In our latest wrapup of Triangle companies making news:

  • AgBiome lands a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • The Open Invention Network tops 2,000 members
  • Automated Insights cracks top artificial intelligence company list
  • Spoonflower, StoryPatches name winner in their design contest
  • SciQuest rolls out a new product

The details:

  • AgBiome Awarded Grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Spource: AgBioMe

RTP-based AgBiome, a leader in the development of microbial solutions for agriculture, has been awarded a multi-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to discover biological insect control for deployment to smallholder farmers in African nations. The project, entitled RSM Systems Biology for Sweetpotato: Engineering the African Root/Soil/Microbiome for Enhanced Crop Productivity, aims to discover beneficial microbes with the ability to control sweetpotato weevils.

Sweetpotatoes are a key dietary staple and supplemental food crop in sub-Saharan Africa, where they are primarily grown by poor smallholder farmers. Orange-fleshed varieties provide an important source of Vitamin A, a nutrient critical in preventing blindness and immune system weakness. The sweetpotato weevil is the crop’s most serious insect pest, causing losses of 60-100 percent if left untreated. To date, there are no viable control methods for the weevil in Africa. Biological control is an attractive solution, generally affording low- or no-exposure risk and potentially offering season-long control through inoculation of host plants.

The project will be led by AgBiome entomologists, Drs. Brooke Bissinger and Chad Keyser, and will occur in partnership with the laboratory of Dr. Jeff Davis at the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center.

  • ​Open Invention Network Demonstrates Its Leadership as the Largest Patent Non-Aggression Community by Surpassing 2,000 Licensees

Source: OIN

Durham-based Open Invention Network (OIN), the largest patent non-aggression community in history, announced today that the number of organizations joining the OIN community by accepting the OIN license has surpassed the 2,000 mark. To put this milestone into perspective, in only 18 months OIN has doubled the size of its community, indicative of the growing importance of open source software and the increased expectation for patent non-aggression in core Linux and open source technologies.

OIN’s large and growing community is distinct as a patent non-aggression organization as participation is available to the entire technology industry. There is no charge to join OIN, and participation provides access to hundreds of millions of dollars worth of intellectual property while promoting a positive environment for Linux and open source software.

“OIN’s remarkable growth has been driven by heightened recognition of the importance of open source as a modality for innovation and a broad-based acceptance of patent non-aggression as a cultural norm in the Linux and greater open source community. The resultant values of collaboration and sharing have become pervasive and with it has emerged an expectation of freedom from patent aggression within the scope of the Linux System,” said Keith Bergelt, CEO. “In expanding its network of licensees and the strength of its community, OIN has appealed to small and large companies alike and is now seen as a key resource in supporting patent non-aggression.”

OIN facilitates the sharing of patent rights between its community members and the coverage for sharing is called OIN’s “Linux System”. As the pervasiveness of Linux has increased, the definition of the Linux System has evolved to address Linux and adjacent open source technologies as well as mobile, Cloud, Internet-of-Things, embedded and automotive technologies, among many others.

  • Automated Insights Named a Top 25 Artificial Intelligence Startup

Source: Automated Insights

Durham-based Automated Insights (Ai) has been been ranked as one of the world’s Top 25 Artificial Intelligence Startups in a recent analysis of CrunchBase data published by Forbes.

Ai, the creator of Wordsmith, an artificial intelligence platform that generates human-sounding narratives from data, is ranked 16th on the global list and is in the top 10 of U.S.-based companies. The only natural language generation company on the list, Ai is also the only ranked company from the Triangle, N.C. region and the only one based in the southeastern United States.

“We’re redefining how businesses communicate by leveraging artificial intelligence,” said Automated Insights CEO Robbie Allen. “Wordsmith is the only self-service natural language generation platform. We’re continuing to push the limits of automated content generation by offering the first open API for natural language generation so that companies can deliver personalized content at massive scale and in real-time.”

  • Spoonflower & StoryPatches Design Challenge Adds New Dimension to Quilting

Source: Spoonflower

On June 30, Heleen van Buul was named the winner of Durham-based Spoonflower’s Design Challenge in collaboration with StoryPatches [], a company that makes quilt labels that link to video, photos, and written notes. StoryPatches will use van Buul’s winning design, “Bird family tree,” to build a limited edition quilt label collection. Van Buul, known as Heleenvanbuul on Spoonflower [], also received $300from StoryPatches and $300 from Spoonflower, and a licensing contract for the run of quilt labels.

The month-long Design Challenge invited participants to create a design specifically for StoryPatches in the visual theme of “family tree.” Van Buul’s four coordinating designs [] featuring birds and birdhouses garnered the most votes from a pool of 159 unique entries.

  • SciQuest offers new purchasing program delivers pre-negotiated discounts from key suppliers

Source: SciQuest

Morrisville-based SciQuest, Inc. (Nasdaq: SQI), the leading public provider of spend management solutions, has delivered the easiest and fastest way to capture value beyond savings with the new SciQuest Edge purchasing program. Included with SciQuest’s eProcurement solutions, SciQuest Edge delivers instant savings with pre-negotiated discounts from key suppliers.

“SciQuest has leveraged the collective buying power of our user community to provide discounts to customers quickly and easily,” said Stephen Wiehe, president and CEO of SciQuest. “With instant access to preferred suppliers in many critical categories, SciQuest customers can implement eProcurement solutions even faster without having to negotiate terms on their own.”

SciQuest Edge allows customers to simply select the applicable suppliers and products from a comprehensive list, ask that they be enabled and immediately enjoy discount pricing. Suppliers in SciQuest Edge have delivered consistent performance over time, while optimizing integration and communications with SciQuest’s eProcurement software. The result is a high quality experience with a high return on investment.