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Two Northwestern-affiliated companies named Mobile World Scholars

Epicore Biosystems and ORA Sound earn gold prizes in 2018 Mobile World Scholar Challenge

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Two startups that use research by Northwestern University professors have been named to the 2018 inaugural class of Mobile World Scholars. They will be recognized at the upcoming GSMA Mobile World Congress 2018, Feb. 26 to March 1, in Barcelona, Spain. 

Epicore Biosystems and ORA Sound were two of five gold prize winners in the Mobile World Scholar Challenge, and each will receive £2,000 (roughly $2,800 U.S. dollars) and an expenses-paid trip to Mobile World Congress 2018 in recognition of their work.

microfluidicdeviceEpicore Biosystems is recognized for its proprietary microfluidic systems for the skin. Drawing from research by McCormick School of Engineering professor John Rogers, Epicore Biosystems develops soft microfluidic devices that harvest and route sweat from skin pores. The biosensing devices monitor human physiology to optimize athletic performance and health. Roozbeh Ghaffari, director of translational research for Northwestern’s Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics, is CEO and co-founder of Epicore Biosystems. 

grapheneORA Sound, a startup that works with advanced nanomaterials to create previously unattainable levels of sound quality and speaker efficiency, is recognized for bringing graphene to the audio industry. GrapheneQ™, ORA Sound’s proprietary material and also the name of their first consumer headphone product, was developed in the engineering lab of McGill University professor Thomas Szkopek. Northwestern chemistry professor SonBinh Nguyen, who is a member of ORA Sound’s technical advisory board, developed a manufacturing process for GrapheneQ™ that is scalable to an industrial setting. 

The Mobile World Scholar Challenge, introduced this year, highlights innovative and impactful ideas from the academic and research communities across the globe. Featuring more than 2,300 exhibitors, Mobile World Congress is considered the mobile industry’s “must-attend” annual event, attracting executives from the world’s most influential mobile operators, device makers, infrastructure providers, software companies, internet companies and organizations across a wide range of vertical industry sectors as well as governmental delegations from across the globe.