This August has been set aside to highlight notable alumni from all of our practice areas that work to feed, fuel, and heal the world. YouV Labs—an NIH CAP company—and Paulsson, Inc. of our Energy practice both use the technique of monitoring in very different capacities. The first works with wearable devices to help monitor health data, while the latter utilizes monitoring to create safer and more sustainable ways to extract natural resources from under the earth’s crust.

The exploration of monitoring and its multiple capacities is just another way convergent practices can be used to both fuel and heal the world. The impact of these devices are paving the way to more efficient practices by creating ways to save time, money, and lives.

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YouV Labs, Inc.

New York, NY

by Judy Hsieh, Life Sciences Programs Director

YouV Labs, Inc. is a medical device company located in New York, NY and a 2017-2018 NIH CAP alumni. The company, led by CEO Emmanuel Dumont, received their first SBIR grant in 2017 for $1.49M through the National Cancer Institute. Graduating from the NIH CAP in 2018, YouV Labs worked closely with Larta’s Principal Advisor, Jim McGough.

Their technology, Shade, is an ultraviolet (UV) monitor wearable device that helps people measure and manage their exposure to UV radiation to mitigate the risk of skin cancer while enjoying the benefits of sunlight, such as Vitamin D. In the United States, skin cancer has become a major public health issue with an estimated 3.5M people being treated each year for a cost of over $8B. The rate of Vitamin D deficiency in the US is estimated to be over 40% and leads to increased risk of depression, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Up until now, accurate measurement of UV exposure remains confined to research laboratories.

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Paulsson, Inc.

Van Nuys, CA

by Marco Henkel, Senior Programs Manager, Energy

Paulsson, Inc., located in Van Nuys, CA is a small organization in the oil and gas exploration services industry. Founded by Björn N.P. Paulsson in 2007, the company produces and provides services for geophysical exploration through both conventional and fiber optic equipment.

Paulsson is a recipient of two U.S. Department of Energy SBIR Phase I awards in 2017 and another in 2018, amounting to over $380,000 in funding. These awards focus on the development of a ‘Distributed Optical Sensor Array for Improved Subsurface Characterization and Monitoring’, and for ‘Low Noise Optical Interrogator for Interferometric Sensing Technologies’. Paulsson’s high-resolution downhole imaging technology has the potential to revolutionize the industry by lowering drilling and production costs, and increasing the percentage of reserve recovery.

Larta has had the privilege of working closely with Paulsson during both Phase I awards and assisting with commercialization strategy and planning. Through one-on-one collaboration with Larta Principal Advisor (PA), Joel Balbien, Paulsson successfully applied for and secured DOE SBIR Phase II follow-on funding for both of these Phase I awards of $1.0 million each. Typically, about 50% of Phase II applicants receive awards, but Paulsson is two for two with Larta assistance.

“Our Principal Advisor has been extremely helpful in preparing and designing our business plan. Larta’s commercialization assistance has helped us focus on the commercial aspects of technology development. Our Principal Advisor had a big role in helping us secure two SBIR Phase II awards in 2018.” – Björn Paulsson, CEO and President, Paulsson, Inc.

In addition to helping the company with their Commercialization Plans, Larta is also talking to defense contractors and the military about incorporating Paulsson’s fiber optic sensors in real-time monitoring of critical systems, where annual equipment failures cost the government over $145 billion per year.

Larta is looking forward to a fruitful engagement during their recently awarded Phase I project, as well as a successful continuation of commercialization assistance during Phase II.