RIT Licenses to Start-Up Companies

Technology Commercialization and Technology Transfer functions are executed from two organizations at RIT, each under the supervision of the VP for Research.

RIT’s Intellectual Property Management and Technology Commercialization Office (IP&TC) is responsible for working with RIT’s principal investigators to identify, capture and commercialize (tech transfer) intellectual property on behalf of the Institute as well as research sponsors. Intellectual Property (IP) is protected by patents or other means of protection including copyrighted software. RIT’s Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Office commercializes the Institutes IP by licensing the technology to existing as well as start-up companies.

Some Examples of RIT licenses written with start-up companies are shown below.

BiRed Imaging Inc.

BiRed Imaging Inc. intends to offer a concurrent and adjunctive non-contact screening method for breast cancer detection. A prototype system with a physics-based algorithm is being readied for clinical studies and is expected to be completed by December 31, 2022.

BIRed has raised $150,000 from founders and has received additional development funding from New York State and the NSF SBIR amounting to $345,000. Future funding plans include applications for the Luminate competition and the Phase II SBIR award.

Core technology for BiRed was developed jointly by Rochester Institute of Technology and Rochester Regional Health’s breast center and mammography department.

BiRed employs four (4) and is located here in Monroe County, NY.

Learn more about BiRed Imaging Inc.

Innovation Semiconductor

Innovation Semiconductor is developing, for the emerging market of augmented reality glasses, a μ-LED based on the vertical integration of an LED and its driver transistor in a single crystal Gallium Nitride material system. It is fabricated on one wafer using only standard semiconductor processing steps and eliminates mechanical transfer of diced LEDs from a GAN wafer to a separate Silicon wafer containing LED control electronics.

This proprietary and patented architecture offers high resolutions, brightness > 1 million NITS, has desirable on-axis light emission and is power efficient, permitting lower driving power that avoids creating irritating heat levels for wearers of AR glasses. Innovation is also developing color tunable LEDs that can emit over much of the visible spectrum, allowing full color to be displayed with fewer than the three R-G-B subpixels now required.

Innovation is currently fabricating prototype displays in a partner foundry.

Innovation has currently raised investment capital of $925,000 and was awarded a $250,000 US Army SBIR award. We are currently raising additional capital for future display fabrication runs.

Our working team includes our two co-founders, three senior advisors with engineering, production and relevant market experience, and three independent contractors working on circuit design and prototype development.

The AR headset market has struggled for some years based on manufacturing related issues. Innovation believes it has resolved these roadblocks and will successfully introduce in 2023 μ-LED displays that will be welcomed into a market that is projected to grow by about 40% year on year for the next 5-8 years.

Innovation is located here in Monroe County, NY.

Learn more about Innovation Semiconductor

Falcon Fuel Cells

Falcon Fuel Cells is developing a next-generation portable High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane (HTPEM) fuel cell that is designed to use both pure hydrogen and hydro-carbon fuels. Initial engineering efforts are focused on building and demonstrating an integrated light-weight fuel cell system for the US Air Force for use in Class 1 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Falcon has designed, fabricated and tested each sub-component of our current prototype through grants provided by the US Air Force. Falcon’s goal is to demonstrate a final prototype that is ready for flight testing or low volume manufacturing by the middle of 2024. Falcon is also targeting commercial applications of this technology that include power systems for package delivery by drones (Amazon, UPS, Domino's), power backup for cellular phone towers, and portable power systems for camping and recreation.

Falcon has raised over $850,000 via grants, including SBIR awards, from the US Air Force and NY State’s FuzeHub manufacturing program.

Falcon was co-founded by a PhD graduate of RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability and a senior serial entrepreneur/investor. Falcon recently hired another RIT PhD for support during the next phase its growth. Falcon leverages the deep community of fuel cell expertise in the Rochester area by employing several subject matter experts and consultants. Falcon also contracts with RIT Golisano for a substantial portion of its testing and development.

Falcon’s next-generation HTPEM fuel cell technology targets both military and commercial markets. We believe that our current success with the US Air Force’s small business program will lead to additional opportunities and funding with the Air Force and the US Navy. Falcon’s final military prototype will be used as the basis for entering the commercial markets discussed above in 2024.

Falcon currently employs three (3) people and the company is located here in Monroe County, NY.

Learn more about Falcon Fuel Cells

Clerio Vision

Clerio Vision is developing a suite of revolutionary products for the vision care market based on an extensive portfolio of patents exclusively licensed from the University of Rochester and the Rochester Institute of Technology. The technology has applications in next-generation contact lenses for presbyopia and myopia control, intraocular lenses as well as the global refractive surgery market. The presbyopia, myopia control, and non-invasive refractive surgery products are currently in clinical development.

