75 MPG | high-tech manufacturing | Regenerative medicine
“What is now proved was once only imagined.” — William Blake, English poet and painter
June 4, 2020
ON THE RADAR: MANUFACTURING
Detroit has an electric pickup truck competitor
Photo courtesy, Lordstown Motors
There’s a new player in the electric pickup truck market and it’s not Elon Musk. Lordstown Motors, an Ohio company founded last year, will begin selling its all-electric Endurance pickup truck next year. The company will produce 20,000 pickups next year and will begin taking orders after a “virtual reveal” in June. The company claims the Endurance will be more powerful and less expensive to operate than a Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado, or Dodge Ram.
Over the life of the vehicle, the Endurance is significantly cheaper to operate. And with only four moving parts in the whole truck, the Endurance should also be very low maintenance. With no transmission, drive axle, or gears to fail, there should be very few trips to the garage for service.
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Minnesota college to build high-tech manufacturing lab
The U.S. Commerce Department has awarded a $2.5 million grant to a Minnesota college to build a training lab to develop the manufacturing workforce of the future. St. Cloud Technical and Community College hopes to help Minnesota manufacturers fill high-tech manufacturing jobs with skilled workers.
The grant is projected to pack a significant economic-development punch, creating nearly 1,300 jobs. Officials expect the project to generate $38 million in private investment. Private companies will also provide equipment, training, and apprenticeships.
The St. Cloud program will provide opportunities for students who want to learn the skills to land good jobs in manufacturing. It will also double the size of the college’s energy and electronics programs.
FLYOVER U RESEARCH
IU makes big investment in regenerative medicine
Image by Iaremenko Sergii for Shutterstock
Regenerative medicine sounds too good to be true: regrowing damaged organs or limbs, curing diabetes by growing insulin-producing cells, regrowing burn-damaged tissue and blood vessels. But it’s an emerging field of medicine, and Indiana University wants to lead that field. To that end, the Indiana University School of Medicine has lured one of the field’s leading experts and pledged $20 million over five years to tackle the field’s challenges.
One impressive aspect of regenerative medicine that distinguishes it from most forms of medicine today is that it doesn’t involve pills or devices. Instead, doctors modify the body’s own functions to heal itself. One procedure, called tissue nanotransfection, uses a brief electrical charge to change skin cell types.
The IU team hopes they can use it to regrow blood vessels and create insulin-secreting cells. And while that tech is still far off, researchers have the attention of investors and entrepreneurs. There are more than 1,000 regenerative-medicine clinical trials going on today.
Duke researchers study cord blood as possible autism treatment
Researchers at Duke University are studying whether cord blood could improve social communications skills in children diagnosed with autism. A study of 180 children aged 2-7 showed improvements in language communication, the ability to sustain attention, and increased EEG power in a subgroup of autistic kids without an intellectual disability.
The Duke scientists believe the key to the potential therapy is monocytes, immune modulating cells in cord blood. The blood could come from a donor or from the child’s own body. Monocytes in the lab have been shown to reduce a type of brain inflammation that afflicts children with autism. Encouraged by the initial findings, the researchers have already designed an ongoing study to test cell therapies in older children.
FUELING THE FUTURE
Image by Shutterstock
GE Lighting bought by Boston firm
Boston’s Savant Systems Inc. has bought GE Lighting, headquartered in East Cleveland. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but a Wall Street Journal article said the sale price was $250 million.
Canadian pork producer buys MN processing facility
HyLife, a leading pork producer in Canada, is buying 75% equity interest in Prime Pork LLC from the Taylor Corporation.
Dayton area company sold to Graphic Village
Woman- and minority-owned DMS Ink, based in Yellow Springs, has been bought by Cincy’s Graphic Village, a print marketing business. The deal closed May 19th.
NC startup raises $1.5M
Medical device startup URO-1, based in Winston-Salem, has raised $1.5 million in equity. Total investment since 2017 is $2.62 million, with the round capped at about $4 million.
Greater Cincy packaging company has been acquired
Cincinnati Co-Packing & Warehousing Co. has been sold to Keller Logistics Group, based in Defiance, OH. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Pittsburgh startup wants kids to eat healthy
Since time immemorial, some kids (and adults) have refused to eat their vegetables. And with an unlimited array of junk food at kids’ disposal, there’s a health crisis caused by poor diet. Now, a Pittsburgh startup wants to help kids choose to eat healthy foods.
Feed LittleMoochi a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy, and the animated pet will smile and appear happy and active. Feed it nothing but chicken fingers and doughnuts, and LittleMoochi will appear ill and ask for vegetables and other healthy foods.
But the key is education: As the children interact with their virtual pets, they learn how diet affects their health and which foods are healthy.
The LittleMoochi app won the 2019 Forte Power Pitch Competition at the MBA Women’s Leadership Conference and the app went live in January.
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