At Larta Institute, our mission is simple: support endeavors that feed, fuel, and heal the world. However, as globalized problems become more complex, it is necessary to seek convergent solutions that are intersectional across multiple disciplines of science. In the latest Ideas, Energized podcast, our team delves into innovations that step out of the tradition of a one trick pony; instead, they develop multifaceted technologies that address issues across the board.

Bonumose, Ed Rogers, CEO

Ag Innovation at UC Davis Best in Show Winner 2017

Sugar is undeniably a part of the everyday lives and diets of consumers, but has been marked as a principal culprit in the epidemics of diabetes and obesity, and a string of other conditions. Ed Rogers, CEO of Bonumose, wants consumers to have a viable and healthy alternative to traditional cane sugar without losing the taste and functionality of the product. Enter tagatose, a “rare sugar” derived from plants.  Ed Rogers and his partner, Dr. Daniel Wichelecki, have developed a low-cost method to synthesize commodity starches into tagatose and allulose.  These are not just cost-effective, but healthy. They actually lower blood sugar, promote gut health as a prebiotic and improve dental health by breaking down grimy biofilm on teeth.

So here is a derived food product, using chemistry to create a health-oriented product that is our most craved food: sugar.  The right convergence of disciplines for the right reason!

Ed attributes Bonumose’s leap into commercialization partly to its participation in the 2017 Ag Innovation Showcase at UC Davis and later in the year at the main Showcase in St. Louis.

Radiabeam, Salime Boucher, CEO and Founder

DOE-Commercialization Accelerator Program (CAP) Phase 1 and 2 (2016-Present)

Salime Boucher has always had a passion for particle accelerators. As a UCLA undergraduate, his first exposure to the technology catalyzed a lifelong pursuit to discover how many avenues particle acceleration could open. After receiving SBIR grants from NIST, NIH, and numerous from DOE, both RadiaBeam Systems and Technologies joined Larta’s inaugural DOE CAP program, and have shaped the future of radiation in the fields of commercial industry and healthcare. This standout company shows how passion drives both innovation and intersectionality. Salime was able to envision how linear acceleration could be improved to elevate medical treatment to increase good outcomes for cancer patients.

RadiaBeam is different from other particle accelerator developers: they seek out unique solutions to problems through a corporate culture of high level collaboration and customization across multiple industries. Through Larta’s Principal Advisor (PA) professional guidance, our team has worked directly with Salime and RadiaBeam on how to position this technology as multifaceted resource in the marketplace. This is a cross-disciplinary product that is the convergence of physics and healthcare, focused on a medical application.


Micronic Technologies, Karen Sorber, CEO

PA: Robert “Bob” Calcaterra

USDA Commercialization Accelerator Program (CAP) (2014-2015)

Ag Innovation Showcase Presenting Company 2015

Karen Sorber, CEO of Micronic Technologies, was inspired by a 2007 humanitarian trip to Peru where she noticed there was a lack of potable water in the small village where she visited. For a decade, she and her husband have worked to develop a transportable, cost effective, and improved water filtration system. Micronic’s passion for sustainability and human livelihood has been at the center of its mission, but Larta provided domain expertise and the tools to get over the “humps” that stood in her way. Karen credits Larta Principal Advisors Bob Calcaterra, and Bob Morris for goading her into tying her story and passion into a workable business model, allowing her product and company to grow in the marketplace and gain exposure to investors that matter.

This is a product that crosses the threshold from an energy-related innovation to a product used on farms, in the field, in other locations. Partnering with the EPA, Karen and her Micronic team are an effective solution to managing and disposing of brine and waste in an economical and sustainable fashion.