Archive for August, 2013

Ray C. Anderson Foundation Awards GRA and GA Universities Grants in 2013

The Ray C. Anderson Foundation  has awarded grants in the first two quarters of 2013 totaling more than $600,000 in support of environmental initiatives and sustainability research. The grants are awarded and paid in keeping with the organization’s desire to advance the legacy of Ray C. Anderson (1934-2011), beloved founder and chairman of Interface, Inc. and globally recognized “pioneer for the environment.”

In February 2013, the Foundation issued a public request for proposals (RFP) to environmental nonprofit organizations, and an invitation only RFP was sent to more than 70 colleges and universities, mainly within the Southeast.

GRA along with Clark Atlanta University, Emory University, Georgia State University, and Georgia Tech have all received support this year.

“The response was overwhelming,” said John Lanier, the Foundation’s Director. “I think it opened our eyes to just how many organizations are doing outstanding work across the country. We certainly saw a great need in our own region for funding, and going forward we hope to advance the cause of sustainability in our corner of the world in particular.”

Read more in the Atlanta Business Chronicle >

August 28, 2013 at 11:34 pm Leave a comment

Center for Behavioral Neuroscience Receives $3.4M Grant to Study How Brain Expresses Positive Emotions

The Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, led by Georgia State University, has received a $3.4 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation ( to investigate the neurobiology behind the evolution of positive emotions and prosocial behaviors, such as empathy, compassion and cooperation. Such insight is fundamental to understanding how complex human emotions and social interactions are expressed.

“This funding from the Templeton Foundation represents one of the largest single investments into research on how the human brain evolved the ability to express these positive attributes and emotions,” said Dr. Elliott Albers, director of the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience (CBN), a consortium of scientists from seven Atlanta higher education institutions.

The research will build on advances that have been made in the understanding of the neural basis of positive emotions and will employ state-of-the-art new technologies to investigate the neural mechanisms responsible for prosocial capabilities in the human brain.

“This funding will support the longstanding inter-institutional, multidisciplinary research program of the CBN,” said Michael Cassidy, president of the Georgia Research Alliance, “and the ability to obtain such funding is indicative of the strength of Georgia research universities in the area of brain research.”

The project will be a collaborative endeavor, involving a team of researchers from Georgia State, Emory University, Yerkes National Primate Research Center and Zoo Atlanta. The project’s primary goal will be to determine if human forms of prosocial emotion and behavior, which are controlled by neural circuits in the brain, are unique to humans or are present in other nonhuman primates.

By comparing the structure and function of the neural mechanisms regulating prosocial behavior in human and nonhuman primates, it will be possible to define the nature and evolutionary development of characteristics such as empathy, compassion and cooperation.

The research team will work to determine if oxytocin, a chemical signal in the brain, acts uniquely within the human brain to aid human prosocial emotion and behavior or if it acts similarly in nonhuman primates as well.

The funding will support an exhibit at Zoo Atlanta designed to develop wider public awareness of neuroscience research. The interactive exhibit will include educational activities that will allow zoo visitors to learn more about emotional and behavioral similarities and differences between humans and nonhuman primates.

“We are excited about the opportunity to continue our longstanding relationship with CBN scientists to bring the most recent discoveries about the brain and behavior to zoo visitors,” said Dr. Dwight Lawson, deputy director of Zoo Atlanta.

The Center for Behavioral Neuroscience was established in 1999 with funding from the National Science Foundation and the Georgia Research Alliance.

August 28, 2013 at 8:57 am Leave a comment

Two GRA Venture Companies Make 2013 Inc. Fastest-Growing

Inc. Magazine has released its annual ranking of the fastest- growing companies in the nation.  The Inc. 500|5000 ranks companies by overall revenue growth over a three-year period.  This year, two GRA Venture companies have made the list: Innovolt (#38) and Reach Health (#3099).

Innovolt’s Intelligent Asset Management (IAM) platform combines patented protection technology with comprehensive monitoring and analytics software to help companies safeguard and optimize the performance, productivity, and usable life of the electronics that power today’s digital world.

Read the full Inc. profile >

REACH Health
REACH Health technology powers many of the nation’s largest, fastest growing and most successful telemedicine networks, helping health systems and accountable care organizations achieve measurable improvements in their clinical, operational and financial performance.

Read the full Inc. profile >

August 26, 2013 at 11:34 pm Leave a comment