Texas Roundup: Joseph Kopser, Data Refuge, TMC, uShip, EO2 Concepts

Let’s catch up with the latest innovation news from Xconomy Texas.

—We have “Five Questions For” Joseph Kopser, an ex-Army officer and West Point professor who found a new mission as a transportation evangelist of sorts when he founded RideScout, an app that aggregated different modes of transportation. With the sale of his company to Daimler, Kopser has founded Grayline, a consultancy that focuses on ways to build smarter cities. Kopser and I discussed how his family’s example influenced his own community service, his love of technology, and the “Saturday morning test.”

—The University of Houston and Rice University’s libraries are leading a project to help preserve online data at a hackathon next month. The “data rescue” project will be held at Rice’s Fondren Library on March 4. (To join the MeetUp, click here.) The event is part of a nationwide effort to download and save federal data presumed to be endangered, like those related to climate change, in light of some of the statements made by the Trump administration.

—Rice University is among the eight semi-finalists for the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change award of $100 million for its project aimed at improving newborn health in Africa. The effort is being led by Rebecca Richards-Kortum, a bioengineering professor who leads the Rice 360 Institute for Global Health and was named a MacArthur Fellow last September.

—The Texas Medical Center’s Health Policy Institute announced four winners of its second annual grant program in Collaborative Health Policy Research. A total of $750,000 is going towards projects such as improving vaccination rates within the Houston school district; developing a multi-institutional policy related to the treatment of patients with the Zika virus; developing a simple system with community stores to help plug the education gap in nutrition among minority groups and low-income communities; and a program to address physical and mental health needs for children in foster care.

To qualify for the grant, each 12-month research initiative was required to include collaboration among investigators from three or more TMC member institutions, with the goal of applying their findings to directly impact public policy at the state or federal level within three to five years.

—A week after announcing a new CEO, Austin, TX-based uShip said it has raised $25 million from German shipping logistics company DB Schenker, one of the startup’s major customers. The new round brings uShip’s total venture funding to $50 million since it was founded in 2004, having last raised $18 million from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in late 2012. The company plans to use the funding to further develop its software.

—A San Antonio medical device company says its product could potentially be more effective on chronic wounds than other treatments and limit healthcare costs. EO2 Concepts has released results from a recently completed clinical trial of its device—a therapy that uses a constant stream of oxygen to treat chronic wounds like ulcers—that it says showed the device performed better than the standard of care. The company hopes to use the results to land a new venture capital round to take the product to market. Called the TransCu O2 System, the device provides a flow of oxygen to the wound 24 hours a day, along with sensors that can make sure it’s functioning and adjust the flow of air.

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