The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded Taza Aya $1M to adapt the company’s air curtain visor product for use by workers in the meat and poultry processing industry. Awarded through the Meat and Poultry Processing Research and Innovation (MPPRI) program, USDA is seeking to increase the resilience of the domestic food production industry, particularly for small and medium sized processors.
Of the three topic areas of interest sought by USDA, the Taza Aya technology addresses Topic Area #2: Worker Safety. Specifically, the need to protect workers from communicable diseases during stages of meat and poultry processing that require working together in close quarters. Such environments are thought to have contributed to the lost processi
In a bell-ringing ceremony reminiscent of the end of trading day at the DJIA, Innovation Partnerships, a unit of the UM Office of the Vice-President for Research, officially recognized Taza Aya as a UM spinout and licensee.
Co-founders Mike Drake and Herek Clack, along with newly appointed CEO Alberto Elli, each briefly spoke to the assembled audience, reflecting on the early days of the company, the challenges that arose, and the many ways in which Innovation Partnerships helped the company overcome them. Associate Director of Licensing, Physical Sciences & Engineering Keith Hughes related the company’s record of innovation as measured by invention disclosures and patent filings, and Associate VP for Research and Innovation Partnerships Kelly Sexton present
Taza Aya was named one of 16 start-ups making an impact in University of Michigan, 2022’s Annual Impact Report Innovation.
The article is here: https://innovationpartnerships.umich.edu/stories/u-m-innovation-partnerships-reports-433-inventions-16-new-startups-during-fy22/ including a PDF of the winners.
More evidence that mitigating airborne pathogens and maintaining healthful air is essential: A Univ. of Michigan study finds that COVID transmission via air was ~1000 times more likely than via contaminated surfaces on campus: https://news.umich.edu/at-u-m-risk-from-surface-contamination-of-covid-19-was-much-lower-than-air-transmission/
Herek Clack of Taza Aya is featured talking about Taza Aya’s solution at :55 seconds in this promotional video from University of Michigan’s Center for Entrepreneurship.
In 2020, the JLabs QuickFire Challenge was Awarded to Taza Aya for $200,000! The challenge is described in the article and video below:
University of Michigan’s College of Engineering produces a YouTube video highlighting the work of Prof. Mirko Gamba and Herek Clack on the effort, during the early days of the pandemic, to support UM hospital by testing filtration of N95 masks after their disinfection. You can watch the interview here:
Taza Aya, Founder, Herek Clack being interviewed by Local ABC affiliate WXYZ: https://www.wxyz.com/news/coronavirus/coronavirus-what-could-the-future-hold-with-new-technology
Herek Clack, Founder of Taza Aya, and Associate Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan wrote an article for The Conversation.
The big idea: It’s the enduring media image of infectious disease outbreaks, including the current coronavirus outbreak from Wuhan, China: people in public spaces with faces half-hidden by surgical masks.
Filters have long been used to remove particles, including viruses and bacteria, from the air we breathe. Particle filters are key components of building and aircraft ventilation systems. Unfortunately, viruses are much smaller than the smallest particles those filters typically capture reliably.
Read the full article here:
An article from the Daily Beast regarding a megachurch’s false claims that they could protect attendees at a rally for Former President Donald Trump using a technology installed in their ventilation system:
Taza Aya, founder, Herek Clack was quoted:
That’s not true, scientists said. The CleanAir EXP filter uses ionization to bind up particles and make them easier to pull out of the air. “This is not ‘zapping’ the virus and does not mean the virus has been rendered non-infectious,” Herek Clack, a University of Michigan environmental engineering professor, told The Daily Beast.
Read the full quote and full article here:
In the early days of COVID-19, Forbes was looking for insight into it from scientists. Herek Clack was interviewed. The full article is below:
The video below is also featured in this article: