Cleveland’s Internet2 Technology Exchange offers chance to envision, collaborate, innovate

This article originally appeared at The News-Herald and The Morning Journal

Northeast Ohio’s growing identity as a desirable place for the technology industry to thrive will be getting another upgrade when the Technology Exchange presented by Internet2 comes to the Cleveland Convention Center, Oct. 4-7.

Internet2, a global community of research, academic, industry and government leaders focused on innovative technology creation and collaboration, is bringing the conference to Cleveland in its second year with a theme of “Envision. Collaborate. Innovate.”

According to the nonprofit’s website, the Technology Exchange’s goal is providing opportunities to share expertise and advance the state of the art. Technologists, scientists, students and others will have a chance to build new connections and redefine the future of research and education in high-performance computing, virtualization, cloud services and a variety of other disciplines.

The event is hosted by a partnership between Case Western Reserve University, the Ohio Academic Resources Network and the Ohio Valley Internet2 Consortium, with additional support from OneCommunity, a Northeast Ohio nonprofit working to expand high-speed broadband access and adoption in the region.

Sue Workman, chief information officer of CWRU, cites several reasons for Cleveland being chosen as the site for this year’s Technology Exchange, including the people resource, the attractive climate for industries to settle here and OneCommunity’s 100-gigabit fiber optic network along Cleveland’s Health-Tech Corridor — the nation’s first commercially available network of its kind.

“Those kinds of things really are attractive to technical environments,” Workman said. “There’s also now several data centers popping up. The use of commercial data centers, to be able to host the kinds of infrastructure that you need is really an attraction as well.”

Focused on higher-education technology, the conference will have people from universities and institutions, as well as vendors, advanced technology demonstrations, workshops and keynote presentations from industry leaders.

Featured speakers include Susan M. Gordon, deputy director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency; Charlie Catlett, founding director of the Urban Center for Computation and Data who will speak about open data and instrumenting cities based on work with the city of Chicago; and Workman herself, presenting with radiology professor Mark Griswold.

They will cover insights about how the partnership between CWRU and Microsoft HoloLens — the first fully untethered, see-through holographic computer — is transforming learning.

“HoloLens is a holographic, mixed-reality experience, really,” Workman said.

A Community Showcase is also planned, offering an informal venue featuring topics and demos given by the community. Those wishing to utilize the venue can submit abstracts aimed primarily at innovative research, new technological breakthroughs and in-session demonstrations that provoke discussion and interaction with attendees.

Programming isn’t just limited to the Convention Center, either, like an evening reception on Oct. 5 planned at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“And right before the Tech Exchange will be the think[box] grand opening,” Workman said. CWRU’s renovated new home for the innovation center, a $30 million facility, is set to open Oct. 1. “We’re hoping to get people through to see tours of that. The Health Education Complex will have a tremendous amount of technology, and we’ll be using the HoloLens to look at ‘how do we teach differently?’ There’s a lot going on right now.”

Registration information for the Technology Exchange is found on Internet2’s website, and the community has a #TechEX15 hashtag on Twitter for keeping up-to-date with news.


Ingenuity showcases Cleveland’s transition

What’s your transition? Ingenuity evolves along with the city and community

This story originally appeared at The News-Herald and The Morning Journal

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Ingenuity Cleveland takes place Oct. 2-4 at Voinovich Park in Cleveland and features an array of music, artistic programming, performances, hands-on activities and large-scale art installations. This year’s theme is “Transition.”

Now in it’s tenth year, Ingenuity Cleveland’s mission to reinvigorate and reinterpret the city through the creative arts has evolved from it’s roots as a movable, multi-day and multi-venue festival into a yearlong programming schedule – and this year’s theme “Transition” refers not only to changes taking place within festival itself, but speaks to the region’s transition in the national culture itself.

Featured at the festival this year is a campaign called “What’s Your Transition?” that exhibits not just the festival’s story but a number of large-scale entities around town who have gone through their own transitions. The festival takes place Oct. 2-4 at Voinovich Park in Cleveland and features an array of music, artistic programming, performances, hands-on activities and large-scale art installations.

“We used to say that we animated Cleveland’s spaces through the intersection of art and technology,” said Emily Appelbaum, program director for Ingenuity. “That is definitely still true. Animated spaces with world-class programming is definitely a piece of the mission. But we’re not called upon to activate these forgotten about places in Cleveland anymore because there aren’t too many places in downtown Cleveland that are still forgotten about.

“Now we kind of think about it as taking that same idea, to activate underutilized resources and instead applying it to the artistic community itself,” she said.

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Appelbaum, a native Clevelander, is brand-new to Ingenuity, with 2015 being her first festival. She grew up in the area, and studied architecture at Yale before heading west to work at the intersection of architecture, community organizing and public art. She returned to Cleveland about a year ago, and worked with LAND studio, who helped redesign Public Square, before joining Ingenuity in the spring.

