Final Four inventions selected for Cade Museum Prize
Published: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 11:32 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 2:56 p.m.
The Final Four inventions for the 2013 Cade Museum Prize include an artificial finger prosthetic, mobile software for taking bar inventory, a machine that burns waste to produce energy and flat-panel displays for electronic devices.
Two of the companies -- Green Liquid Gas and Technologies and Partender -- are based in Gainesville, and a third, Orlando-based NanoPhotonica, uses materials developed at the University of Florida.
Green Liquid Gas and Technologies made the Sweet 16 round of finalists all four years of the prize and cracked the Final Four for the first time this year.
The company makes a machine invented by retired UF nuclear physics professor Alex Green that burns biowaste such as wood, food and manure to produce liquid, gas and biochar energy sources that are deoxygenated for greater energy output. The idea is to have the machine on-site to allow companies to burn their waste while offsetting some of their energy needs.
Partender, based in the Founder's Pad in downtown Gainesville, is the brainchild of Nik Kundra, a master's in entrepreneurship graduate from UF. Kundra developed mobile software for bars to take inventory by calculating the volume of liquid in bottles. A display shows a bottle, and the user clicks on the bottle to show the level of liquid.
According to the company, the software can reduce the time it takes to do inventory from six hours to 15 minutes.
NanoPhotonica has developed a material made of microscopic particles developed at UF used to make flat-panel displays for devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. The company says the display costs 75 percent less than current manufacturing methods and uses 50 percent less power.
Naples-based Didrick Medical has invented the X-Finger, a silicone finger for partial finger amputees designed to bend and extend like a real finger. It responds to the movement of the residual finger or opposing finger without using batteries.
The grand prize winner will be selected during a May 9 gala at the Santa Fe Fine Arts hall. Tickets are on sale at cademuseumprize.org. The winner receives $50,000, courtesy of a grant from the Community Foundation of North Central Florida, and $10,000 in free legal services from the law firm Edwards Wildman.
The prize is open to Florida inventors and entrepreneurs. The Final Four was selected from 16 finalists among 81 applicants. Different judges are used for each round.
The Cade Museum was founded by the family of Dr. Robert Cade, lead inventor of Gatorade.