PITA Fiscal Year 2009 Projects - Courses and Outreach Programs

Enabling Applied Research to Increase the Likelihood of Commercializing New Technology in the Region

Principal Investigators: Lenore Blum, Babs Carryer

Project Olympus (http://olympus.cs.cmu.edu/) aims to stimulate and enable the commercialization in the region of new technologies invented by CMU faculty and students. To increase the likelihood of transforming ground-breaking research into commercial endeavors, Olympus has embarked on a pilot project to provide embedded entrepreneurial expertise to faculty/student research teams to commercialize their work through startup creation. In August 2008 Olympus hired Babs Carryer, Tepper Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship and experienced entrepreneur, for a part-time engagement as embedded entrepreneur through December 2008. PITA funds will enable Olympus to continue Ms. Carryer’s work through Spring 2009. During the PITA-funded period, Olympus will work with projects including:

  • Power management. Prof. Mor Harchol-Balter has invented a series of innovative algorithms for managing power usage. This technology has tremendous commercial applications such as server farms. Prof. Harchol-Balter has validated the technology with IBM, and is expanding her commercial focus. Olympus will work with Prof. Harchol-Balter and her student(s) to commercialize her technology through creating a startup company.

  • Assistive mobile technologies for the blind and visually-impaired. Prof. Priya Narasimhan has invented a series of technologies for enabling everyday activities for the visually-impaired. Olympus will work with Prof. Narasimhan on pilot industry projects, beginning with Giant Eagle. Other inventions by Prof. Narasimhan have broader applications. Olympus will work with Prof. Narasimhan and her student(s) to develop those technologies for commercialization into the existing CMU spinout, BeaconSys, or licensed into a new startup company.

  • The SPIRAL Project, which automates the software and hardware implementation of mathematical functions and applications for high performance computing, has significant commercial potential. Involving Profs. Moura, Pueschel, and Hoe, Dr. Franchetti, and postdoc Dr. Voronenko, Spiral has been funded by DARPA, NSF, and industry, including Intel, which has tested the software. Olympus will work with Spiral to create a startup company.