Published on
Nov 18, 2021

Two Phase I Awards Made by Air Force Small Business Innovation Research and Technology Transfer ( SBIR / STTR )

Portland, Oregon- Motusi Corporation (MOTUSI) partnered with George Fox University to test and validate their full-body-wearable, force-sensing platform for treatment of musculoskeletal injuries. MOTUSI’s platform independently tracks movements and forces on the body along with the center of motion as data for research in physical therapy, injury assessment, performance tracking, and occupational health and safety. 

The Academic Partnership Engagement Experiment (APEX) program, a Department of the Air Force partnership intermediary managed by Parallax Advanced Research, provided Air Force Small Business Innovation Research and Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) process navigation consulting to MOTUSI and assisted the company in successfully presenting their breakthrough technology for SBIR / STTR funding.

MOTUSI is a company comprised of a team of experts in data science, physio science, technology, and design that offers a platform in the spaces of physical therapy, performance training, research, and occupational health and safety. The vision at MOTUSI is to help people understand movement, assess performance, and optimally utilize data collected from real-time movement that is captured continuously in any environment.

The gold standard for measuring movement, ground reaction forces, and forces on the body is 3D camera equipment and force plates in a static lab environment. A biomechanics lab with such equipment can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, is limited to a few users per day, and only gives controlled environment data -- not real-world scenarios. MOTUSI’s engineered wearable platform is unique because it eliminates the need for expensive lab equipment and the constraints of a static lab environment. 

“The capacity to obtain clear objective data about the athlete’s movement and how their bodies work in an authentic real-world environment provides unique value to the military and each user. A physical therapist can use this data to assist with injured warfighter recovery and return to service,” said Lindsay Eng, lead supply chain manager at MOTUSI. “This technology is relevant for athletes, armed forces, and any other field where optimization of human performance is critical.”

“Our founders decided to completely re-engineer it and build it here – so now we design and make our own hardware, software, and cloud systems in the Pacific Northwest,” said Eng.

The MOTUSI team connected to APEX services through a personal referral while interacting within the broad military enterprise. APEX helped MOTUSI through the application process for different rounds of the Air Force SBIR/STTR awards. 

“Some of the most valuable help has been having APEX SBIR / STTR program director, Dave Nestic, look through our presentations before final submission and give us his feedback. Dave made himself available to share his experience with other companies and skillfully guided us to improve our applications – resulting in “wins”. APEX presentations, especially from individuals who have worked for the U.S. Air Force, are very helpful to civilian companies,” said Eng.

MOTUSI won a $50,000 SBIR Phase I award in early 2020 and followed up with a $50,000 STTR Phase I award in April 2021 for its motion-sensing technology. MOTUSI is preparing for its Phase II STTR , which is focused on its military physical training and therapy market with the U.S. Air Force.

MOTUSI is now working on more networking within the military and moving on to applying for SBIR / STTR Phase II awards. Their technology has a strong future with all athletes – military and non-military – for Return to Sport and other non-military physical therapy markets as well. 

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About Parallax Advanced Research

Parallax is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that tackles global challenges by accelerating innovation and developing technology and solutions through strategic partnerships with government, industry and academia across Ohio and the Nation. Together with academia, Parallax accelerates innovation that leads to new breakthroughs. Together with government, Parallax tackles critical global challenges and delivers new solutions. Together with industry, Parallax develops groundbreaking ideas and speeds them to market.  

About Academic Partnership Engagement Experiment ( APEX )

APEX cultivates innovation by expanding the American research enterprise for the Department of the Air Force by engaging, connecting, and enabling innovators across academia, industry, and the Department of Defense. APEX utilizes data analytics to identify transformational operational defense solutions in academia, industry, and government sectors; provides process navigation services for academic teams and small businesses; and enhances cross-sector engagement by providing direct connections to the technology needs of multiple Department of Defense programs.  APEX is managed by Parallax Advanced Research.

About MOTUSI

Motusi’s platform delivers human performance insights to patients and professionals that revolutionizes personal care, injury assessment and recovery, and enhances personal performance. Our platform delivers improved patient-reported outcomes in clinic settings, hybrid telehealth sessions, and remote-patient treatment environments for athletes and all users. Our innovative full-body sensor and analytics solution captures continuous and contextual information about a person’s performance – anywhere, anytime. Motusi is comprised of a team of experts in data science, physio science, technology, and design.