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News Article | November 16, 2016
Site: www.fastcompany.com

It’s a swampy August night in Las Vegas, temperatures simmering in the mid-'90s. Inside the air-conditioned T-Mobile Arena just off the Strip, a different sort of heat is rising. Fans wrapped in the orange, green, and white of the Irish flag sway in unison, chanting for Conor McGregor, the Dublin-born star of Ultimate Fighting Championship, the mixed-martial-arts league. He is facing off against Nate Diaz, a Mexican-American who surprised the fight world in March when he defeated McGregor. The Irish fighter, whose pale skin is fully inked in elaborate tattoos, has made racially derogatory remarks about Diaz, and at a joint press conference a few days ago Diaz ended up hurling water bottles and storming out. Amid the arena’s Bud Light–infused fervor, the two most powerful dealmakers in Hollywood sit cageside as if they own the place. Which they do: Patrick Whitesell and Ari Emanuel, co-CEOs of über–talent agency WME-IMG—backed by a number of financial heavyweights, including Silver Lake Partners, which is a significant investor in the agency—completed the final paperwork on a $4 billion acquisition of UFC just 48 hours earlier. "Nine days of hell" is how Emanuel describes the complex, into-the-night negotiations. "We just kept grinding. Patrick and I were not letting go of the ankle." Whitesell, 51, and Emanuel, 55, are no strangers to confrontation, usually on behalf of their clients, who include megastars like Matt Damon and Serena Williams. Increasingly, they’ve expanded their ambition—from the 2009 merger of their upstart agency, Endeavor, with the venerable William Morris Agency to their bold combination with sports-and-marketing empire International Management Group three years ago. What the UFC deal represents, though, is something entirely different, a new and even more audacious strategic strike that aims to challenge the core assumptions of the entertainment industry. Because this time, instead of just helping others create projects, they’ve made a major, multibillion-dollar leap into owning content themselves. Whitesell, a lanky Iowan with all-American good looks, stares at the Octagon, the cage-enclosed ring where the fights take place. It’s a mobile-screen-friendly 750 square feet, he notes. He then scans the millennial-filled crowd and declares flatly that UFC is "going mainstream. We just gotta, kind of, turbocharge it." The fact that mixed martial arts might be considered lowbrow by the Polo Lounge set is less important to them than UFC’s unexploited global potential. And UFC is only the beginning of where they want to go. Emanuel, typically a whirling dervish known for his speed phone calls, remains seated alongside Whitesell, transfixed by the action in the cage. Such stillness is uncharacteristic (Emanuel has treadmill desks installed in all his offices), but he is enraptured by the drama of two human beings tearing each other apart. His attention is diverted only once: when he swings around in his $8,000 seat to introduce onetime heavyweight champion Mike Tyson to his teenage son Ezra. During the final few minutes of the marquee bout, as McGregor and Diaz collapse on each other in a bloodied huddle, Emanuel is finally on his feet with the rest of the crowd, his hands cupped around his mouth as he screams into the cage, the veins on his neck standing out like cables. McGregor, who ultimately landed more blows, is declared the winner. A slurred rendition of the Irish national anthem cascades through the crowd, as Emanuel grabs his black-and-white-check blazer and rushes for the exit. I divert him momentarily: What was he yelling at the end? He practically chirps, "I wanted him to kick him in the body!" He wasn’t rooting for McGregor or Diaz. As always with Emanuel, whose career has been defined by sticking it to doubters, all he wanted to see was a great long fight. A few months before the UFC fight, Emanuel and I have lunch at Jack & Ben’s, the restaurant (named after Whitesell’s and Emanuel’s fathers) in the lobby of WME-IMG’s Beverly Hills, California, headquarters. Emanuel, who is notably relaxed and unguarded on this bright spring day, leans back in his booth. As a waiter obsequiously serves him a paleo lunch, he tells a story about another CEO. This executive, he explains, came to him looking for advice on how to fix his company, but couldn’t help spending most of the conversation rhapsodizing about its glorious history. Emanuel’s expressive face—a weather map whose shades range from jokey amiability to don’t-mess-with-me intensity—folds into a grimace as he says, "I don’t want to end up like that guy." Nostalgia has long been a hallmark of Hollywood, but Emanuel and Whitesell—who first partnered with Emanuel in 2001 and helped push Endeavor beyond its boutique origins—show no hint of it. They don’t talk about the simpler days, when a handful of stars commanded $20 million a movie and a hit TV show could gush syndication revenue for decades. They don’t pine for what had been the ultimate promotion for an agent back when they started their careers in the mailroom in the 1980s: to be picked to run a movie studio. Instead, what they talk about is forging "a media company that is built for where the world is going." With nearly 6,000 employees, WME-IMG (yes, a name change is in the works) already controls arguably the most important piece in the creation of movies, TV shows, and sporting events in today’s tech-flattened entertainment business: the talent. "Their proximity [to stars] and that relationship capital gives them power," says Peter Guber, a former studio chief who now runs Mandalay Entertainment Group, the film, TV, and sports conglomerate that co-owns the Los Angeles Dodgers and Golden State Warriors. "They are now coming in the back door, the side door, over the top." "If we do it right, this is the best platform," Whitesell says, meaning that he believes that the collection of assets that he and Emanuel now control give them the best possible tools to navigate every shift roiling their industry, from the rise of China to megamergers such as the proposed AT&T–Time Warner deal. WME-IMG not only represents such Hollywood luminaries as Claire Danes and Jimmy Kimmel, but also sports stars, fashion designers and models, and chefs. It sees potential in using IMG’s business selling media rights to events such as Wimbledon and Chinese soccer to sell TV shows around the world without having to go to a studio to do it for them. The events in which it has equity—fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan, and Sydney; contemporary art fairs in New York, London, and Berlin; Professional Bull Riders and UFC; a new e-sports league via a joint venture with Turner Broadcasting—give it a stake in the booming live-event business. Everything holds appeal for major brands looking to reach