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Espy-Wilson and Pruthi win in University's Business Plan Competition

Professor Carol Espy-Wilson pitches the Omnispeech plan at the competition.
Professor Carol Espy-Wilson pitches the Omnispeech plan at the competition.

Professor Carol Espy-Wilson (ECE/ISR) and Tarun Pruthi, a research associate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, won the “High Technology Category” of the 2010 University of Maryland $75K Business Plan Competition.

The annual event is hosted by Mtech, the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute.

Espy-Wilson and Pruthi won a $40,000 prize for Omnispeech LLC, a start-up company that has developed a speech extraction technology for voice communications. The technology addresses a problem familiar to anyone who has used a cell phone in a public place: background noise. The novel algorithm "cleans up" speech by separating the voices of the primary speakers from their noisy environments. It additionally can be used to improve sound quality in hearing aids, for military sniper and subject identification, and in teleconferencing. The technology behind Omnispeech also won the university's 2010 "Invention of the Year Award."

The business plan competition promotes the commercialization of innovative ideas and university-created technologies by offering faculty and students prizes for the best new venture plans. It is part of “Business Competitions Day,” organized by Mtech and the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship.

Related Articles:
Vishnubhotla, Espy-Wilson granted patent for improving speech extraction
NSF funds Shamma, Espy-Wilson for neuromorphic and data-driven speech segregation research
Five recipients of ISR Graduate Student Travel Award announced
Espy-Wilson named International Speech Communication Association Fellow
Espy-Wilson's technology included in new Alcatel MOVE TIME smart watch
Espy-Wilson named to NIH advisory council
Espy-Wilson delivers plenary address at College Board conference
Engineering systems for mental health work by Espy-Wilson, Resnik, Vaughn-Cooke featured in Newsweek
OmniSpeech, Espy-Wilson mentioned on "Washington Business Report"
Carol Espy-Wilson is PI for multi-site NSF speech recognition grant

May 7, 2010


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