Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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June 04, 2024 | Tom Ballard

U News 1 | From around the Southeast

The University of Alabama is gearing up for a $3 million project to develop advanced driver assistance systems for large transit buses.

From the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa:

With a grant from the Federal Transit Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation, the University is gearing up for a $3 million project to develop advanced driver assistance systems for large transit buses.

Led by Dr. Bharat Balasubramanian, Executive Director for the Center for Advanced Vehicle Technologies and Chief Mobility Research and Development Officer for the Alabama Transportation Institute, the project will bring automated safety features available only in personal vehicles to mass transit, beginning with Crimson Ride. Perrone Robotics Inc., a leader in commercial automated and autonomous vehicle technology, is a key partner on the project.

The project will begin with intensive virtual simulations with an interface to Perrone Robotics’ MAX software platform — a drop-in kit that can be tested in the lab and then fitted into a Crimson Ride bus. The project will develop, validate, and then test driver assistance technologies for a pedestrian-heavy environment. Once the software performs well in the lab, the team will test the buses in controlled conditions on a road with mock pedestrians before adding them to campus routes.

To learn more, click here.

From the University of Arkansas:

A start-up accelerator formed by the University and a local venture firm helped boost the sales of all 10 companies in its inaugural cohort.

The Bounds Accelerator, one of three business incubators operated by the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, is focused on helping founders at the intersection of the retail value chain and emerging technologies.  It is a partnership between Cartwheel Startup Studio and the University of Arkansas.

Amplio, based in Atlanta and dedicated to building sustainable supply chains by helping customers sell excess inventory, won $15,000 via the Accelerator Incentive Award. Hashku, based in Bentonville, won the Audience Choice Award and $5,000. The start-up connects Gen Z and Gen Alpha with brands via gaming.

From Florida State University:

Four Florida State University (FSU) researchers are helping lead the way in developing sustainable solutions to challenges facing the global community, thanks to support from the Office of the President’s Sustainability and Climate Solutions seed grant investment.

Last fall, FSU President Richard McCullough awarded nearly $600,000 to four teams tackling research projects that address long-term societal well-being, environmental health and economic prosperity. This was a key area of research incorporated into the university’s research strategic plan, known as ASPIRE. The projects are:

  • Creating new materials to transport water;
  • Developing autonomous systems to map reefs and coastal habitats vulnerable to climate change;
  • Investigating how forest wetlands are adapting to climate change; and
  • Increasing electric vehicle usage in rural areas.

To learn more about the projects, click here.

From the University of Georgia:

Chris King has been appointed Interim Vice President for Research at the University of Georgia (UGA), effective July 1. He has served as an Associate Vice President for Research since 2013, overseeing the Office of Research Integrity and Safety.

Karen J.L. Burg, the University’s Vice President for Research since 2021, is returning full-time to the faculty of the College of Veterinary Medicine where she holds the Harbor Lights Chair in Biomedical Research in Small Animal Studies.

“Dr. King has distinguished himself as a dedicated and creative leader in the Office of Research, and I am grateful that he has agreed to guide the office as interim vice president,” said S. Jack Hu, UGA’s Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. “I am confident Chris will provide outstanding leadership and guidance for UGA’s thriving research enterprise.”

In his current role, King is responsible for ensuring research is conducted in a safe and ethical manner across the university’s education, research and service missions. He oversees programs related to human and animal research, biosafety and laboratory safety, research security, export control, financial conflict of interest, occupational health, and responsible conduct of research.

From the University of Kentucky:

A new partnership between researchers at the University will combat the threat of infectious diseases through research directed at prevention and treatment. Named the Consortium for Understanding and Reducing Infectious Diseases in Kentucky (CURE-KY), the initiative is designed to foster multidisciplinary collaborations to address the burden of infectious diseases in the Commonwealth and beyond.

“I am thrilled by the boundless possibilities our collaborative efforts promise at the University of Kentucky. With a steadfast commitment to advancing knowledge and fostering transdisciplinary alliances, we aim to propel infectious disease research to new heights, creating a healthier Kentucky and nurturing future scientific leaders,” said Ilhem Messaoudi, CURE-KY Founder and Chair of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics in the College of Medicine.

CURE-KY grew out of the Emerging Themes for Research Program, which is part of the Research Leadership Academy (RLA) supported by the Office of the Vice President for Research and was built on the heels of UK’s COVID-19 Unified Research Experts (CURE) Alliance that was quickly assembled to support a full range of COVID-related research.

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