.
    • The “Class E Podcast,” produced in partnership with the Furman Department of Communication Studies, which presents biweekly talks and interviews with entrepreneurs, innovators and disruptors from the Furman network. Fourteen episodes have drawn more than 1,000 listeners.
    • Leading in Times of Crisis,” a series of six virtual workshops for corporate, entrepreneurial and nonprofit leaders that attracted more than 1,000 registrants.
    • Collaborations, partnerships and ongoing relationships with organizations, including the City of Greenville, SCBIO, Upstate SC Alliance, Greenville Area Development Corporation,  Build Carolina, Village Launch, NEXT, 6AM and VentureSouth.

    In addition to continuing and expanding its programs, Furman Innovation and Entrepreneurship has extensive plans to become more engaged and integrated with Greenville, the Upstate and South Carolina. Herrera expects to make several announcements over the coming months about partnerships with corporate and community stakeholders.

    For information about Furman Innovation and Entrepreneurship, or to contribute financially, contact Anthony Herrera at anthony.herrera@furman.edu.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    MUSC FRD honors innovators, patent recipients at virtual gala... see more

    Congratulations to all of the honorees from the recent John N. Vournakis NAI Induction Ceremony and Annual Adm. Albert J. Baciocco Innovator of the Year Reception.  Learn about teh honorees and this highly anticipated annual event right here!

    Click to read...

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Key evidence to be presented at AACR 2020 see more

    KIYATEC, Inc. today announced that it will present data at the 2020 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting, June 22-24, revealing how its 3D cell culture models characterize ex vivo tumor response and immunoreactivity to immune checkpoint inhibitors (i.e. PD-1, PD-L1 inhibitors) in solid tumors. These emerging capabilities address a significant unmet need in both preclinical drug development and clinical decision-making in oncology.

    PD-1/L1 inhibitors have experienced meteoric growth over the last decade, offering hope to hundreds of thousands of cancer patients every year in the US alone. However, typically no more than 25-30% of eligible cancer patients who receive PD-1/L1 inhibitors actually respond to them. Given that the direct costs associated with PD-1/L1 therapy can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars per patient, KIYATEC believes that pre-treatment, patient-specific PD-1/L1 response prediction could one day offer clinicians, patients and payers a more objective basis for determining PD-1/L1 inhibitor patient eligibility vs. today’s commonly used population-based biomarkers. 

    Evidence presented by KIYATEC at AACR 2020 will highlight findings of the company’s ability to detect dose-dependent response to checkpoint blockade and corresponding correlation with immune cell activation in high-throughput ex vivo 3D tumor spheroid models. KIYATEC believes these recent advances may represent key building blocks toward the eventual development and validation of clinical assays capable of accurate pre-treatment, patient-specific prediction of response to immuno-oncology drugs. 

    “We’re constantly innovating and expanding the capabilities of our 3D cell culture technologies to reduce the cost and risk of preclinical drug development for our immuno-oncology customers,” said Matthew Gevaert, CEO of KIYATEC. “As we continue to make these advances in immuno-oncology drug response on higher-throughput platforms, we can begin to envision a time when such capability would inform clinical decision-making for cancer patients as well.”

    KIYATEC’s poster presentations at AACR 2020 are as follows:

    Title: Multifaceted functional assessment of checkpoint inhibitor efficacy using 3D tumor spheroids

    • Abstract: 7397 / Poster: 315 / Session: 3D & Tissue Recombinant Models / June 22-24

     

    Title: PARP inhibition in combination with pembrolizumab enhances cytotoxicity in ovarian cancer patient-derived 3D spheroids

     

    Title: The perfused 3DKUBETM rare tumor assay models in vivo drug response

    • Abstract: 7132 / Poster: 2244 / Session: Immune Checkpoints 2 / June 22-24

     

    About KIYATEC, Inc.

    KIYATEC leverages its proprietary ex vivo 3D cell culture technology platforms to accurately model and predict response to approved and investigational cancer drugs targeting a spectrum of solid tumors. The company’s Drug Development Services business works in partnership with leading biopharmaceutical companies to unlock response dynamics for their investigational drug candidates across the majority of solid tumor types. The company’s Clinical Services business is currently engaged in the validation of clinical assays as well as investigator-initiated studies in ovarian cancer, breast cancer, glioblastoma and rare tumors, in its CLIA-certified laboratory. To learn more about KIYATEC, visit www.kiyatec.com.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Prisma Health, USC to collaborate on innovations see more

    The University of South Carolina and Prisma Health – the state’s largest not-for-profit health organization – are announcing a partnership that aims to encourage the development and implementation of innovative health care delivery models, medical devices, digital health applications, and treatments for diseases.

