September 20, 2016

SIU to host technology-innovation expo in Chicago

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE -- Innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs from across the Southern Illinois University System will be on hand next month in Chicago when the university plays host to an event aimed at bringing together research and enterprise.

The SIU Technology and Innovation Expo is set for Thursday, Oct. 13, at the 1871 venue, located at 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 1212, in Chicago. The event will bring some of the university’s top researchers together with business leaders and entrepreneurs for an afternoon conference and networking event.

Organizers invite all current or prospective corporate partners, investors, policymakers, media partners and other supporters of innovation and SIU to register for the event by emailing or by going here.

The event will showcase technologies and research by faculty from SIU’s Carbondale, Edwardsville and School of Medicine campuses. Those attending can look forward to presentations and demonstrations on everything from DNA marker systems to cryogenic coffee products, new high-definition-low-cost imaging techniques for MRI, novel dust control systems for underground mines and new, combined-loop refrigeration technology, among others. Go here to learn more about the program.

Doors open at 2 p.m., followed shortly after by a welcome and opening remarks from Randy Dunn, president of the SIU System.

“Our previous expos were held on our campuses, and they were wonderful celebrations of the cutting-edge research conducted across the SIU System,” Dunn said. “This event is totally re-imagined to better introduce our world-class inventors to potential investors and partners in the Chicago area.”

Jason Morales, principal solution specialist at Microsoft Corp., will give the first of two keynote addresses starting at about 2:15 p.m. Morales focuses on “everyday data” and how it impacts people. His professional experience working for Microsoft and his efforts as founder of MING Studios, a nonprofit art center and artist residency program based in Boise, Idaho, help to inform and inspire his passions for applying data technologies to improve education, the arts and community, organizers said.

Following Morales’ speech, researchers will give a series of presentations on health and medical technologies and innovations beginning at 2:40 p.m. Networking and sampling of cryogenic coffee, developed by Curt Jones, founder and president of Dippin’ Dots ice cream and an SIU Carbondale alumnus, begin at 3:25 p.m.

At 3:45 p.m., Eric McAfee, chairman of McAfee Capital and chairman and CEO of Aemetis Inc., will give the second keynote speech of the day. McAfee founded and funded more than 30 companies in various sectors including renewable energy, oil and gas, networking equipment, enterprise software, medical devices and agriculture, organizers aid. He also has founded seven companies that were taken public, including Aemetis, Pacific Ethanol, and Evolution Petroleum.

McAfee’s speech will be followed by additional innovation presentations in energy, agriculture and others areas. More networking, along with beer-tasting and light refreshments, begins at 5 p.m. with the event ending by 6 p.m.

To inquire about sponsorship, contact the university here