customers in new ways, and WME-IMG also owns a 49% stake in one of the most highly regarded ad agencies, Droga5. "I don’t think anyone’s taken the leap that Ari and Patrick did, and so quickly," says original superagent Michael Ovitz. "Their scale in such a short time is amazing." These pieces may seem eclectic and even random. But to Whitesell and Emanuel, there’s a unifying theme: They all can be entertainment. "They all have that connective tissue," Whitesell says, they are all platforms to create content. They can then sell all these forms of entertainment directly to fans interested in going deep in their niches. "There will be more disruption, across all of [media and entertainment]," says Whitesell, who’s known as the deeper strategic thinker of WME-IMG’s co-CEOs. "But that will be good for us." As traditional distribution models continue to shift, "No one part of our business will suffer so much that the company is hurt." Although Whitesell and Emanuel’s traditional agency rivals, notably CAA, have also diversified, "I don’t think anyone’s taken the leap that Ari and Patrick did, and so quickly," says CAA cofounder Michael Ovitz. "Their scale in such a short time is amazing." It’s as though Whitesell and Emanuel looked at conglomerates such as Fox and Disney and thought, What if you could build one of those from the ground up for the 21st century? "Their ambition is pretty big," says James Murdoch, CEO of 21st Century Fox, choosing his words carefully. "They’ve committed to [becoming] an owner and a creator of content, much like us. They believe in the value of investing upstream, as do we." Bull riding and ultimate fighting and Miss Universe (which WME-IMG purchased from former client Donald Trump) might seem a world away from controlling, say, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. And it is. But it’s the textbook definition of disruption to start with something people consider to be folly and work your way up. Whitesell and Emanuel’s approach, as their former Endeavor partner David Lonner described it to me, has always been, "We just have to give ’em little body blows, again and again. Then we knock ’em out." WME-IMG knows the assets it now controls, often from having been their agent before acquiring them. They’re relentlessly focused on making these properties better, and if they do, they will reap all the rewards rather than an agent’s traditional 10%. Although not every part of WME-IMG’s burgeoning empire is successful (critics are quick to point to the underperformance of IMG College, which sells media rights for university-sports powerhouses), growth is under way. WME-IMG’s earnings before interest and taxes are expected to increase 20% this year to $480 million, and its private valuation has hit $5.5 billion (more than Vice Media and augmented-reality pioneer Magic Leap). When WME-IMG goes public, which sources say could be as soon as 2017, all those shots will have added up—certainly as far as Whitesell’s and Emanuel’s personal net worth is concerned. "Now 50% of our business we own, and it’s ours to lose," Emanuel says, taking a bite of broccoli. "We can only fuck it up. We can no longer say, ‘The client didn’t do that. The buyer didn’t do that.’ It’s ours. We either win, or we lose." "The dirt looks really good, by the way." It’s early June, and Barnett Zitron, the managing director of Made, an edgy counterpart to New York Fashion Week, stands in a cavernous space in downtown Los Angeles, which in 48 hours will host Made L.A., the company’s first West Coast event. Right now, though, we’re surrounded by stacks of crates and tangles of multicolored cords, and then there’s the two bulldozers’ worth of earth that’s been dumped in a far corner of the room. Zitron, an affable New Yorker wearing a black T-shirt and patent-leather sneakers with no socks, explains to a group of WME-IMG executives and sponsorship partners that the dirt, which cost $7,000, is for a fashion show by the clothing brand Hood by Air. It will involve, he says, "flying car parts." Before WME merged with IMG, fashion was a "stepchild" for the private-equity firm that then owned IMG, says Catherine Bennett, SVP and managing director of IMG’s fashion events. Her sole focus, she tells me as we survey the Made L.A. site, was to produce runway shows. But Whitesell and Emanuel want her "to be disruptive," and soon after the merger, WME-IMG acquired Made as part of a broader mandate to groom up-and-coming designers and fuse fashion with entertainment. (Bennett, a soft-spoken blonde with a law degree from Georgetown, was also tasked with making sure Emanuel sat still during his first fashion show. "I was like, ‘You know you can’t get up, right? You have to stay seated.’ ") This fashion-as-pop-culture effort is on display when I return the following night and find the space transformed. Cool kids with rainbow-colored hair gather around an outdoor bar and wander through pop-up shops peddling clothing by Made designers—including some that debuted during the event—custom energy elixirs, and even complimentary manicures and haircuts. Tickets cost $55 to $400 (for a VIP pass). Ten bucks confers access to just the pop-up stores. The apotheosis of the night comes after the (delayed) arrival of Kanye West, who’s here to cheer on fellow rapper Tyler, the Creator’s runway debut for his Golf Wang label. The event opens with WME client Tyler miming waking up in his pajamas on a giant revolving bed, then segues into an X Games–style exhibition with models careening down a half-pipe on skateboards. Tyler then launches into his latest single, "My Ego," before loping around the raised runway and delivering a Moth-style confessional. "Growing up as an inner-city black kid, I wasn’t the most masculine. I wasn’t into sports," he says, dressed only in baggy shorts. "I liked pink and shit." As a finale, West (who isn’t repped by WME-IMG) steps forward and hands Tyler an envelope. Tyler opens it and announces a new sneaker line, saying that everyone in the tent will receive a pair. "You’ll get a shoe! You’ll get a shoe! Yes, n——-, yes!" Tyler booms while pumping his fist in the air. Then he tells the screaming crowd to "Go the fuck home . . . Seacrest out," and drops the mic. Made L.A. may be a bit of a "Frankenstein," admits Zitron, but by mixing "fashion with music [it] creates an entertainment environment that consumers want to buy tickets to." WME-IMG is actively looking for how it can create more mashups across its business. In 2015, WME-IMG arranged for country music star Brad Paisley, a client, to tour colleges that it sells sports rights for, performing concerts during football weekends to enhance the experience and introduce the singer to a younger audience. "The first event we did was Virginia Tech," says Jason Lublin, WME-IMG’s COO. "It’s raining, but 80,000 people show up. They were expecting 8,000. The next day, every one of the schools