The company has raised over $50 million in equity capital from leading venture capital firms, including Safar Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, Topmark Partners, and Armory Square Ventures, as well as having raised over $20 million for joint development programs from leading ophthalmic companies.
Today the company employs over 50 staff and consultants, with its headquarters in Rochester, NY.

Learn more about Clerio Vision

Airboss Defense Group

Our Generation 7 Blast Gauge® System addresses the critical need for measurement of blast exposure under both battlefield and training conditions to assess impact to the warfighter and potential for traumatic brain injury (TBI). We currently are under contract with the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to develop a Blast Exposure Monitoring (BEMO) System to be fielded FY 22-26. A derivative of the Blast Gauge System, this system will be enhanced and configured to identify blast overpressure exposure that occurs with heavy weapons systems use, breaching, and in dynamic combat and training environments.

The Generation 7 Blast Gauge System is commercially available at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 9 – system proven through successful mission operations.

The BEMO Sensor system prototypes delivered to SOCOM for field testing in 2022 will be near production-ready blast gauge sensors that constitute operational prototypes at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7.

BlackBox Biometrics, the original licensee of technology patented by Rochester Institute of Technology, was acquired by Airboss Defense Group in May 2021. The purchase price can reach $27M with an initial $7M payment.

BlackBox Biometrics is located in Rochester NY and currently has 11 full time equivalent employees, a majority located in Rochester NY.

The Generation 7 Blast Gauge System, commercially available since 2017, has successfully demonstrated its capability to measure exposure to explosive blast, provide triage capability, guide medical treatment, and enable research in blast overpressure exposure. The system is currently supporting DoD initiatives for surveillance programs in training and providing data that is considered to be the ‘gold standard’ by the Department of Defense research agencies. The next evolution of the system will incorporate new features and capabilities that enable fielding in both training and operational environments leading to selection as the sensor system to support the “Warfighter Brain Health Initiative” of the Department of Defense and other international militaries.

Learn more about Airboss Defense Group


Casana intends to go to market with the Heart Seat, an at-home health monitoring device that requires no behavior change. The goal is to go to market with the following health measures: heart rate, blood oxygenation and blood pressure.

Casana has submitted its first submission to the FDA, awaiting initial clearance, and then will follow with a second submission for the version that will be brought to market.

Casana has raised $46.5m from funding and research awards and has 42 FT employees Casana are looking forward to FDA clearance and hope to start selling our first product in the back half of 2023. Casana is located here in the Rochester NY area.

Learn more about Casana

Cellec Technologies

Cellec Technologies is dedicated to pursuing new technologies that significantly improve the capability and safety of today’s lithium-ion cells. Innovation has enabled the group to fabricate cells which are stable at 0-Volt state-of-charge (SOC) in standard cell chemistries, without compromising performance. The ability to hold a battery at 0-Volt SOC greatly improves safety when shipping cells on planes or for use in aerospace applications. This is mainly due to flammability hazard from damaged or abused cells which can lead to catastrophic failures. Current practices do not completely discharge batteries prior to shipping since this damages the battery. If a standard battery was discharged to 0-V it would be damaged and could not be recharged. By not completely discharging cells prior to shipping, the likelihood of puncture/damage and fire hazard is much higher. By storing a battery at 0-Volts there is essentially no energy to be released if damage was to occur to the cell. This new technology is also targeting 10,000 cycles for the life span of the battery, and the baseline operates for roughly 300 cycles.

Cellec is also working towards increased cell gravimetric energy density. Current industry standard batteries have an energy density of 150-250 Wh/kg. Cellec’s new patent pending technology enables cells to reach greater than 400 Wh/kg. By increasing the energy and decreasing the mass of the cell, raw material demands are decreased.

Technology and prototypes of base technologies have been demonstrated (TRL 6-7).

Funding of over $6.7 million has been raised from research awards and grants. Cellec currently has 17 employees.

Cellec technologies is aiming to be the premier provider of advanced lithium-ion batteries to the aerospace and defense markets. Once established as a lithium-ion battery manufacturer, Cellec Technologies will begin offering advanced lithium-ion batteries to help reduce green house gas emissions and combat climate change.

Cellec is located here in Monroe County, NY.

Learn more about Cellec Technologies

VPG Medical

VPG Medical is working on a suite of solutions utilizing video-based non-contact monitoring of cardiac activity revolving around its HealthKam Trademark. Our main product is HealthKam Afib; a companion APP for patients diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation. The APP and its underlying technology is currently being reviewed by the FDA. Other products include solutions tailored to fitness centers, self-monitoring by individuals and supporting animal research. To date, VPG medical raised $1.8M in investment funding.

There are a total of 12 part-time and full-time employees. VPG Medical is located here in Monroe County, NY. Licenses from the University of Rochester and RIT form the technology foundation for VPG Medical.

Learn more about VPG Medical