Science + Technology

National report highlights two UCLA startups contributing to economy in significant ways

Two UCLA startups are featured in a new national report highlighting 100 companies that were founded as a result of federally funded university research and that have brought transformational innovations to market, created new jobs and contributed to economic growth.
"Sparking Economic Growth 2.0," released Oct. 29, was produced by the Science Coalition, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of more than 50 of the nation's leading public and private research universities, including UCLA.
Included in the report are Holomic LLC, a company that seeks to commercialize a new lens-free imaging technique invented by UCLA electrical engineering professor Aydogan Ozcan, and Tribogenics, which is based on X-ray technology developed by Seth Putterman, a UCLA professor of physics and astronomy.
"UCLA is a powerful hub for innovation and commercialization, and we are incredibly proud of that," said Brendan Rauw, associate vice chancellor and executive director of UCLA's Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Sponsored Research. "The technologies and devices created by our talented researchers make a real difference for the betterment of our global society."
Ozcan's imaging system, known as LUCAS (Lensless Ultra-wide-field Cell monitoring Array platform based on Shadow imaging), turns simple cellphones into powerful mobile microscopes and medical devices. This groundbreaking technology, which is cheap, lightweight and portable and can easily be attached to a standard smartphone to image and analyze fluid samples, has the potential to bring better health care and monitoring to impoverished and medically underserved areas of the globe.
Funding for Ozcan's research came from the Department of Defense, NASA, the National Institutes of Health, the Office of Naval Research and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Holomic LLC was founded in 2011 and currently employs eight people.
Tribogenics, which also was founded in 2011 and currently employs a staff of 15, was founded on research led by Putterman, whose team developed small, powerful and cost-effective X-ray sources for use in the mining, military and medical industries. This technology eliminates the need for high voltage and allows for the use of X-rays in a variety of applications and settings that weren't previously possible.
Putterman's research was supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Defense.
Holomic LLC and Tribogenics represent UCLA's success in creating startups that aid in the commercialization of UCLA research for the public benefit. The university currently boasts more than 100 active companies on record, with roughly 20 new companies being founded each year, an important contribution to the local and state economies and business and job creation, as noted in UCLA's recently released Economic Impact Report.
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