called us." (Paisley did another college tour last fall.) In August, the Professional Bull Riders’ Built Ford Tough series in Nashville included a Steven Tyler concert. Yes, he’s a WME client: The company enlisted him to perform the new PBR theme song, which appears on Tyler’s recent album. The Nashville event also featured a screening of the Netflix rodeo documentary series Fearless, which was packaged by WME and features PBR riders. As Whitesell tells me later, "We’re just scratching the surface of what a weekend around an [event] can be. And we have everything: music, fashion, celebrities, food." At New York Fashion Week this September, WME-IMG made a conscious effort to open the shows up to the public and new sponsors—and create opportunities for designers to adopt the "see now, buy now" model that consumers are starting to demand. WME-IMG installed the Shop, a lively pop-up boutique, not far from one of the runway locales, where passersby could watch live streams of the shows and purchase jewelry and accessories created by NYFW designers. Further uptown, Target turned a bar across from the second runway-show venue into a piano lounge where Paul Shaffer banged away on a bright red piano and Queen Latifah crooned. Neither are clients, but a number of the models that WME-IMG represents, including Kendall Jenner, Christie Brinkley, and Chanel Iman, attended—elevating the sex appeal of this respite from the shows. "More and more, Fashion Week is turning into a consumer experience," says WME-IMG’s head of content and co-president Mark Shapiro, "and we want to lead that charge." Emanuel refers to Shapiro as "my little brother," and it’s easy to see why. Both are fast-talking Chicago natives, and they became fast friends years ago on a red-eye flight where Shapiro was furiously, and noisily, typing a memo. He looked up to see Emanuel ordering his seatmate to scram before saying: "What the fuck are you doing?" Shapiro, 45, who was a brash programming wunderkind at ESPN and then served as CEO of Six Flags and Dick Clark Productions, acts as WME-IMG’s storyteller-in-chief. He surveys the company’s properties for new TV shows, digital series, documentaries, apps—anything, really—that can be turned into content, packaged, and sold. "Ari and Patrick, they get that content is the driver," Shapiro says when I meet with him in his slate-gray New York office. It sets everything else in motion, from viewership to sponsorships to ticket sales to pay-per-view subscriptions. In the fragmenting media world, "Everywhere you look, someone’s looking [for content] and is willing to pay. And they were like, ‘Look, we have access to everybody, and we have content coming out of all of our pockets—whether we own it, represent it, license it, distribute it, create it, produce it.’ " Shapiro’s job is to package it, whether it’s a digital series on bull riding or a fashion show, which Shapiro hopes to one day bring to network TV. "If you could do the Chanel show in prime time, I just think so many people would watch that," he says, posing a thought experiment. "You could turn that into a huge red carpet, [do] interviews beforehand with Beyoncé . . . Gwyneth Paltrow goes . . . Karl Lagerfeld’s got the gloves on and you’re behind the scenes as he’s putting them on and he’s getting ready to go out there. And then you’ve got the show itself, and then you’ve got the post." He slaps his hands on his knees and beams. Shapiro’s enthusiasm is infectious, but some people are skeptical about his desire to transform everything into entertainment. "He seems to have done his homework," says Brian Phillips, who runs the fashion consultancy Black Frame. "But it’s like everything in Hollywood: Yeah, man! This is amazing! It’s going to be great! The reality is, they talk a big game, but they haven’t delivered yet." In the more traditional Hollywood areas, they’re starting to see benefits from putting different assets together. One of Emanuel’s favorite things to say is that WME-IMG is "going from a B-to-B business to a B-to-B-to-C-to-D business," which means going from idea to screen with, increasingly, no other middlemen involved. The prototype for this model is The Night Manager, the TV adaptation of the John le Carré novel that started off as a WME-IMG package (the company represents stars Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston as well as the production company, the Ink Factory). Typically, at that point, the agency’s role ends and the show is bought by a studio like Sony or NBCUniversal, which sells it to networks. But in this case, WME-IMG did the selling itself. "I wanted to prove the point that we have all this incredible leverage and a wealth of relationships with broadcasters around the world," says Ioris Francini, the Italian-born, London-based co-president of WME-IMG who White­sell calls the company’s "intelligence network," because of the relationships Francini’s team has built globally. Francini tapped IMG’s global sales force to sell The Night Manager the same way it does Wimbledon, and the show debuted in 188 countries earlier this year. The revenue that might have accrued to a studio or distributor all flowed to WME-IMG. The agency has gone on to make similar deals for the sci-fi detective series Dirk Gently and comic travelogue The Grand Tour, featuring the Top Gear stars. WME-IMG is also creating its own digital-streaming services. Whitesell and Emanuel "view technology as a wedge that lets them insert [themselves] into businesses that otherwise maybe an agency wouldn’t be able to get into," says Marc Andreessen, cofounder and general partner of the VC firm Andreessen Horowitz. Last year, WME-IMG launched M2M (Made to Measure), a fashion-focused digital network that was the first to launch exclusively on the new Apple TV. Whitesell says that M2M has been a crash course. "How do you program a [digital-streaming] channel, and what are all the pieces? As other opportunities beckon, we’ll be ready." One of those ripe possibilities came with UFC, which owns Fight Pass, the Netflix of MMA fighting. At the time WME-IMG acquired UFC, the $9.99-a-month network had just 450,000 subscribers. World Wrestling Entertainment, by contrast, has almost 2 million. Conveniently, WME-IMG represents the WWE, and it has tapped its content-strategy team to improve Fight Pass’s programming. "You could do a show as simple and gratuitous as How to Pick a Ring Girl," Whitesell says. "You can go to the dojos—the training facilities—and follow the journey of these fighters." By expanding Fight Pass, they add direct value: If the streaming service accrues as many subscribers as WWE’s, that’s $240 million in annual revenue. And a robust Fight Pass also gives WME-IMG more leverage with broadcasters when it renegotiates UFC’s TV rights. UFC’s U.S. television deal currently averages $115 million annually from Fox Sports; UFC has reportedly told investors that it could