Thursday, June 28, 2012

BioBiz Partnering Forum is Today!

Don't miss the BioBiz Partnering Forum -- today, 5:30-8:30pm at Wake Forest Biotech Place.

The BioBiz Forum will feature opportunities to form collaborative teams and acquire key resources in: advanced materials; regenerative medicine; healthcare IT; medical devices; and market-driven entrepreneurship. This goal-directed, interactive forum will feature opportunity-driven collective intelligence in action.

Participants will benefit from facilitated introductions and business development discussions catalyzed by: description of specific healthcare problems by clinicians and clinical investigators; overview of strategic business interests of corporate stakeholders; introduction of problem-driven technology innovations by leading researchers; and investor perspectives on the opportunities and challenges of investing in healthcare.

Download a BioBiz flyer for information and registration.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wake Forest Baptist Names President of Piedmont Triad Research Park and Chief Innovation Officer

Eric Tomlinson, DSc, PhD, a scientific and business leader whose career incorporates academia, product innovation and economic development, has been named President of Piedmont Triad Research Park (PTRP) and Chief Innovation Officer of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. He will join the Medical Center July 2, 2012.

“Eric will focus on the commercialization of research and innovation, along with the business development of PTRP, which is the area’s top regional economic project priority and one of the largest urban life science research parks in the country,” said John D. McConnell, M.D., chief executive officer of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “His unique background in academic science, large pharmaceutical and small startup companies, product design and commercialization, and government policy made him the ideal candidate to build on our successes.”

With the recent completion of the state-of-the-art Biotech Place, the Medical Center has 10 departments in the park. Other park tenants include approximately 40 companies, professions, firms and organizations that employ about 1,000 people. Read more.

Winston-Salem's B/E Aerospace to Acquire Aviation Company

B/E Aerospace, the world’s leading manufacturer of aircraft cabin interior products and the world’s leading distributor of aerospace fasteners and consumables has signed an agreement to acquire Germany-based Interturbine Aviation Logistics GmbH and its related companies.

While B/E Aerospace is headquartered in Wellington, Fla., the company is run operationally from its Fairchild Road campus in Winston-Salem. B/E Aerospace employs nearly 1,100 full-time local workers. The company has experienced record growth and has signed a lease for a 90,000-square-foot office building in Winston-Salem.

Revenues reached $2.5 billion last year and the company this year announced an $800 million deal with the Boeing Co. to provide lavatory systems for the 737 Next-Generation airplane as well as the 737 MAX jet. B/E Aerospace saw its commercial aircraft segment grow 30 percent thanks largely to the company’s seating business. Read more.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Wake Forest's FiberCell has 100% increase in organic solar cell performance

A new 'light pipes' breakthrough by Wake Forest University spin-off company FiberCell, Inc. promises an increase in organic solar cell efficiency of more than one hundred percent.

The 'light pipes' are perpendicular optical fibers to the cells which pipe in the sunlight. They are evenly spaced and densely populated and stamped onto the cells' polymer substrate foundation so the sun's rays can enter the tip of the fiber at any angle, bounce around there and finally get absorbed by the organic solar cell. They protrude from the surface like stubble and with a dip-coating process are surrounded by thin organic solar cells. A light-absorbing dye or polymer is sprayed on the cells. The nanomaterials provide a larger surface area for dye absorption and scatter more light in the red part of the solar spectrum.

Winston-Salem's Arctic, Inc. Develops Frostbite Weed-killer

Curiosity, more than necessity, was the mother of invention for the green weed-killing product created by Arctic Inc. Arctic, based in Clemmons, developed the idea for its Frostbite weed-control system after co-founder Rob Howerton used spray cleaner on his computer keyboard.

Frostbite applies "a killing frost" to provide a faster and safer organic option compared with traditional weed-control methods. It typically works in 1-3 days compared with up to 30 days with traditional weed-killing products, the company says.

Primary customers are turf professionals, such as landscapers and operators of public and private outdoor spaces who rely on turf professionals to maintain lawns, ball fields, parks, golf courses and school playgrounds.

Arctic began offering Frostbite to turf professionals in late 2011. Among its largest clients are Pleasant Green Grass, the largest organic lawn-care company in the Raleigh/Durham area; the completely organic Vineyard Golf Club in Martha's Vineyard; and Harvard University, which plans to use Frostbite to replace the hand-pulling of weeds throughout its campus.

Among Arctic's accolades was named Friday as the winner of the second round of the PTP Next competition and a $20,000 grant. Read more.

Wake Forest University professor: "Can a video game cure cancer?"

Samuel Cho, an assistant professor in physics and computer science, and his students use graphics processing units found in video games to explore the biomolecular processes in the cell and take on challenges, including a cure for cancer.

For his most recent published study, Cho simulated the folding and unfolding of a critical RNA molecule component of the human telomerase enzyme. This enzyme lengthens DNA strands during cell division and only exists in cancerous cells. It’s what makes tumors continue to grow. Knowing how human telomerase works could lead to cancer therapies that essentially obliterate tumors, Cho said. Read more.

