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CASE Center company Wireless Grids on fast track in developing technology to revolutionize networking: ‘the eBay of home networking’
CASE Center company Wireless Grids on fast track in developing technology to revolutionize networking: ‘the eBay of home networking’November 15, 2005Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
As a technology business incubator in Central New York, the Syracuse University CASE Center is dedicated to helping start-up and early-stage information technology companies become established, grow and move on to make a positive impact on the regional and global economies.
One of CASE’s current tenants, Wireless Grids Corp. (WGC), is quickly becoming a success story. The company, which was established in 2004 and moved into the CASE Center early this year, is working to develop software technology. Work by graduate students at SU, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tufts University, supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, will enable users to make connections effortlessly among computers, personal digital assistants and cell phones through a wireless grid.
“Our wireless grids technology enables the creation and use of a new class of applications across devices, which will enrich the information fabric of daily life,” says Lee W. McKnight, CEO of Wireless Grids Corp. and an associate professor in SU’s School of Information Studies. “Now all resources-whether content, applications or physical resources such as screens, speakers and microphones-can be shared by trusted users and their devices.”
This past summer, Wireless Grids obtained the exclusive worldwide rights to intellectual property developed at SU, Tufts and Boston withfederal government and industry support, and closed an initial contract with a large European broadband Internet service provider for further development and demonstration of the technology for home networking applications. McKnight expects the technology to be commercially available Europe late next year, in the U.S. and worldwide by 2007. The company also co-sponsored the first Wireless Grids Summer Institute, a two-week hands on education program at the Museum of Science in Boston this past summer where a select group of 24 10th-grade students from three Boston-area high schools learned about science and information technology through a problem-based collaborative environment using emerging wireless communications technologies.
After a successful summer, Wireless Grids received more recognition this fall. In Buffalo in September, the company won the Most Innovative Technology or Product Award at UNYTECH ’05, the annual forum hosted by Upstate New York colleges and universities to showcase their research to the venture capital community. Wireless Grids is also profiled in a feature article in the Nov. 14 issue of Red Herring magazine. Yankee Group’s Chief Research Officer Berge Ayvazian, who is also a Wireless Grids advisor, is cited in the article, calling the firm “the eBay of home networking” for the potential ability of WGC’s technology to change every device into a point of sharing and consumption.
“The firm has been making rapid progress these past few months in garnering the attention of investors and prospective business partners, after a year of hard work by our dedicated and talented team,” says McKnight. “But we realize that is just the start, and there is much more to do. CASE’s support in getting us going has been a tremendous help. In another year, I expect we will have grown substantially, and have possibly moved out of the CASE Center to make room for the next success story.”
“Wireless Grids is developing into an exciting story-the company benefits from having an energetic, cohesive management and advisory team that integrates the best elements of both industry experience and academic research credentials,” says CASE Center Associate Director Roger Trabucco. “From the perspective of the CASE incubator, it has been gratifying to see the company benefit from some of the University and economic development resources we offer, and also to see the potential for interaction between Wireless Grids and other CASE clients.”
The SU CASE Center, a research organization with an economic development focus, is funded primarily by the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR). CASE is a key contributor to the high-technology economy of New York State by making available the resources of Syracuse University and collaborating with New York State businesses and economic development organizations.
Key components of the CASE program include incubation of start-up and early-stage information technology businesses and active involvement in applied research, product development and process improvement with businesses of all types and sizes. More information on SU’s CASE Center is availableat http://www.case.syr.edu, or by contacting Trabucco at (315) 443-1064or firstname.lastname@example.org.