quadruple when the next contract begins in 2019. "There’s nobody in the world better to lead the negotiations for the U.S. television rights deals than [Emanuel]," says UFC COO Lawrence Epstein. "I know Ari works hard for all his clients, but he’s working for himself now." "What the fuck are we doing here, Patrick?" The line is typical Emanuel: jokey, crafted to startle, and, yes, profane. He and Whitesell are sitting onstage at the Cooper Union building in Manhattan, offering a state-of-the-company address to their international team. (Many join via live stream.) Junior agents have been firing swag into the crowd with T-shirt cannons, and jokes about bull riders abound. The irony of using this venue—home to historic speeches about equality from Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and Barack Obama—isn’t lost on the co-CEOs. For the company, though, this is a momentous occasion. There is a sense that WME-IMG’s transformation from a collection of interesting but disparate assets into a single-minded machine is finally starting to feel real. When a slide goes up saying EVERYONE SAID WE'D FAIL. WE WENT TO WORK, the room erupts in applause. WME-IMG’s aggressive reinvention of its business has spawned a predictably intense backlash in some corners of Hollywood. "I’m surprised the clients are willing to accept the agents growing as big as they are," says one industry source. Adds a rival agent: "Focus is undervalued." The WME-IMG retort: Today’s talent clients are "entrepreneurs," and by giving them access to the company’s many divisions, they can broaden their own brands and portfolios. Clients like Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson have greatly benefited from this approach. WME-IMG has helped Wahlberg build a hamburger chain (and a reality show about it), a purified-water brand, and a nutritional-supplement business. Johnson received a "brand review" by ad agency Droga5, leading to a lucrative deal with Under Armour and his own motivational app. The flip side, as even some clients joke privately, is that talent’s role at the company has become "to feed the machine." Is sending Paisley out to perform in college towns on football weekends what’s best for him, or for the company’s struggling IMG College division? When UFC announces a carefully curated roster of 23 celebrity investors—from Conan O’Brien to Guy Fieri, many of whom are WME-IMG clients—does the greater benefit accrue to those stars or to WME-IMG and UFC? And what happens when the company’s content creation puts it in conflict with the same businesses that it sells to? "It’s a brave new world," says one manager. "Now they’re competing with studios." For the moment at least, studio chiefs appear unruffled, largely because, as Fox’s Murdoch tells me, "We do a lot of business with WME-IMG." Adds Leslie Moonves, chairman and CEO of CBS, "Of our new shows, they’re involved with 75% of them. All our big comedy stars—Kevin James, Matt LeBlanc, Joel McHale—are all their guys. And our biggest movie that just finished shooting in Boston (Patriots Day), about the Boston Marathon bombing, was packaged by Ari." Last spring, TV networks acquired or renewed more than 90 series repped by WME-IMG. Perhaps Ovitz, the superagent of the 1980s and 1990s who shocked Hollywood by expanding into investment banking and advertising, puts it best: "I had a slogan I used: ‘No conflict, no interest.’ We were constantly getting the back of our hand slapped with a ruler and told, ‘Hey, you can’t be a principal. You can’t produce commercials.’ But we did. We got around it. I don’t believe that today’s environment is hostile to that. Creating jobs is all anyone cares about." WME-IMG executives are only slightly perturbed when these friction points are raised. "Conflict is unavoidable in this business," says Rick Rosen, a partner who runs WME’s television department. "We just have to be open and transparent." Executives react more strongly to the contention that they aren’t as focused on being agents. "When Dick Wolf wants to talk to me about the negotiation on his NBC deal," Rosen says, "I have to make that happen." Emanuel’s response is an eye roll. "I do service my clients," he says, clearly annoyed. "Do I have to be in an office to service them? Most of Hollywood stays in Hollywood. No one’s getting on a plane and going to Argentina for three meetings. Flying 14 hours for three meetings. And then getting on a plane and flying to London. Or going to China for a lunch and a dinner and coming back. I don’t give a shit. I did it last weekend." He holds up his iPhone to indicate it’s all he needs. The company’s combative striving comes from Emanuel, who as a child was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD. In grade school, his mother hired a tutor to help him, and he recalls having to "sit by a windowsill; we had this window that looked down on the street. And I had to be there for three hours. This fucking tutor, this old lady, she was a witch. But she got me to read." Now, Emanuel says, "Thank God I’m dyslexic. You know, when you’re dyslexic, you gotta work really hard. You’re okay with failure, because you feel it every day. You see things differently because you have to." When we meet up before New York Fashion Week, I ask Emanuel why he keeps up the fight when WME would have been just fine operating as a traditional talent agency, or at least as a slightly—as opposed to hyper—diversified agency, and he stops. He drums his fingers heavily on the table, as he does when he thinks. Emanuel now swears by the meditation practice One World, and for a moment, he reveals his newfound pensive side. "My brother turned 59 today. Zeke," he says. Zeke is Ezekiel Emanuel, an oncologist and the chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania and the founding chair of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health. Emanuel’s other brother, Rahm, is the mayor of Chicago and Obama’s former White House chief of staff. Ari, the baby brother, has been trying to keep up with those two his whole life. "And I called him up yesterday, said, ‘How ya doin’?’ He’s a guy that, he’s so unemotional. And he kind of got a little emotional on me," Ari says. "I go, ‘You’ve done unbelievable work. You’ve helped the world.’ He goes, ‘We’re on this fucking planet for two seconds. Two seconds! And snap, it’s over.’ He goes, ‘I cannot believe I’m 59.’ "So I would say to you, why not? You know what failing is? Not doing it. Not that I did it and failed. Failing for me is not doing it. For me, I have these ideas, I want to do it. Let’s do it. And guess what? What happens if it doesn’t work? You just have to keep on working until it works. Okay, let’s work! Who cares? We’re here for a pimple." A version of this article appeared in the December 2016/January 2017 issue of Fast Company magazine.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 746.48K | Year: 2011

