Kris Schindler and Mike Buckley both teach in UB’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Out of their lab, which focuses on assistive device technology for the handicapped, came an idea whose real name is “Augmentative Communications Device for the Speech Impaired Using Commercial Grade Technology”. It has been licensed by UB to Kris’s company, Talker Inc. It is a communications tool to help those who cannot speak.
With respect to the UB 2020 initiative, this is a perfect relation-building exercise between the university, its faculty, students and the Western New York business environment. It hits on many fronts:
- Its principal research comes out of the minds of students and faculty who are involved in Kris’s and Mike’s lab at the university, which focuses on devices to aid the handicapped;
- The students meet regularly with handicapped individuals as well as the therapists and teachers who work with them;
- The university provides the license to a local company who is better skilled at turning the lab’s ideas into marketable products;
- The local company hires students to further assist in product development and maturation;
- The university gets great PR and a royalty stream for every product sold.
Local businesses, students, faculty, the university and the handicapped all win in this scenario. It fits UB 2020 like a glove.
I had the privilege of attending a meeting with Mike and Kris and plan to help these guys succeed as much as I possibly can.