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Sustainability News

ASU Now | July 27, 2020

Skysong Innovations is ASU's intellectual property management company. Its goal is the rapid and wide dissemination of ASU discoveries and inventions into the marketplace, and so was created as a separate corporate entity to act as a proxy for ASU, which substantially increases flexibility and speed in deal-making and venturing activities. A recent article in ASU Now features the work of several sustainability scientists.

Zero Mass Water, led by sustainability scientist Cody Friesen, a professor in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, creates SOURCE Hydropanels that use solar energy to pull moisture from the air, bringing clean drinking water to communities and residences well off the grid.

Skysong Innovations team identified and pushed forward 20 COVID-19 technologies: four vaccines, two therapeutics, three diagnostic tools, seven sterilization- and PPE-related pieces of equipment and four software technologies. Sustainability scientists have led several of these.

  • Machine-learning to generate COVID-19 social distancing and self-quarantine guidelines (Sandeep Gupta)
  • Self-cleaning facial mask against airborne pathogens (Morteza Abbaszadegan)
  • Rapid UV-C sterilization system for personal protective equipment (PPE) (Paul Westerhoff)

Another high-potential startup featured in the article is sustainability scientist Klaus Lackner’s carbon-capture technology – “mechanical trees” that passively remove carbon dioxide from the air.

Fiscal year 2020 will be a record year in terms of outside financing reported by these companies — around $120 million for startups based on ASU innovations. In the past eight years, ASU startups have raised more than $650 million, reflecting significant outside investor confidence in the ASU research enterprise.