Collaboration Brings Together Country’s Leading Research Institution and Neurotechnology Start-Up
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, September 16, 2019 – Last week, Blackrock Microsystems, LLC, Neuro Device Group SA, and a group of doctors, scientists and engineers from the Medical University of Warsaw, met at the Presidential Palace of the Republic of Poland to present the results of their work to-date in creating a neuroprosthetic system as part of an initiative called “Startups in the Palace – Cooperation,” aimed at supporting the development of Polish startups and future technologies.
The goal of the working group is to improve neuroscience research, support the work of local clinical institutions, and to drive innovation in the region leveraging Blackrock Microsystems’ brain computer interface (BCI) technology, and expertise in enabling successful human research trials. Blackrock Microsystems’ Utah Array and BCI system are the only devices of their kind that have 510k clearance for human use by the FDA. Both have become a gold standard for human-subject studies in both brain computer interface (BCI) and peripheral nerve implantations.
“Poland is well positioned in the field of software development and AI and we’re looking at applications that can benefit our people most, particularly patients with damage to the neurosystem,” said Marta Gajęcka, Advisor to the President of the Republic of Poland. “By bringing in the gold standard of BCI, and developing cross-disciplinary partnerships with the best institutions across Poland, we are ensuring that we are well-positioned to pioneer neuroscience research technologies.”
The clinical team participating in the collaboration is led by Dr. Przemysław Kunert, Deputy Chair of Neurosurgery at The Medical University of Warsaw, the largest medical school in Poland. Its Neurosurgery Clinic was the first hospital department in Poland to treat neurosurgical diseases and serves as a Polish referential center for diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular diseases. As an active clinical trial site, the multidisciplinary team is involved in both local and international research programs.
“We are proud to expand our global partnerships to include leading research institutes and startups in Poland, and to support what we hope will result in the first BCI pioneer in Eastern Europe,” said Blackrock CEO, Marcus Gerhardt. “We are on the frontier of developing novel approaches to address a number of disorders of the nervous system, and this cross-disciplinary initiative will continue to expand the opportunities for BCI technologies. We applaud the Republic of Poland for seeing the need for investment in this critical research.”
NeuroDevice Group, SA is a neuroscience technology company led by Paweł Soluch and based in Warsaw. It is one of the startups that has been selected by the Chancellery of the President to participate in the initiative. The meeting at the Presidential Palace initiated the next phase of work on the neuroprothetics technologies created by NeuroDevice, and enabled by Blackrock Microsystems’ Utah Array and BCI system.
For more information about Blackrock Microsystems and the Utah Array, visit www.BlackrockMicro.com.
About Blackrock Microsystems LLC
Blackrock Microsystems, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, was founded in 2008 and is the world’s leading provider of technology in the neuroscience, neural engineering, and neural prosthetics space. The company’s technology is at the core of worldwide innovations in Brain-Machine Interfaces (BMI/BCI), implantable bionic technologies and epilepsy diagnostics. Most impactful implantations of the Utah Array have been in some tetraplegic individuals from University of Pittsburgh’s Nathan Copeland, who controlled a prosthetic arm to fist bump US President Barack Obama in 2016; Ohio State University’s Ian Burkhart who is learning to control an automobile, and CalTech’s Nancy Smith who is learning to play a virtual piano. Seemingly easy tasks, all have used the Utah Array to translate their thoughts into action to restore function.
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