There’s a new group to know in Austin’s fight against Covid-19

The Neutrino Donut, LLC is a founding member of this group.

By Mike Cronin  – Staff Writer, Austin Business JournalJul 28, 2020, 2:36pm CDT Updated Jul 28, 2020, 2:46pm CDT

Several academic, public-sector and private-sector organizations in Austin and beyond have banded together to fight the current Covid-19 pandemic — and future pandemics.

The Texas Global Health Security Innovation Consortium boasts more than 50 initial members, including the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Dell Medical School, Capital City Innovation, DivInc, the Harte Research Institute, Tech Ranch Austin and the Texas Advanced Computing Center. The Austin Technology Incubator, part of the the University of Texas at Austin, organized the consortium.

The consortium, called TEXGHS for short, seeks to cultivate global health security, which it defines as “a state of freedom from the scourge of infectious disease, irrespective of origin or source.”

It “is compiling a database of companies, researchers, and individuals interested in developing their innovative approaches to achieving health security,” according to its website, and aims to be a resource to develop new technologies and adapt existing technologies to fight pandemics.

More member organizations are wanted and TEXGHS is looking for “startup companies interested in receiving support to commercialize solutions at the interface of health security and technology,” according to an announcement.

PandemicTech, an Austin-based organization that serves as a global incubator of ideas to fight infectious diseases, provided $20,000 in seed funding to ATI to start TEXGHS.

The consortium is headed up by Lisa McDonald, director of health care at ATI and a co-founder of PandemicTech.

The Neutrino Donut – Digital Health Program

Panelist – FICCI Program

The Neutrino Donut will be on a digital media panel with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)on July 15. Details on the seminar are as follows:

Panel Discussion

India – US
Synergies in Digital Health 

Wednesday, July 15th, 2020
7pm (IST)/ 9.30 am (EDT)

The digital healthcare market in India is estimated to reach INR 485.43 Bn by 2024.The robust digital footprint of India, coupled with supportive government policies, has played an instrumental role in driving the growth of the digital healthcare market. India and US have displayed strong commitment towards healthcare cooperation across various areas including R&D, pharma, medical device/equipment, and looking ahead there is wide collaboration scope in the digital health space. The relatively untapped market offers high potential and thus attracts significant investment opportunities across the segment including telehealth, mHealth, electronic health records/electronic medical records (EHR/EMR), and others. The panel with key members from India-US businesses will discuss emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), and Big Data analytics that have helped in shaping the digital healthcare market. The current & future opportunities of healthtech market and how industry can leverage technology to repurpose their business models.

The focus of the seminar will be on Telemedicine, mHealth, Electronic Health Records, the Role of Emerging Technologies such as AI, IoMT, Big Data, as well as India and US Collaboration opportunities and challenges and government initiatives and regulations.

Registration –

The Neutrino Donut – Training Seminar – Austin Technology Incubator – SEAL Accelerator – SBIR / STTR & Other Non-Dilutive Funding

The Neutrino Donut will be conducting a training seminar on grant programs, fund raising, and planning for the Austin Technology Incubator SEAL program. This program will be delivered online on 9 July 2020.

SEAL’s core value is vetting emerging university startups from the market’s perspective, not the entrepreneur’s nor university ecosystem’s perspective. A by-product is to shift founders’ mindsets to be market centric instead of technology or product centric.
To accomplish this, SEAL coalesces a group of hand-picked, experienced startup mentors to assist each startup in identifying the next potential Go / No-Go Decision. SEAL then builds a set of industry-specific mentors to work with each team over the course of two months to do the work to rigorously answer the analyses underlying the Go / No-Go Decision. Additionally, SEAL brings in experienced entrepreneurs and technical experts to talk about their real-world experience in confronting some of the most common
Go / No-Go Decisions. This is particularly useful as startups confront an on-going sequence of these types of decisions, so SEAL primes its participants to have a baseline of knowledge as many of these common decisions will emerge in each of their journeys.
Most startups participating in SEAL have already removed significant scientific or technical risk through lab prototypes, pilot deployments, and occasionally, early sales. Given that, most Go / No-Go Decisions center on “scalability” questions around the underlying technology, go-to-market, team, funding requirements, firm economics, and other core business model components.
In prior years, SEAL has also facilitated ecosystem engagement opportunities to jumpstart the process of university-based entrepreneurs building out their ecosystem network. For many student founders, this represents their first “in-the-wild” professional networking experience. Austin’s startup ecosystem is overflowing with organizations, activities and people that support entrepreneurs and startups, so quickly learning how to navigate and engage with it is critical to the long term prospects for each