Investing in the Northeast Ohio community through a creative, rather than physical landscape, is inclusive of not only visual studio arts. On the other side of the spectrum from traditional gallery artists, Ingenuity is a showcase for builders, makers and tinkerers of all sorts. In addition, this creative landscape is inclusive of the region’s wealth of industry and manufacturing as well.

“We have a long history of making things here (in Northeast Ohio),” Appelbaum said. “We have a long history of fabricating, manufacturing and industry. Right now is the time when those activities are really in the national conversation. We’re returning manufacturing to America, but doing it in a way that’s all about creativity and innovation.

“Cleveland is extremely well situated for that.”

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In the same way the festival has grown from its roots utilizing physical spaces, Ingenuity helps to build the connections between these facets through collaboration, integrated projects and functionality.

“It’s about reinvesting in the community, and helping projects grow that will strengthen that community,” Appelbaum said.

In the spirit of collaboration, Ingenuity brings in people from all over as collaborators. This year, artists are coming from places like California, Colorado, New York and Toronto as well as nearer locations like Pennsylvania, Chicago and Toledo.

San Francisco artist Tom Franco, brother of actor James Franco, who started several community-based art spaces in the bay area, is coming to work directly with local artist Guerin Wolf. The two are working together on a large-scale installation called “Pipe Dreams,” a collaborative, community-built art project.

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Ingenuity is a nonprofit that works through corporate sponsorships, something that’s very important to the festival, according to Appelbaum.

“Rather than simply approaching corporate partners and having them slap their name on a sign, we try to build highly-specific programs that further their mission and our own,” she said. “That might be having them come out and showcase a new product in an interesting way – and by product I mean something that the artistic community will benefit from.”

One of those partners this year is HGR, a large-scale industrial surplus distributor who gets “all kinds of crazy equipment,” according to Appelbaum, one-of-a-kind pieces like what would come from an old factory. They are sponsoring a project onsite called Iron Architects, allowing people to build site-specific installations around the clock during the festival.

For those who wish to volunteer, donate or contribute, Appelbaum emphasized that there are ample opportunities.

“We raise money up until the day the festival starts,” she said. “There are still opportunities for corporate exhibitors, definitely for volunteers – we’re looking for the entire creative community to come together and build this event.

“This should be an event by the community, for the community. We’re here to facilitate and help build new collaborations, but ultimately the event should grow into what the community here wants to see it as.”

Ingenuity is free to attend. Event organizers suggest a $10 donation. The festival takes place Oct. 2-4. On Friday Oct. 2 the hours are 5 p.m. to 1 a.m, Saturday Oct. 3 noon to 1 a.m. and Sunday Oct. 4 noon to 5 p.m.

Since publication of this story on Sept. 17, ticket prices have undergone a change. VIP tickets are available that grant access to special programming, tastings and talks were at a cost of $45 or $70 for a pair. The prices have been updated, and tickets for the VIP Salon are now only $20 each. They are available through Eventbrite under the heading Ingenuity VIP (Very Ingenious Person) Experience.

Ingenuity has also created a passport that allows visitors access to the Great Lakes Science Center and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for a discounted rate during the festival, which takes places Oct. 2-4. The cost for the passport is $30, also available through Eventbrite at Ingenuity Passport.

Workshops offer free guidance for CWRU inventors

You’ve had a eureka moment, a sudden unexpected discovery of understanding. For inventors, whether their work involves a device or process, this moment of clarity can naturally lead to moving right ahead into continued research and development.

But there is one important step that inventors of any sort should not overlook, and take early on, according to presenters at the first of a series of Intellectual Property Workshops held at CWRU on Sept. 12, Nord Hall room 356. Hosted by CWRU’s think[box] , Blackstone LaunchPad and Intellectual Property Venture Clinic, the first workshop focused on patent searches, offering tips on how to search the United States Patent & Trademark Office website. The workshops are free and open to the CWRU community.

Before the presentation began, Blackstone LaunchPad Director Bob Sopko spoke briefly to let the assembled inventors know about several upcoming competitions and resources, like the Pitch U Northeast Ohio Elevator Pitch Competition where participants have 90 seconds to pitch a business idea to a panel of investors for a change at a $2500 first place prize. Information about this and other resources is available at CWRU’s Blackstone LaunchPad website.

“A lot of people have an idea, and they’re excited and want to dive right into it,” said Bryan Gallo, a partner at Pearne & Gordon LLP who led the presentation. His advice to inventors is to do a thorough patent search beforehand. “Doing a patent search at the beginning of a project is critical, to avoid wasting time or resources. You want to play both offense and defense.”