Each tactical radio uses a particular waveform that inhibits it from freely communicating with a radio on another network. There is a need for a flexible communication gateway that supports interoperability, and can automatically translate among a set of waveforms to transfer information across networks. In response to the need for a flexible gateway, MaXentric and The Cooper Union have partnered to propose an extensible software framework that can generate a communications gateway to translate information across different networks. Phase I resulted in two major contributions for further research and development. First, a system concept for a rule-based wireless communications gateway was created that translates information based on a certain set of semantics. Second, a proof-of-concept software engine was produced that can configure a gateway for translation at the physical and data link layers. In Phase II, the team plans to integrate the gateway engine with a sophisticated, wide band RF receiver and transmitter for a complete prototype. This will involve using the XG Sensor, a sophisticated, extensively tested, and inexpensive wideband receiver produced by Rockwell Collins.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Missile Defense Agency | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.92K | Year: 2010

The United States Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is searching for a software-defined multi-channel radar receiver that would provide improved performance and added flexibility over currently deployed radar systems. In response, MaXentric is proposing a system codenamed MASR (Manycore Adaptive Software Radar). The MASR system is composed of a hierarchy of X-band front-ends, high-speed digitizers, FPGAs, and Manycore processors that can be reconfigured and scaled to fit the requirements of individual applications. MASR will benefit the MDA with its high degree of flexibility in allowing many different radar algorithms as well as different beamforming structures, which will in turn greatly enhance MASR equipped radar systems in their ability to acquire, track, and identify ballistic missile threats.


