Solution-driven innovations to be highlighted at eMerge Americas

The University's innovation will be on display at eMerge Americas 2022, held April 18-19 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
By Barbara Gutierrez

The University's innovation will be on display at eMerge Americas 2022, held April 18-19 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Solution-driven innovations to be highlighted at eMerge Americas

By Barbara Gutierrez
The University of Miami is an innovation incubator and accelerator of technological advances and entrepreneurial solutions. The University’s work—and the entrepreneurial people driving that work—will be on full display April 18-19 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

The University of Miami will showcase its impactful work as a driver of innovation and entrepreneurial thought across a range of disciplines, including health tech and climate tech, at the upcoming eMerge Americas conference, “Transforming Miami into a Global Tech Hub,” April 18-19 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

University of Miami President Julio Frenk and Jeffrey Duerk, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, will be featured speakers during the two-day conference, which is a premier tech event drawing attendees from around the globe.

“We are so proud to continue our longstanding participation in the eMerge conference,” said Duerk. “It is a wonderful and important opportunity to highlight some very special innovations, groundbreaking projects, and companies emerging from the University of Miami as we carry out our research and translational mission across all our disciplines. eMerge offers us the opportunity to network with top technology leaders from Miami and across the U.S. and the region, as well as share our knowledge and learn from others.”

Among the projects and spin-offs that the University will feature is Heru Inc., a software platform—developed by clinicians and scientists at the University’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, the nation’s leading eye hospital—that works with commercially available augmented and virtual reality headsets to detect eye disease at a fraction of the cost of other tests. Conference goers will be able to wear the headsets for an interactive experience.

Another project, called SEAHIVE, focuses on protecting coastal cities, such as Miami, from the effects of climate change. Designed by an interdisciplinary group of University faculty members, this modular system made of hexagonal concrete units mitigates wave energy more effectively than a seawall while providing a safe habitat for marine life. A smaller prototype of the system, which works in conjunction with nature’s own protection, such as mangroves and coral reefs, will be on display at the University’s booth on the expo floor.

A commitment to nurturing entrepreneurship and fostering partnerships with local and global communities is part of the University’s culture and is the foundation of U Innovation, which encompasses several programs that convert big ideas into commercial innovations.

Among the U Innovation programs featured at eMerge will be ’Cane Angel Network, which unites entrepreneurs and investors from the University community to provide startups with early-stage funding and a network of advisors.  

Also featured will be the Wallace H. Coulter Center for Translational Research at the Miller School of Medicine, which creates practical applications of biomedical and bioengineering research to create products and procedures that will have a positive impact on public health.   

The University also will feature a space dedicated to celebrating “Women in Technology at the U,” which will display a selection of photos and biographies of women at the University who are distinguished leaders in research and entrepreneurship.

Prior to the opening of the eMerge conference on April 18, the University and the Knight Foundation will host a panel called “Knight Conversation on Miami at the Intersection of Tech and Democracy,” from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in room 202 at the convention center. Frenk will lead the discussion along with Alberto Ibargüen, president of the Knight Foundation; and host Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald columnist and CNN political analyst. Panelists will include Rony Abovitz, chief executive officer of Sun and Thunder and founder of Magic Leap; Jaret Davis, co-managing shareholder of the Miami office of Greenberg Traurig, P.A.; June Teufel Dreyer, University of Miami professor of political science; Carlos Trujillo, former U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States; and Yelena Yesha, Knight Foundation Endowed Chair of Data Science and AI at the University of Miami Institute for Data Science and Computing.

Members of the University community will also take part in panels and discussions during the conference, including:

Monday, April 18

  • Duerk will emcee a session on the Launch Pad Stage titled “Hemispheric University Consortium Social Ideas Challenge,” a unique international contest seeking entrepreneurial ideas with social impact in university communities, 12:15-1:15 p.m.
  • Frenk will participate in a panel discussion titled “The Future of Education Is Being Shaped by Tech and Innovation” at 2:40 p.m. Other panelists include Madeline Pumariega, president of Miami Dade College, and Jaret Davis, co-managing shareholder of Greenberg Traurig.

Tuesday, April 19

  • Joe Echevarria, UHealth chief executive officer and executive vice president for health affairs, will take part in the Main Stage Founder’s Factory panel, “Founder’s Factory Makes Its Big Bet on Health in Miami,” at 10:55 a.m. Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava will moderate the discussion.

For more information on the eMerge conference and to access a complete agenda, visit

Registration for the conference is free for University of Miami students, faculty, and staff. For details on how to register, visit