June Frameworks Session

Entrepreneurs from VentureRealization2 will present elevator pitches on their ventures. Join us and learn about fascinating start-ups. There will be opportunities for feedback, insights, and expressions of interest to join one of these ventures.

June 26, 2012

Wake Forest Biotech Place
575 N Patterson Ave., Winston-Salem
Click here for directions and parking information.

Anyone interested in entrepreneurship, planning a new venture, working in a startup, developing new initiatives at larger companies, or improving their entrepreneurial and commercialization skills.

A monthly educational and networking series organized by the Wake Forest University New Venture Incubator. Free. Sponsored by the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative and New Venture Incubator.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Innovate and Collaborate at the BioBiz Partnering Forum on June 28

The BioBiz Partnering Forum features opportunities to form collaborative teams and acquire key resources in: advanced materials; regenerative medicine; healthcare IT; medical devices; and market-driven entrepreneurship.  This goal-directed, interactive forum will feature opportunity-driven collective intelligence in action. This forum will be held On June 28 from 5:30-8:30pm at Biotech Place.

Participants will benefit from facilitated introductions and business development discussions catalyzed by: description of specific healthcare problems by clinicians and clinical investigators; overview of strategic business interests of corporate stakeholders; introduction of problem-driven technology innovations by leading researchers; and investor perspectives on the opportunities and challenges of investing in healthcare.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Winston-Salem: Most Affordable City in the U.S. for Expats

Mercer's 2012 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey listed Winston-Salem as the most affordable in the United States for international workers. They measures "the comparative cost of living for expatriates in 214 major cities around the world. We compare the cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment."

So if you are from abroad, Winston-Salem is a great place for you to establish your international career!

View the survey in detail.

WFU Schools of Business Wins Connected Campus Award

Wake Forest University Schools of Business won the Connected Campus Award at the AMX® Innovation Awards ceremony on June 11 in Las Vegas. The AMX® Innovation Awards, sponsored by the University Business Institute, recognize innovative higher education institutions, their accomplishments and best practices of the use of technology.

Award winners at the 2012 UB Tech conference included: Wake Forest (Connected Campus), Stanford University (Automation and Control) and George Washington University (Collaboration Initiatives). 

The successful implementation of technology to connect and integrate the Wake Forest University Schools of Business campuses in Charlotte and Winston-Salem garnered the attention of AMX®, a leading provider of hardware and software solutions. See more.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Wake Forest Graduate Student Receives NASA Fellowship

NASA scientists will help Aaron Willey become a better teacher. Willey, who plans to teach in the Winston-Salem area, earned her master’s of arts in education degree from Wake Forest University in May.  She  was one of 51 teachers awarded an Endeavor Fellowship with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The highly competitive program provides special training for teachers focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education.

Online and in-person, the teachers selected for the fellowship engage with education experts, NASA scientists and each other to carry back to the classroom a greater understanding of NASA discoveries to inspire a next generation of explorers, scientists, engineers and astronauts.  Read more.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Repeal of Medical Device Excise Tax will Benefit Triad Companies

It's good news for local company Cook Medical and others that produce life-saving medical devices that a U.S. House committee approved the repeal of a tax that was scheduled to be implemented in January 2013.

The House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday gave the OK to the "Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2011," which is meant to prevent an excise tax that would have been placed on medical devices. Congress should pass the act.

The tax would also affect research and development investment for medical devices like those produced by Cook Medical. This could lead many such companies to move their operations, jobs and plants overseas.

Cook Medical employs about 537 in its endoscopy division in Winston-Salem. Employees design, develop and manufacture medical devices that are used to perform minimally invasive medical procedures such as colonoscopies.

Members of the North Carolina congressional delegation from both sides of the aisle cosponsored the legislation to repeal the tax, including Sen. Richard Burr, Rep. Walter B. Jones, Rep. Larry Kissell, Rep. Mike McIntyre, Rep. Virginia Foxx, Rep. Sue Myrick and Rep. Howard Coble. It is expected to pass the House. We hope it will pass in the Senate as well. More.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Biden visits Wake Forest Biotech Place in Winston-Salem

Vice President Joe Biden spoke Wednesday at Wake Forest Biotech Place in Winston-Salem, encouraging scientific research and highlighting the type of job creation needed in a changing economy.

Biden spoke to a large crowd at a former R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company facility that now houses cutting-edge biotechnology research. The location opened in February and is expected to bring 450 researchers and support staff to the Piedmont Triad Research Park.

Biden was introduced by Carolina Liquid Chemistries President Phil Shugart. Shugart, whose company is located at Wake Forest Biotech Place, recounted the story of his father and grandfather growing tobacco in the same place that he would later build a chemical engineering plant. More.


At the recent Cannes Film Festival, University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) School of Filmmaking alumnus Jeff Nichols achieved major filmmaker status by competing in the main competition (for the Palme d’Or) and garnering major press for his newest film, MUD, starring Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon.