The Neutrino Donut – Partnership – Texas Global Health Security Innovation Consortium (TEXGHS)

The Neutrino Donut is a partner of The Texas Global Health Security Innovation Consortium (TEXGHS). TEXGHS is a consortium organized by The University of Texas at Austin between academia, public sector, and private sector partners that will coordinate efforts to support companies working towards pandemic preparedness and response.

The goal is to coordinate existing resources in the Austin innovation ecosystem and to develop additional capacity to expedite research, development, and commercialization at the intersection of global health security and technology. Our intention is to be at the forefront of this issue in Texas, and to be prepared for what we anticipate will be significant interest in funding programs targeting pandemic preparedness and response.

Examples of coordinated efforts include company participation across incubator and accelerator programs, co-branding and co-marketing, direct funding for research, development, and funding, cross institutional research collaboration, cooperation across existing networks of global health security experts, representation to local, state, and federal governments, resource mapping across the innovation ecosystem, prototyping, engineering, and legal and regulatory support.

TEXGHS will support both the development of new technologies and the adaptation of existing technologies that address pandemic infectious disease threats. We believe that the COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated the immense scope of this challenge. This consortium is positioned to spearhead these efforts statewide.

The Neutrino Donut – Seminar – Innovation in the Times of the Covid-19

Innovation in the Times of the COVID-19 – THE GRANT PROCESS

We are focusing on the development of new ideas in the time of Covid-19. Right now, corporate innovation and licensing has slowed, as R&D budgets are being cut. New biotech developments have slowed as lab activity has been curtailed. The Angel and VC markets, already risk adverse, have become more conservative.

In these times, startups will need funding but, just as importantly, independent validation of their ideas via the grant processes. By leveraging these grant based resources and applications, startups can find validation of their ideas and processes as well as received undiluted funding to advance their technology. From there, the startup will be in a stronger position to negotiate exits with these partners. The SBIR process involved extensive reviews of your idea from science experts, business experts, and project development experts, all of which will provide opportunities to fine tune your idea to commercialization.

We will discuss the Phase I grant, where the technical merit of the project is discussed. In Phase II, we will discuss taking your idea to the marketplaces. Then you can talk to the Angels, VCs and corporate licensing folks from a position of strength.

For the startup, this means planning the entire life cycle of your idea and figuring out where the exit ramps are located.

After the session, we will have an open discussion of the business / technical / funding challenges of your companies. Bring your questions and problems, the answers may be of interest to other folks as well. Led by guest speaker Earle Hager, Managing Partner / The Neutrino Donut, LLC Mr. Hager has worked extensively on technology assessment, business development, and grant process for several hundred startups.  He has even does those Net Present Value spreadsheets required for financial planning on grants. He also knows almost everyone you may need to connect with in the corporate market. He comes to Los Angeles via Philadelphia and Austin.

The Neutrino Donut – Science Break

We are The Neutrino Donut, named after the Higgs Boson experiments in Cern. As such, we will provide the occasional update from CERN. It’s always about the science.

Exploring new ways to see the Higgs boson

The ATLAS and CMS collaborations presented their latest results on new signatures for detecting the Higgs boson at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.

The ATLAS and CMS collaborations presented their latest results on new signatures for detecting the Higgs boson at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. These include searches for rare transformations of the Higgs boson into a Z boson – which is a carrier of one of the fundamental forces of nature – and a second particle. Observing and studying transformations that are predicted to be rare helps advance our understanding of particle physics and could also point the way to new physics if observations differ from the predictions. The results also included searches for signs of Higgs transformations into “invisible” particles, which could shine light on potential dark-matter particles. The analyses involved nearly 140 inverse femtobarns of data, or around 10 million billion proton–proton collisions, recorded between 2015 and 2018.