Playing offense means ensuring that your own idea gets put into the patent process as soon as possible in order to protect yourself from getting hedged out by someone else whose work reaches patent first. Similarly, playing defense helps to avoid duplicating work that has already been done — with potential legal ramifications.

One of the keys to successful patent searching is developing a list of different terms that could describe your idea. As an example, Gallo described a client with an idea for a heating element used in refrigerator ice makers. In performing a search, one of the things he came across used the term “congealed water product” to describe ice. When asked if unusual terms like that were used to try and conceal the patent, Gallo said that it’s possible, but more often results like that come from translations from other languages. In the case of the congealed water product, the origin was a direct translation from Korean.

Following Gallo’s presentation, the group of about 50 participants split into smaller groups based on the focus of their own work: mechanical, software, electrical, chemical and biomedical. Specialists in those areas fielded questions from the groups and offered patent searching tips more specific to those disciplines.

The Intellectual Property series was organized by David Deioma, a retired attorney who specialized in international intellectual property with a 40 year career.

“I spoke up at a meeting and asked how student inventors could capture their patents,” he said. “So they put me in charge.

“The workshops are for inventors — people who have ideas and want to start a business — to help them avoid pitfalls.”

Other workshops in the series proceed in the order an inventor might follow in along in the process. These will be held in the Richey-Mixon Building, also the home of the university’s new $30 million think[box] facility.

  • Oct. 10, U.S. and foreign patents
  • Nov. 14, Funding for inventions and businesses
  • Jan. 23, Legal rights of inventors and joint inventors
  • Feb. 20, Using arbitration and mediation to resolve conflicts and the litigation process
  • Mar. 26, Trademarks and copyrights

For questions about the workshops, email Bob Sopko at

Armchair Booking: WWE Night of Champions 2015

By Long Shot contributor Tim Simko

For those who have read my articles in the past, I am a huge WWE fan. For practically my entire life, I have followed wrestling in some capacity and paid attention to most of the feuds. In addition, I have also followed independent wrestling for the past few years and on occasion converse with various wrestlers including the “Handicapped Heroes” Gregory Iron and Zach Gowen.

Night of Champions

Later this month at WWE’s Night of Champions event — which will be broadcast on Pay-Per-View and the WWE Network — Seth Rollins will defend his newly won United States Championship against former champion John Cena, while also defending his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against “The Icon” Sting. Rollins has already proven himself as a main eventer since winning the championship, but the upcoming Pay-Per-View event has the potential to make him an even bigger star. With that being said, I will give my opinion on what can and should be done to ensure the best outcome for all involved—and the one that can keep everybody happy.

First, Rollins will defend his United States Championship against John Cena. This will be a difficult match to book. Rollins has been booked very strong as a champion, and the WWE officials behind the scenes have avoided booking him as the typical “cowardly heel.” While he has his shortcomings, Rollins has overall been able to talk the talk and walk the walk.

Cena, on the other hand, has been booked stronger than any other wrestler in WWE history. He has far more wins than losses, and on the rare occasion that he does lose a match it is almost always due to some form of outside interference. With Rollins starting to come out as a star on his own without The Authority interfering on his behalf, it could be difficult to book Rollins in a way that makes him the victor while keeping Vince McMahon’s hand picked star strong.

What could happen is something that is incredibly rare — have Cena put Rollins over clean. A victory by Rollins without cheating or a disqualification finish would further establish him as a top face of the company for years to come, while also warming Cena up to his detractors. In recent months, Cena seems to be more willing to put over the younger stars. In the past, Cena would obliterate the young guys in the ring in order to make himself look good. A guy like Rollins would have never lasted five minutes in the ring with John Cena, but at the Summerslam event last month their match went nearly 20 minutes. Cena is an established star whether or not he holds a championship, he does not need another title reign.

Next, Sting will face off against Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. In storyline, Rollins would be exhausted from facing Cena making it entirely believable that an older veteran like Sting could defeat the younger Seth Rollins one-on-one. I would continue to book Rollins strong, adding plenty of near falls and false finishes. One of the great things about WWE in recent years is that they have been bringing in stars that can electrify when given a chance to shine. At the end of the matchup, Sting should come out victorious. He can win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, exciting the many fans who never thought they would see Sting wrestle in a WWE sanctioned main event or win their world title.

But that wouldn’t be the end of the night for Sting. WWE Superstar Sheamus has the Money in the Bank contract, which grants him a championship match anytime and anywhere. Sheamus should cash in the contract and challenge the exhausted Sting. He teased it on RAW and for him to cash in would make a lot of sense. Sting would be WWE Champion for a brief time, Sheamus would win the championship and become the new poster boy for The Authority, and having Triple H begin to favor Sheamus as a champion over the former champion Seth Rollins could set the stage for the inevitable Triple H and Seth Rollins match that has been teased over the course of the past few months.

Let me know what you think of these ideas on Twitter @TimmySimko