Though it did not win, the film “is a surefire best picture nominee at next year's Oscars,” said Jason Solomons in the U.K.’s The Guardian.

Nichols noted that his first time at Cannes was in 2000, when he was studying at UNCSA and won an internship with Kodak at the American Pavilion. At the press conference, Nichols also painted an idyllic portrait of being one of the first graduates of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, which is now hard to get into . . . "It was the best thing that ever happened to us."

Most of Nichols’ crew is made up of his former UNCSA film school classmates. More.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Scientists Gather at Wake Forest to Unlock Mysteries of Materials

The secrets to making better cell phones, microchips, and batteries lie in the electronic structure of their materials.

More than 150 physicists and chemists from around the world will gather at Wake Forest University June 5 to 8 to talk about modeling, understanding, and predicting properties of materials and to explore the science behind developing better materials for a variety of uses.

The 24th annual Workshop on Recent Developments in Electronic Structure Theory is an international forum for sharing ideas about computing previously inaccessible properties of materials. Electronic structure theory describes the behavior of electrons in atoms, molecules, and solids.

“This research is the basis for the design of new and improved materials with direct applications to all areas of science and technology,” said Timo Thonhauser, professor of physics who organized the conference with Natalie Holzwarth, professor of physics, and Akbar Salam, professor of chemistry.

“We’re focusing on basic fundamental research that will lead to the development of novel materials, impacting all kinds of devices,” Holzwarth adds. “This conference sets the tone for the next several years of research in this field.” Read more.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Forsyth Tech acquires nano-fabrication technology

Forsyth Technical Community College, which was one of the first community colleges in the country to offer an associate's degree in nanotechnology, is expanding that program through a new system that will give its students more direct, hands-on experience building structures at the nano scale.

The NanoInk NLP 2000 Desktop NanoFabrication System allows students to learn to build custom-engineered nanoscale structures with a wide variety of materials, from biomolecules to metal nanoparticles, according to an announcement from the vendor of the system, Illinois-based NanoProfessor.

Forysth Tech nanotechnology program coordinator Kevin Conley said the system will allow more direct, practical learning by his students. Read more.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Don deBethizy resigns as Targacept CEO

Targacept Inc. said today that Don deBethizy has resigned as chief executive and president, effective immediately. He also stepped down from its board of directors.

Targacept is an anchor tenant in the Piedmont Triad Research Park in downtown Winston-Salem. It develops drugs based on its understanding of nicotinic receptors to treat diseases of the central nervous system.

Gayle Anderson, president and chief executive of the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, said deBethizy helped put the local community in a prominent place on the nation's biotechnology map.

"He has been a cheerleader for Winston-Salem and for creating a knowledge-based economy here," Anderson said. "We will miss his energy, enthusiasm and vision."

Innovations That Will Change Your Tomorrow

Listed as #1 on the New York Times list of "Innovations that will change your tomorrow" is Electric Clothes, an innovation of the Wake Forest Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials:

Physicists at Wake Forest University have developed a fabric that doubles as a spare outlet. When used to line your shirt — or even your pillowcase or office chair — it converts subtle differences in temperature across the span of the clothing (say, from your cuff to your armpit) into electricity.

And because the different parts of your shirt can vary by about 10 degrees, you could power up your MP3 player just by sitting still.

According to the fabric’s creator, David Carroll, a cellphone case lined with the material could boost the phone’s battery charge by 10 to 15 percent over eight hours, using the heat absorbed from your pants pocket.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Arctic, Inc., developer of the Frostbite™ Weed Control System, announced that the organic landscaping firm Pleasant Green Grass of Durham will be the first North Carolina landscaping contractor to offer the Frostbite System as part of its organic lawn care programs.

Frostbite provides selective post-emergent control for broadleaf and grassy weeds without using conventional chemical herbicides. It uses uses man-made frost to control weeds naturally without the use of harmful chemicals.

Arctic, based in Clemmons, North Carolina, developed the patent-pending Frostbite™ Weed Control System with support from multiple grant sources, including theNational Science Foundation and the North Carolina Board of Science and Technology. The product is commercially available in the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit:

Friday, June 1, 2012

Carolina Liquid Chemistries expands, spins off new company

Phil Shugart moved Carolina Liquid Chemistries from California to Winston-Salem in 2008 and set up shop in the Piedmont Triad Research Park.

Now, four years later, he’s moved his company from a 1,000-square-foot lab space into one nearly 10 times larger in the newly renovated Wake Forest Biotech Place.

Shugart will soon take on even more lab space for a spinoff company, Carolina Immunochemistries LLC, which he just incorporated in May.

Carolina Immunochemistries will make what’s called a homogenous vitamin D essay — in other words, a blood test to measure the amount of vitamin D in the human body. Normally, the test is run on a high-priced, cumbersome piece of equipment, but Shugart is willing to bet that the new company can simplify the test to the point where it can be run on an everyday common chemistry analyzer. Read more.