NASHVILLE, Tenn., Dec. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- With its origins at the prestigious Vanderbilt University, HeroWear LLC is proud to be recognized in the University Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E) Showcase of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities (APLU). This participation highlights HeroWear's revolutionary exosuit for active workers.
"Our Vanderbilt roots are important to us at HeroWear, so being a participant in this showcase is a tremendous honor," said Dr. Karl Zelik, who is a mechanical engineering professor at Vanderbilt and Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder at HeroWear. "We're excited about the future of HeroWear and the ability to offer a practical, effective way to reduce back injury risks at work."
HeroWear is the second "Vanderbilt-born" company to participate in the AAU/APLU University I&E Showcase, which is an annual event celebrating startups and their connection to federally funded university research. While this year's in-person showcase has been canceled, the participants will be recognized by the AAU and APLU the week of December 7 through online and media activities.
This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the Bayh-Dole Act, which allows universities, nonprofit research institutions, and small businesses the ability to own, patent, and commercialize inventions created under federally funded research programs.
"The Bayh-Dole Act allowed us to develop this wearable, assistive technology at Vanderbilt, prove out the science, and then license it so HeroWear could go all-in on this vision of reimagining the future of physical work. We were thrilled to bring this first of its kind exosuit product to market earlier this year," Zelik said.
"Before the Bayh-Dole act, so much federally-funded research failed to fulfill the promise of benefiting society because there was no opportunity to commercialize the output and bring it to market," adds Mark Harris, CEO of HeroWear (and serial entrepreneur). "With the current system, we're able to bring in more outside investment to turn research into an actual usable product that can help thousands - and we hope eventually millions - of people around the world."
Researched, developed, and tested at Vanderbilt, HeroWear's back-assist, passive exosuit, called the Apex, can take over 50 pounds of strain off the back every time an object is lifted. This can mean reducing thousands of pounds of strain from a worker's back in a single day. Using a proprietary on/off clutch mechanism and made of lightweight, high-tech textiles (it weighs only 3.4 pounds), the Apex also provides maximum flexibility and comfort throughout the day. Details on the Apex can be found at www.HeroWearExo.com.
The Apex has the potential to dramatically change industrial workforces because of the high costs associated with low back pain, which the CDC reports are the #1 work-related health problem. HeroWear's goal is to stop back pain before it starts.
"One of the leading causes of low back injuries is overexertion – repetitive wear-and-tear on people in jobs where they do a lot of lifting and bending," Zelik said. "We were able to figure out a practical, deployable, and scalable way to help reduce the risk of injury for workers and improve their quality of life. We proved it in the lab, and now we're able to offer this wearable exosuit to workers everywhere through HeroWear."
HeroWear is a wearable technology company that is developing a suite of assistive clothing solutions that reduce fatigue and physical strain on workers. Their first product, the Apex, was developed in conjunction with the Center for Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology at Vanderbilt University. For more information on HeroWear, please go to www.herowearexo.com.
Paul Nicholson, Director of Marketing, HeroWear
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