The ATLAS and CMS detectors can never see a Higgs boson directly: an ephemeral particle, it transforms (or “decays”) into lighter particles almost immediately after being produced in proton–proton collisions, and the lighter particles leave telltale signatures in the detectors. However, similar signatures may be produced by other Standard-Model processes. Scientists must therefore first identify the individual pieces that match this signature and then build up enough statistical evidence to confirm that the collisions had indeed produced Higgs bosons.

When it was discovered in 2012, the Higgs boson was observed mainly in transformations into pairs of Z bosons and pairs of photons. These so-called “decay channels” have relatively clean signatures making them more easily detectable, and they have been observed at the LHC. Other transformations are predicted to occur only very rarely, or to have a less clear signature, and are therefore challenging to spot.

At LHCP, ATLAS presented the latest results of their searches for one such rare process, in which a Higgs boson transforms into a Z boson and a photon (γ). The Z thus produced, itself being unstable, transforms into pairs of leptons, either electrons or muons, leaving a signature of two leptons and a photon in the detector. Given the low probability of observing a Higgs transformation to Zγ with the data volume analysed, ATLAS was able to rule out the possibility that more than 0.55% of Higgs bosons produced in the LHC would transform into Zγ. “With this analysis,” says Karl Jakobs, spokesperson of the ATLAS collaboration, “we can show that our experimental sensitivity for this signature has now reached close to the Standard Model’s prediction.” The extracted best value for the H→Zγ signal strength, defined as the ratio of the observed to the predicted Standard-Model signal yield, is found to be 2.0+1.0−0.9.

CMS presented the results of the first search for Higgs transformations also involving a Z boson but accompanied by a ρ (rho) or φ (phi) meson. The Z boson once again transforms into pairs of leptons, while the second particle transforms into pairs of pions (ππ) in the case of the ρ and into pairs of kaons (KK) in the case of the φ. “These transformations are extremely rare,” says Roberto Carlin, spokesperson of the CMS collaboration, “and are not expected to be observed at the LHC unless physics from beyond the Standard Model is involved.” The data analysed allowed CMS to rule out that more than approximately 1.9% of Higgs bosons could transform into Zρ and more than 0.6% could transform into Zφ.While these limits are much greater than the predictions from the Standard Model, they demonstrate the ability of the detectors to make inroads in the search for physics beyond the Standard Model.

The so-called “dark sector” includes hypothetical particles that could make up dark matter, the mysterious element that accounts for more than five times the mass of ordinary matter in the universe. Scientists believe that the Higgs boson could hold clues as to the nature of dark-matter particles, as some extensions of the Standard Model propose that a Higgs boson could transform into dark-matter particles. These particles would not interact with the ATLAS and CMS detectors, meaning they remain “invisible” to them. This would allow them to escape direct detection and manifest as “missing energy” in the collision event. At LHCP, ATLAS presented their latest upper limit – of 13% – on the probability that a Higgs boson could transform into invisible particles known as weakly interacting massive particles, or WIMPs, while CMS presented results from a new search into Higgs transformations to four leptons via at least one intermediate “dark photon”, also presenting limits on the probability of such a transformation occurring at the LHC.

The Higgs boson continues to prove invaluable in helping scientists test the Standard Model of particle physics and seek physics that may lie beyond. These are only some of the many results concerning the Higgs boson that were presented at LHCP. You can read more about them on the ATLAS and CMS websites.

Technical note

When data volumes are not high enough to claim a definite observation of a particular process, physicists can predict the limits that they expect to place on the process. In the case of Higgs transformations, these limits are based on the product of two terms: the rate at which a Higgs boson is produced in proton–proton collisions (production cross-section) and the rate at which it will undergo a particular transformation to lighter particles (branching fraction).

The Neutrino Donut – SBIR Grant – TABA Funding

The Neutrino Donut has joined an SBIR grant as the provider of business development services in their TABA funding. If the grant is awarded, The Donut will provide services to assist in the commercialization services. The technology relates to marine shipping technologies.

TABA stands for Technical and Business Assistance and is an item in the SBIR funding process.

The Neutrino Donut – Project – Commercializing Medical Device via NSF and NIH SBIR grants

The Neutrino Donut is working with a startup seeking SBIR support for their technology. The Donut will be developing the commercialization report as well as finding business opportunities for the company. The company has reached research agreements with several universities.