Hackensack Meridian CDI-based company Shade, maker of UV Detectors, Awarded Competitive Grant from National Science Foundation

June 23, 2020

The company’s scientific-grade detectors provide instantaneous and cumulative readings

A company that makes wearable UV detectors, which is based at the Hackensack Meridian Center for Discovery and Innovation (CDI), was awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation grant.

Shade received the NSF’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant in the amount of $750,000 to conduct research and development work on a low-cost semiconductor that accurately measures the UV index from sunlight.

“Shade has become the gold standard for wearable, real-time UV measurements in clinical studies,” said Emmanuel Dumont, Ph.D., the CEO of Shade, who is also a research assistant member in the CDI laboratory of Benjamin Tycko, M.D., Ph.D. “This grant recognizes Shade’s ambition in bringing scientific-grade measurements to all wearable devices.”

“We are proud to establish partnerships with deep technology companies such as Shade,” said David Perlin, Ph.D., chief scientific officer and senior vice president of the CDI. “Their work is a perfect illustration of our mission to go from bench to bedside.”

Shade was founded by Dr. Dumont in 2016 and is a spin-off from the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute in New York.

One of the challenges in detecting harmful radiation from sunlight, he said, is that sunlight has nearly countless different spectra, and the effects can be vastly different for different people with varying exposures.

“Skin cancer is the largest cancer in the US and Shade’s technology has the potential to provide a data-driven and chemical-free alternative to skin cancer prevention,” he added, explaining that the detector measures both instantaneous and cumulative exposure to UV.

“NSF is proud to support the technology of the future by thinking beyond incremental developments and funding the most creative, impactful ideas across all markets and areas of science and engineering,” said Andrea Belz, division director of the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF. “With the support of our research funds, any deep technology startup or small business can guide basic science into meaningful solutions that address tremendous needs.”

“With the support of NSF, we are excited to incorporate our breakthrough technology into a low-cost, low-power, surface-mount component,” said Peter Kaplan, Ph.D., chief technology officer at Shade.

The NSF grant is the second Shade has received from that federal agency. The company’s work has also received the backing of the National Cancer Institute and early-stage venture capital funds.

The Shade technology has been used in five research publications and has recorded over three million data points of UV exposure, so far – but the company seeks further partnerships.

For more information, visit www.wearshade.com.

About the Center for Discovery and Innovation

The Center for Discovery and Innovation, a newly established member of Hackensack Meridian Health, seeks to translate current innovations in science to improve clinical outcomes for patients with cancer, infectious diseases and other life-threatening and disabling conditions. The CDI, housed in a fully renovated state-of-the-art facility, offers world-class researchers a support infrastructure and culture of discovery that promotes science innovation and rapid translation to the clinic.