News Article | March 2, 2017
Site: en.prnasia.com

New Vertical Village is off to an Epic Start Including the Sale of a $13M Penthouse NEW YORK, March 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Extell Development Company today announced it has sold over 100 residences, including a $13 million penthouse, at One Manhattan Square since the launch of sales in early November. Extell's largest luxury condominium project to date, One Manhattan Square is a modern glass tower along the New York Harbor on the Lower East Side. With limitless views, attainable prices and countless indoor and outdoor amenities totaling over 100,000 square feet, One Manhattan Square is a true vertical village with every conceivable luxury in Manhattan. "The strong response to the building is a testament that our offering is a smart investment, with a good current return and potential appreciation.  Most of the residences at One Manhattan Square are in the $1 million to $3 million range which is product that is in the shortest supply and has the greatest demand in the current market," says Gary Barnett, President of Extell Development Company. "Residents at One Manhattan Square will live in an exceptional Extell building with amazing city and water views and incredible amenities." Among the 100 residences sold is a 3,699-square-foot, $13 million duplex penthouse featuring 5 bedrooms and 4 and a half bathrooms. The extravagant home boasts an additional 416 square feet of exterior terrace space offering a bird's eye view of the East River, Brooklyn, New York Harbor, Financial District and Midtown Manhattan. Unobstructed views can also be enjoyed from the home's grand salon and corner master bedroom suite, complete with a dressing room. The penthouse features a windowed master bathroom with steam shower and heated floors, and windowed gourmet kitchen. World-renowned architectural firm Adamson Associates Architects designed the striking glass building with interiors by Meyer Davis Studio, the design firm behind Oscar de la Renta's worldwide boutiques. Perfectly positioned to take advantage of panoramic skyline views, all of the 815 residences were intelligently planned and feature premium custom finishes. With a variety of one to three bedroom residences available, ownership in One Manhattan Square starts at $1.16 million with low carrying costs and an anticipated 20-year tax abatement. Residents at One Manhattan Square will never have to leave home with the unprecedented amenity package. Spread across four floors, the amenities were designed to provide the ultimate recreational, social and fitness experiences. Interior amenities include a spa centered on a tranquil courtyard and relaxation garden with private treatment rooms and hamam. The multi-level fitness center will offer multiple swimming pools, a bowling alley, a full-size basketball court, golf stimulators, squash court and yoga studio. Additional amenities include a state-of-the-art cinema and performance center, children's playroom and teen arcade. Sophisticated amenities, such as a culinary lounge, wine room, cigar room, cellar bar and demonstration kitchen, provide an abundance of entertainment options. West 8, the illustrious Rotterdam-based landscape architectural firm celebrated for the Hills at Governors Island and Miami's Soundscape Gardens, has created an outdoor oasis of over 45,000 square feet of landscaped areas. Lush gardens and outdoor amenities at One Manhattan Square provide meaningful spaces for socializing including fire pits, an adult tree house, a tea pavilion, stargazing observation deck, social courtyards and a covered dog run. Nowhere is New York's multicultural history more legible than in the Lower East Side. Glamour and grandeur sidle up to graffiti and grit in this proud home to avant-garde galleries, boutiques and trail-blazing bars. One Manhattan Square will be steps away from the buzzing energy of this transforming neighborhood with some of the New York's finest dining, nightlife and entertainment options. South Street Seaport and the bustling East River Esplanade are a stone's throw from One Manhattan Square. Residents will also be near the City's top schools including Parsons, New York University and Cooper Union. Extell Marketing Group is the exclusive sales and marketing firm for One Manhattan Square. Visit www.OneManhattanSquare.com for more information or call 212-252-1560 to schedule an appointment at the innovative sales and design gallery located at 220 South Street.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 107.88K | Year: 2011

This project engages mechanical engineering (ME) students by exposing them to relevant real-world problems by making use of a new state-of-the art energy-efficient Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified academic building by: (1) incorporating learning opportunities that integrate energy consumption and sustainability, and (2) developing hands-on process control laboratory experiments that supplement traditional classroom learning. The new experiments and inductive learning platforms are incorporated into an ongoing redesign of the ME program that creates a more cooperative and student-centric learning environment. The project will provide assessments of student learning outcomes that result from the new case-based and experiential learning approaches, and disseminate new curricular materials that will be modular and adaptable to a wide range of control systems curricula. A key outcome of this effort is the examination of the role of first-hand experiences and curricular improvements in attracting and retaining diverse students traditionally underrepresented in mechanical engineering.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 15.00K | Year: 2013

1323192
PI: Lepek

This proposal will help subsidize travel-related expenses to enable U.S. researchers, particularly early-career researchers such as the PI, to attend and present their research at the Fluidization XIV conference (Fluidization XIV: From Fundamentals to Products) in Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands (May 25-30, 2013). This proposal will support researchers from U.S. institutions that would normally not have the financial resources necessary to attend this international conference. In addition, this proposal will help support the travel costs of early-career researchers and researchers from traditionally underrepresented groups in the STEM fields that will be recruited to participate in this conference.

