Medical fields dominate Cade Museum Prize finalists

Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 4:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 4:00 p.m.

The Sweet 16 finalists for the Cade Museum Prize include a middle ear prosthesis and an artificial finger, diagnostic tests and a gene therapy -- 12 medical-related companies and inventions in all.

Half of the finalists announced Monday are from Gainesville, including OQULUS, which can diagnose a wide range of diseases by examining a patient’s eyes; NeuroNet Learning, educational software that improves memory retention using physical activity; and Partender, a mobile app that calculates the volume of liquids in bottles for quick bar inventory.

Green Liquid & Gas Technologies of Gainesville has made the Sweet 16 all four years of the competition for its machine to create energy from biowaste such as wood, food and manure.

The prize is open to Florida-based people or companies with creative ideas that can have a demonstrated impact and are likely to become commercially viable products or services.

The Final Four will be named April 9, and the winner will be announced at a gala on May 9 and receive $50,000 from the Community Foundation of North Central Florida.

The number of applications was down from more than 120 last year to 81 this year.

Richard Miles, museum co-founder and vice president, said he heard that companies were intimidated by the quality of previous winners.

“We may be a victim of our own success,” he said.

The museum recruited the BioFlorida industry trade association to drive applications and recruit judges, Miles said.

New judges are used in each round of the competition.

This year, the 16 finalists will pitch their companies by videos that will be accessible by the public. The inventors will also make presentations to school-age audiences in their home towns.

A list of finalists is available at

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