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Student Team Wins $50,000 in Commercialization Competition

Business based on technology invented by ESF alumna
11/24/2014

A team of students, including one from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), won $50,000 in cash prizes in a competition sponsored by the New York State Technology Enterprise Corporation (NYSTEC).

Senior Jake Clintsment, worked with students from three other colleges and a high school student to develop a business that would alleviate a costly problem in the pulp and paper industry.

The inventor of the technology, Misty Blowers, graduated from ESF with master's and doctorate degrees in '03 and '10. The students worked for three months with a local experimental education program sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). This "commercialization academy" paired students with AFRL technologies, with the goal of launching new technology ventures in Central New York.

Clintsment's company calls itself "Kognitive Systems," and its business model is focused on a software tool that uses machine learning and advanced analytics to predict paper breaks on a paper machine. The software has applicability across numerous domains where operators are inundated with vast amounts of information and must make timely decisions. The tool provides information on likely causes of the events so operators may take corrective action before a break occurs. It also allows site customization, allowing end users to specify high-priority events to reduce the number of false alarms. This technique keeps the operators in the loop and is the first of its kind in this industry. It could result in significant cost savings by reducing the amount of downtime in the paper mills.