Boost to Internet-of-Things Start-up Aiming to Accelerate the Pace of Scientific Research

LONDON, UK & BOSTON, USA – January 28th 2015:

Digital Science, a division of Macmillan Science & Education and a leading technology incubator focused on jumpstarting innovation in the research community, today announced that TetraScience is the newest recipient of its prestigious Catalyst Grant Program Award.

TetraScience is a Boston-based technology company building an open Internet-of-Things (IoT) platform to enhance productivity, safety and reproducibility. By combining wi-fi connected tools and a cloud-based software platform, scientists can monitor and control their experiments from anywhere and upload the data directly to the cloud, thereby accelerating the research process.  A team of serial entrepreneurs from Harvard & MIT founded the company.

The Catalyst Grant Program, an international initiative by Digital Science to support the innovation of new software tools and technologies for scientific research, has awarded more than $100,000 in grants to date. Awards of up to $25,000 are intended to provide initial support to take ideas from concept to prototype and are considered twice per year, once in December and once in May.

Amy Brand, VP North America at Digital Science: “We had dozens of extremely strong submissions for this round. It was a tough decision, but TetraScience stood out for the quality of its core concept, team, and presentation. We’re proud to have a role in helping launch an Internet-of-Things for scientific experimentation.”

TetraScience co-founder and CEO, Alok Tayi: “TetraScience is honored to receive Digital Science’s prestigious Catalyst Grant Program award.  This funding enables us to pursue our vision of a cloud-based laboratory that can dramatically accelerate scientific discovery.  Additionally, we see this award as an opportunity to collaborate with the Digital Science team and portfolio companies based in Boston’s Kendall Square. The Catalyst Grant award is the beginning of a promising partnership between TetraScience and Digital Science.”

The Digital Science Catalyst Grant program

The Catalyst Grant Program is an international initiative to support the innovation of new software tools and technologies for scientific research. The program aims to support and invest in early stage, innovative scientific software ideas with an award of up to $25,000 each to the most promising ideas for novel uses of information technology in science. It has awarded more than $100,000 in grants to date. The goal of the grant is to help an inventor grow an idea from concept to prototype and to work with Digital Science to refine, develop and promote innovations in the wider scientific and technology communities in which it operates.

Previous Grantees have included:

Michael Schmidt, Nutonian   

Creating a Robotic Scientist to See Patterns in Massive Data Sets

According to Michael Schmidt, CEO at Nutonian, Inc. and a former researcher at Cornell University, we often take the massive complexity in the world for granted. That’s why Schmidt is working on a new direction in artificial intelligence – the creation of a “robotic scientist” that can identify patterns in massive data sets unseen to the human eye. He and his team at Nutonian have set out to map the world’s data sets, calling it the “data genome project”. The goal is to collect one million data sets in the first year, analyze them in the cloud, find out what hidden equations lie in them and link them together. This innovative process will reveal road markers that will allow scientists to look back and see what they say about science and data in general. Schmidt says that “the Catalyst Grant Program has been instrumental, and that we wouldn’t have been able to do the project without it”.

Reuben Robbins

Transforming neurocognitive research through technology

Reuben Robbins, a clinical psychologist at Columbia University, studies the neurocognitive aspects of HIV through research and neurological testing that requires extensive manual processing. Robbins realized that the interactive nature of the electronic touchscreen could reduce most of the manual processing and an online database could make test results available to his peers globally – transforming research in the field. The new platform affords clinicians instant results and eliminates manual processing to save time and ensure consistency. According to Robbins, funding typically comes through the federal government and is a slow process. “The Catalyst Grant is intellectual and emotional support with fast and flexible funding.”

Nathan Jenkins and Alberto Pepe, Authorea

Dynamic content and data-driven figures for scholarly papers  

Nathan Jenkins and Alberto Pepe, of the University of Geneva and Harvard University respectively, cofounded Authorea to bring the modern capabilities of the Web to the previously staid world of scholarly publishing. The Web at some level has transformed most mediums, but the scholarly paper has remained a mostly static document, until now. Authorea allows researchers to dynamically present insights and collaborate on research data in real-time, and gives readers the ability to interact with source data directly. For the first time, scientists will be able to not only read a scholarly piece, but easily understand how the researchers came to their conclusions based on the data, and use it themselves in future studies.