nortech honors 10 innovators at its annual innovation awards

In what’s being touted the “Holy Grail” of MRI technology, CWRU School of Medicine professor of radiology and director of MRI research Mark Griswold and his team are developing a system of MRI fingerprinting that will offer a faster, more detailed scan that could eliminate the need for a physical biopsy of tumors.

This research led Griswold, who is quick to point out that he is just one of a team of 20 at CWRU and Boston's Mass General, to recently earn the title of Inventor of the Year at NorTech’s annual Innovation Awards.

"Magnetic Resonance Fingerprinting, or MRF, is a way to look inside the body and tell specifically what kind of tissues or diseases are there, so that hopefully we can identify diseases early without surgery or biopsy," says Griswold in a video released by Nortech.

Griswold told Fresh Water that he was able to develop the technology quickly thanks to support from Siemens Healthcare. The hope is to get the software and hardware to commercial markets within a year.

“I think we have a lot of hard work to do,” says Griswold of the next steps. “But the earlier you can see disease, the earlier you can see things happening in the infrastructure and brain tissue.”

Similarly, Explorys, the cloud-based, big data analytics company for the healthcare industry, received an award for the most innovative use of a national trend for its innovative use of big data.

“Growing a high-tech company that positively impacts so many lives, right here in Ohio, has been an exciting and rewarding journey,” says Charlie Lougheed, president and co-founder of Explorys. “I’m so proud of the team at Explorys for the dedication they’ve poured into creating innovative ways to leverage big data to improve healthcare.”  

Other honorees at the event included Sharon Sobol Jordan, President and CEO of the Centers for Families and Children for her work to expanded the reach of the organization, and Imperial Tools, SmartShape and LogiSync were named Most Innovative Technology Team for their work on a revolutionary, smart HVAC tool.

Check out a video of the Innovation Award recipients here.

Here's the list of all 22 finalists this year, provided by Nortech:

Innovative Leader of the Year:

Jerry Duffy, GE Lighting
George Haritos, The University of Akron
Matt Hlavin, Thogus
George Newkome, The University of Akron
Sharon Sobol Jordan, The Centers for Families and Children

Inventor of the Year:

Mark Griswold, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Michael Recker, Wireless Environment
Kevin Trice, Pulmonary Apps

Most Innovative Solution:

Kent Displays
Light Curable Coatings & Sustainable Coatings

Most Innovative Technology Team:

Auditory Labs, LeanDog & Osmisys
LogiSync, SmartShape & Imperial Tools
NASA Glenn & Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory

Most Innovative Use of a National Trend:

GE Lighting                        
Great Lakes Biomimcry & The University of Akron
Intwine Connect
Lorain County Community College
NASA Glenn, MAGNET, City of Cleveland & Cuyahoga County

Karin Connelly Rice
Karin Connelly Rice

About the Author: Karin Connelly Rice

Karin Connelly Rice enjoys telling people's stories, whether it's a promising startup or a life's passion. Over the past 20 years she has reported on the local business community for publications such as Inside Business and Cleveland Magazine. She was editor of the Rocky River/Lakewood edition of In the Neighborhood and was a reporter and photographer for the Amherst News-Times. At Fresh Water she enjoys telling the stories of Clevelanders who are shaping and embracing the business and research climate in Cleveland.