2015 Success Awardee (Technology Commercialization): Bright Cloud International Corp.

DECAL - NJSBDC Success Awardees - 2015 illustration [TECH COMM]




Bright Cloud International Corp. (BCI) was founded in 2009 by Dr. Grigore (Greg) Burdea, a Rutgers professor and pioneer in the field of virtual rehabilitation. Virtual rehabilitation combines custom hardware with therapeutic videogames to supplement and extend treatment beyond the limits of traditional care years following the onset of cerebral vascular disease. Burdea’s systems have proven ideal for that.

Patients need an engaging rehabilitation system that can induce a high number of arm movements leading to improved brain functioning. Bright Cloud’s breakthrough systems are the first to integrate the previously separate fields of physical, cognitive and emotive rehabilitation providing a single point-of-care that benefits stroke, traum-atic brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease, and cerebral palsy.

Burdea received his first investment in June 2010. A $100,000 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) helped him design, construct and feasibility test the BrightArm™ device targeted to chronic post-stroke residents in skilled nursing facilities. The system proved successful, and was even awarded a prize in the first national venture medical robotics competition sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

NJSBDC Technology Commercialization Consultant, Randy Harmon, began working with BCI in 2011 on a SBIR Phase II proposal and technology commercialization plan explaining how the company would ultimately move BrightArm™ into the marketplace. The Phase II proposal received a borderline funding score and was placed on a waiting list. Instead of waiting, Dr. Burdea went to work strengthening the research proposal and Randy worked on an improved commercialization plan. The proposal was subsequently funded in September 2012 when BCI received a $1,324,000 Phase II grant, which led to the development of the BrightArm Duo, a robotic rehabilitation table that trains both arms simultaneously.

The same games developed for the BrightArm Duo were also piloted with dementia patients on a portable prototype device using off-the-shelf game controllers. The BrightBrainer™ training resulted in improved decision-making and reduced depression, even for forms of dementia previously considered irreversible.

Based on these preliminary results, Greg prepared an NIH FastTrack proposal to develop a home-based version. The proposal was rejected. NJSBDC’s Technology Commercialization Lead Consultant Randy Harmon suggested a change in submission strategy and reviewed and made suggestions for strengthening the new proposal. Bright Cloud then received a $224,500 Phase I SBIR grant to demonstrate the new device beginning October 1 of this year. Dr. Burdea says that “Randy has become a valuable advisor to our company contributing significantly to the success of our SBIR proposals and to our chances to attract further investment.”

Bright Cloud International Corp.
29 L’Ambiance Court

Highland Park, NJ 08904

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IMAGE CREDIT: Anthony Alvarez Photography, LLC