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Biotech & beer: New Science Center tenant has way to accelerate brewing process

Better beer brewing is the focus of the newest tenant of the University City Science Center’s Port business incubator.

Fermento is now occupying lab space at the Port to further develop the technology behind its Microdroplet Maker.

The company, a recent winner of $10,000 in University of Pennsylvania’s Y-Prize Competition for young entrepreneurs, has developed technology that allows brewers to ferment beer up to three times faster than with traditional methods. Streamlining the fermentation process means brewers can avoid waiting for yeast to convert sugar to alcohol, a process than can take weeks under traditional methods.

Fermento was formed by Penn grad students Siddharth Shah, Shashwata Narainand Alexander David.

Other recent additions to the Port are BioSignal Analytics and SphereVis.

BioSignal Analytics, which was spun out of Temple University, uses big data and machine learning to create clinical tools that recognize and interpret physiological signals. The company’s first product, called the AutoEEG perform real-time seizure detection in hospital intensive-care units.

SphereVis, launched through the University of Pennsylvania’s UPStart program, is developing microscope cover slides that improve image resolution. The company said its high resolution imaging of biological and photonic structures can be achieved using conventional microscopes, at a fraction of the cost of adding a high-resolution lens or purchasing an expensive super-resolution imaging microscope.

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Kristen Fitch

Senior Director, Marketing