Jason Heikenfeld, PhD and University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computing Systems, has received the second-annual Technology Commercialization Award from the Ohio Faculty Council. Heikenfeld is acknowledged for his inventive biosensors that stimulate sweat even if a patient is cool and resting.
Dr. Jason Heikenfeld (credit: University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS))
“This award aligns with something I have always been deeply passionate about, commercialization of university innovation,” Heikenfeld said. “Even years ago in my PhD dissertation, I built a manufacturing cost model into the last chapter. I have found that this outward focus on how innovation can impact society and commerce has made me more effective in every aspect of faculty life.
It even changed the way I teach by reaching deeper into understanding what the needs really are on the client (student) side as well. I'm thrilled to now be assistant vice president for commercialization at UC, where I hope more faculty, staff and students can benefit from the same professional growth that I have experienced due to the external engagement that commercialization requires.
Dr. Jason Heikenfeld, PhD and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computing Systems, University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Science
In 2016, the Ohio Faculty Council introduced a Technology Commercialization Award that is presented every year to identify a faculty member in the state university system in Ohio for extraordinary research discoveries and the role they have played in aiding the translation of those discoveries into commercial products or services.
The award celebrates faculty achievements such as those by Heikenfeld and award runner-up Amit Sheth, LexisNexis Ohio Eminent Scholar and Executive Director of Wright State University’s Ohio Center of Excellence in Knowledge-Enabled Computing. He built software called Twitris that uses an advanced algorithm that analyzes emotions, words, and other factors in tweets on a massive scale to provide exceptional insights, actions, suggestions or predicted outcomes.
Heikenfeld’s sweat bio-sensing technology has broad market applicability in a number of aspects of industry, medicine, and sports. He has been able to leverage the technology and 26 related patents into the formation of a start-up company, Eccrine Systems, which already employs several dozen employees and has been identified by Bloomberg as one of the 50 best startups in the country.
The public university system of Ohio is a key incubator for innovation and the OFC embraces the opportunity to spotlight the role that our phenomenal faculty play in economic development. Heikenfeld has demonstrated a commitment to help others develop commercialization activities – by helping create entrepreneurial educational programs and by recently taking on the role of assistant vice president for commercialization at UC. His work is an outstanding example of how faculty across the state are working to create a collaborative and resourceful statewide entrepreneurial ecosystem that allows high-potential companies to grow and prosper.
Dan Krane, Chair of the Ohio Faculty Council and Professor of Biological Sciences, WSU