KRI at Northeastern University: Pioneering Applied Research and Innovation

Sep 15, 2023 | Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Spinout, Startup

Kostas KRIAt the heart of Northeastern University’s vision, the Kostas Research Institute (KRI) serves as a powerful extension, channeling its expertise into practical applications. In a recent interview with Dr. Thomas Vaneck, the CEO of KRI, LLC, and the Director of Kostas Research Institute, the remarkable achievements and aspirations of this pioneering establishment came to light.

One significant achievement for KRI is the prestigious James S. Cogswell Award, representing a high standard of excellence in the field of industrial security. Dr. Vaneck expressed pride in this recognition, emphasizing that “the award not only acknowledges KRI’s proficiency but also validates its expertise in surpassing others in this domain.” This recognition has not only enhanced KRI’s reputation but has also paved the way for significant collaborations, enabling KRI to establish connections with research organizations across the nation, and fostering partnerships that catalyze groundbreaking projects.

Amidst the fabric of collaboration, the KRI and the Center for Research and Innovation (CRI) intertwine their efforts to propel research and innovation to new heights. Utilizing the resources within KRI labs, CRI takes proactive measures to prepare its spinouts comprehensively. This includes securing patent protection for their intellectual property, facilitating licensing agreements, and providing robust venture program support. With shared research resources and a common goal of advancing knowledge, CRI’s affiliation with KRI underscores the power of partnerships in driving groundbreaking projects forward.

In the sphere of KRI’s influence, one stellar thread stands out—the remarkable contributions by the ingenious minds of researchers like Yunume Fitchorova, a Senior Research Scientist at the Kostas Research Institute. It involved the development of an electronic component that historically relied on rare earth elements, making it a costly and challenging endeavor. Fitchorova’s ingenuity paved the way for the replacement of these rare elements with conventional magnetic technology, substantially enhancing the component’s performance. Beyond resolving supply constraints, this advancement extended the technology’s potential applications to various industries, including automobiles, commercial aircraft, and cell phones.

Dr. Vaneck’s vision for KRI centers on an applied mindset, where researchers envision the end-users of their solutions. “Our approach is solution-driven,” he emphasized, “constantly thinking about the end results we want to achieve and working backward to ensure our design and development process remains mindful of practicality and cost-effectiveness.” This approach not only enhances the efficiency of their solutions but also ensures that their research directly benefits those who will ultimately utilize the final products.

“KRI represents a unique opportunity to help foster the commercialization of innovation by Northeastern researchers.  With the space of startups at their campus in Burlington, their long history of developing cybersecurity and defense technologies as well as their specialized facilities for real-world testing of drones and communications technologies – there is great potential to help translate research from the lab to market.  CRI is excited to be partnering with Tom and the staff at KRI to help achieve the greatest impact.” said Myron Kassaraba, Director of Commercialization at CRI.

Written by Yash Wadhwa