Fluidization is a very important field of both fundamental research and broad industrial applications. Currently, knowledge of complex fluid-particle interactions, particularly when coupled with multiphase transport phenomena and chemical reactions is still incomplete. This is primarily due to the challenges associated with coupling the solid properties of particles and their hydrodynamic behavior within a moving fluid medium. The addition of heat and mass transfer operations and also chemical reacting systems makes multiphase systems such as fluidized bed reactors a challenge to successfully design, scale-up, and operate. Although fluidized bed reactors are fairly common within the petrochemical industry, they can be found in other industries for a variety of applications such as coating and the design of new materials. Therefore, advances in fluidization research are necessary to help develop and ultimately commercialize new technologies such as CO2 capture (chemical looping), renewable energy systems, nanostructured materials, and the continuous processing of novel coated drug delivery systems. This conference will focus on advances in the field of fluidization research which impact the research and development, as well as the large-scale manufacturing of advanced materials that are common across a wide range of chemical process, life science, and food science industries.

This conference will bring together a wide range of scientists and engineers across multiple continents that are focused on fluidization research, which can have a major impact on multiple industries. By bringing together researchers who share a mutual interest in fluidization, it is expected that new international partnerships and collaborations will be established. This will be especially beneficial to the early-career researchers supported by this proposal that will have the unique opportunity to present their recent unpublished research findings in front of a congregation of established international researchers.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: INFO INTEGRATION & INFORMATICS | Award Amount: 30.64K | Year: 2014

The United States spends over 26 billion dollars per annum on the delivery and care of the 12-13% of infants who are born preterm. As preterm birth (PTB) is a major public health problem with profound implications on society, there would be extreme value in being able to identify women at risk of preterm birth during the course of their pregnancy. Previous predictive approaches have been largely unsuccessful since they have focused on a limited number of well described risk factors known to be correlated with preterm birth (e.g. prior preterm birth, race, and infection) and less on combining multiple factors. The latter approach is necessary to understand the complex etiologies of preterm birth. While identifying individual PTB risk factors has brought insight into the problem and has led in some cases to successful treatments such as progesterone for women with a previous preterm birth, this has only a limited impact on the overall frequency since many at risk patients, such as first time mothers (nulliparous), go untreated. Today, there is still no widely tested prediction system that combines well-known PTB factors and is clinically useful. There is, however, a global awareness of the need to discover and integrate the complex etiologies of prematurity in order to predict women at risk. Significant efforts have been made in the last couple of decades to collect large curated datasets of pregnant women. Previous studies on these datasets used relatively straightforward biostatitistical methodologies such as relative risk assessments to measure associations between factors and PTB. However, risk factors are studied independently of each other, which does not account for the multifactorial complexity of PTB. This exploratory project aims to investigate the value of more advanced machine learning methods by simultaneously considering all the factors, to develop better predictive methods.

The PTB data acquired in the context of this project brings together Electronic Health Records (EHRs) for mothers and their babies along with well-curated NIH data. The data is rich with structured clinical data and unstructured free text that require manual feature extraction. This project, largely motivated by the PTB problem, has two main goals:
(1) Improving the quality and aggregation the annotations for heterogeneous data. The researchers aim to capture socioeconomic, psychological and behavioral risk factors documented in the text of clinical notes via studying the process of manual feature extraction by human annotators. State-of-the-art methods either rely on the expertise of the annotator and/or the difficulty of the instance but ignore the variability in the quality of labeling over time due to fatigue, boredom, or knowledge. To improve the annotations, the project will develop a novel Bayesian framework for human labeling of unstructured data. The Bayesian model will embed a complete set of parameters including the prevalence of each class, difficulty of the instance and variability in the quality of annotation during the process. If the model construction is successful, then the developed framework will replace ad-hoc heuristics into a well-designed process for producing high quality annotations. This framework would allow extracting reliable features from the clinical text for subsequent analyses in devising PTB prediction models.
(2) Developing predictive models for multiple data spaces. To leverage all of the existing data, the project will investigate the value of using Vapniks paradigm of Learning Using Privileged Information (LUPI) in the context of preterm birth. Privileged information is a data that is available for training models but is not available for test examples. Data in this project come with two potential privileged information spaces namely the clinical notes and the space of future events. NICU data is an example of future event privileged information, which is only available for a subset of the examples (only premature babies requiring intensive care stay in the NICU). It has been shown that LUPI not only induces a better decision rule, it also increases the rate of convergence of the algorithm, hence requiring fewer training examples. This is a compelling property in the case of PTB prediction because of the rate of PTB. The project will extend LUPI into a powerful and applicable framework to handle the two spaces of privileged information, while developing spline-generating kernels, to manage LUPIs high computational cost. If successful, this proof-of-concept is expected to yield efficient and widely applicable LUPI algorithms in domains where privileged information is available, such as the financial domain and many other medical applications.
The developed software, publications and datasets resulting from this project will be made publicly available to the research community through the project website (http://www1.ccls.columbia.edu/~ansaf/CING/PTB/).


