This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

May 2, 2012

Award-Winning Innovations Point to an Enhanced Future

Established in 1987, The Edison Awards honor and advance Thomas Edison's wide-ranging contributions to technology and consumer products. They also inspire continued innovation across the globe. Through its non-profit, Edison Universe, the organization also supports future innovators and fosters future innovation. Being recognized with an Edison Award is one of the highest accolades a company can receive in the name of innovation and business in the world. We have chosen a handful of the top 2012 winners to highlight here.

This year's recipient of the Edison Achievement Award is the curator of The TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conferences Chris Anderson. Held annually in Long Beach/Palm Springs and Edinburgh, Scotland, TED brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, challenged to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes or less. TED explores the power of ideas, crowd sourcing, and open broadcasting to make a profound difference in the world. (If you have not watched the TED videos, you owe it to yourself to check them out on There are hundreds of videos on a very wide variety of topics.) Only the world's most leading-edge thinkers are invited to speak at TED.

Can you imagine a device that allows paraplegics to walk? That's just what Ekso the bionic exoskeleton does. This Gold Winner in the Assistive Devices category this year allows wheelchair users to stand and walk. Ekso Bionics (, headquartered in Berkeley, California, is a designer and maker of wearable robots, or exoskeletons, that physically augment humans.

In the Pharmaceutical category, the Gold Winner was Synthetic Vaccine Particles by Selecta Biosciences. This clinical-stage biotechnology company creates a new paradigm in vaccine development, enabling completely new therapeutic applications with the potential for improved efficacy and safety profiles. With applications that include cancer, infectious diseases, allergies, and addiction, these advancements offer compelling benefits, including flexible modular vaccine design and reduced development cost and time.

These innovations together with the other Edison Award Winners, offer glimpse into the brave new world of the future with solutions that we have not yet conceived and savings of lives, time, and money that society will appreciate. For more information, visit

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