    Under the arrangement, which was approved by UofSC’s Board of Trustees on February 21, the University’s Office of Economic Engagement will assist Prisma Health – along with the UofSC Schools of Medicine in Columbia and Greenville – in identifying opportunities to develop mutually beneficial relationships with industry partners, bridging the gap between Prisma Health’s cutting-edge health research and the development of new technologies that help patients.

    “At Prisma Health, we strive to go beyond treating diseases or their symptoms and aim to find cures and to design medical devices and digital capabilities that allow us to restore and transform lives,” said Mark O’Halla, President and Chief Executive Officer at Prisma Health. “Harnessing our expertise and that of the University of South Carolina together will help us accelerate our ability to address society’s most significant health challenges.“

    Specifically, Prisma Health and UofSC will collaborate on a number of opportunities, including intellectual property patents and technology transfer support, operations development, cybersecurity, institutional insights, and strategic planning – all towards the shared goal of furthering research and innovation towards improving treatments and health care delivery.  At its core, this partnership will drive innovation through UofSC’s extended successes delivering education, mentoring programs, and incubation asset development, as well as Prisma Health’s experience in leveraging its clinical and non-clinical expertise  in the health care market, to drive innovations from benchside prototypes to clinical outcomes. 

    “This strengthens the outstanding partnership that already exists with Prisma Health. We are greatly committed to addressing the health needs of all South Carolina residents, and working together with Prisma in academics, research and patient care will make a real difference,” said UofSC President Bob Caslen.

    As the state’s flagship university, UofSC is uniquely suited to help Prisma Health develop research or innovation partnerships that can lead to higher healthcare outcomes for patients across the state. This new relationship builds off of previous partnerships the university had with Prisma Health and its legacy predecessors, Greenville Health System and Palmetto Health, before they combined in 2019 to form Prisma Health. 

    “We have an extensive history of facilitating and supporting innovation efforts across multiple sectors,” said Bill Kirkland, executive director of UofSC’s Office of Economic Engagement. “Through this partnership with Prisma Health, we will now apply our commercialization and entrepreneurial successes to healthcare and life sciences.  While this relationship will bear fruit for both insitutions, the real winners are the people of South Carolina, who stand to benefit from better access to care, innovative treatments, and the latest applications of research.”

    “Prisma Health is committed to improving the health of South Carolinians,”  said Brenda Thames, Prisma Health chief academic executive officer. “We are adapting to an ever-changing and increasingly challenging healthcare environment by becoming a learning health system that adopts rapid cycle innovation processes. While research provides the mechanism for evaluating and comparing the effectiveness of existing care models, innovation allows us to develop and improve new care models.”

    Dr. David Cull, Prisma Health vice president of clinical and academic integration, added, “Through this partnership, we will create, test, and implement innovative initiatives that challenge the status quo and have the potential to reduce the cost of care, improve quality, and increase access to healthcare services.”

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Commerce Office of Innovation introduces Scribble for the innovation community see more

    COLUMBIA, S.C. - The S.C. Department of Commerce's Office of Innovation today announced the launch of Scribble - an online tool for the state's innovation community. Providing individuals and businesses a platform to access resources, this new site is designed to highlight South Carolina's exceptional ingenuity and create a common place for users to access a variety of helpful tools.

    "South Carolina's burgeoning innovation sector has come a long way, and this new, state-of-the-art platform will ensure that entrepreneurs have all they need to thrive," said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. "Inspired by our human nature to document or write down that 'ah-ha' moment, we're excited to celebrate our innovators through Scribble."

    With access to company video features, podcasts, blogs and events, Scribble allows users to create a profile to save resources and content, further enhancing the innovation community's connectivity. Launched at the 2019 DigSouth Tech Summit in Charleston, S.C., Scribble will help innovators connect with startup programs, venture capital and other resources around the state.

    For more information, visit www.scribblesc.com.