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Dynamics, Control and System D | Award Amount: 55.89K | Year: 2015

Networks of autonomous underwater and surface vehicles (AUVs and ASVs) allow direct and continuous monitoring of the ocean. New deployment strategies are needed to obtain maximum coverage from a relatively small number of vessels. This will require better understanding of the structures controlling transport in geophysical flows such as ocean currents. New results show that AUV/ASV motion planning and adaptive sampling strategies are improved by incorporating models of ocean current dynamics. However, these currents change continually and apparently unpredictably, and this makes it highly challenging to take full advantage. The goals of this project are to better understand the dynamics of the dominant structures in ocean currents, and to explore their impact on AUV/ASV autonomy. Additionally, this work will produce robust motion control strategies for both single vehicles and teams of vehicles, to track desired structure boundaries, while leveraging the environmental dynamics to prolong operational lifespan.

In pursuit of the project goals, the research objectives are to: 1) identify and evaluate key kinematic features that control transport in oceanic surface flows of greatest relevance to autonomous vehicle navigation and control, 2) develop a general mathematical and control framework for teams of autonomous vehicles that leverages key transport controlling features in oceanic flows for improved navigation and monitoring of dynamic and uncertain environments, and 3) apply the control framework to the tracking of salt wedge fronts using the WHOI Jetyaks to establish the transition from the laboratory to the ocean. This work has a significant experimental component that leverages the PIs existing research infrastructure. The work addresses the theoretical and experimental challenges needed to develop a general mathematical and control framework for applying geophysical fluid dynamics to the development of novel planning, navigation, and control strategies for individual and networked teams of autonomous vehicles.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: COMPUTATIONAL MATHEMATICS | Award Amount: 109.70K | Year: 2016

Advances in the synthesis of Ferrofluids (engineered fluids that respond to magnetic fields and have a number of well-established industrial applications) have increased the scope of potential applications of these fluids to new areas. Emerging applications of ferrofluids include: magnetic targeting of drugs, cell sorting in biomedical systems and magnetically driven contaminant removal. In each of these applications the use of ferrofluids enables new techniques that depend on the use of magnetic fields for remote control of the ferrofluid. However, the realization of such technologies is hampered by complexities simulation of these systems for further development and design. The proposed research program includes the development of effective, robust computational tools that will enable such simulations. In particular, the computing codes will include the particular magnetic physics of ferrofluids as well as the forces resulting from the magnetic fields, which serve as the means of control in these applications. The development of these effective simulation tools will support and accelerate innovation in these emerging these technologies. Moreover, the proposed program of code development, simulations and integrated physical experiments will serve as a proof-of-concept for the inclusion of realistic multiphysics fluid simulations for complex scientific and engineering applications. The proposed research program will involve undergraduate and masters-degree students in leading-edge research, including students who are members of groups under-represented in STEM disciplines such as women and first-generation college students.

In magnetic drug targeting, a ferrofluid whose constituent nanoparticles have been functionalized to carry theraputic drugs is directed to a tumor or other localized site (e.g., in the eye); sorting of(nonmagnetic) biological cells by immersion in a ferrofluid so that the force of an applied magnetic field depends on cell size; purification of a polluted fluid by adsorbption of contaminants to magnetic nanoparticles, which are then separated from the fluid by magnetic forces. However, advances in these applications are stymied by the complex, multi-scale and multi-physics nature of the fluid-dynamical systems in which they occur. In particular, because contemporary fluid-dynamics codes are not designed to incorporate the additional physics of magnetic-fluid systems, effective simulation with these codes is difficult. The proposal describes a plan to develop and test a new parallel, multi-phase code for fully three-dimensional flows. This project will lead to a flexible and efficient, multi-phase magnetic-fluid simulation code that is fully three-dimensional and parallelized for high-performance computing. Hence, the code will enable realistic simulations relevant to the significant applications addressed. Specifically, in order to address the above-noted applications, the code will model and simulate flows with dynamic interfaces between the ferrofluid and other fluids. Moreover, the code will implement models of viscosity effects (magnetoviscosity) as well as driving forces that result from applied magnetic fields (magnetophoresis) in a flexible manner that simplifies adjustment and updating of the models.


News Article | December 7, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

AccuQuilt has a new exhibit featuring seven quilt designs from the incomparable LUKE Haynes, an architect, quilter, designer who has an uncanny ability to combine different mediums to create conversational art quilts. The Quiltllaborations Exhibit will run in the AccuQuilt Gallery through January 31. Quiltllaborations is a series of collaborative projects that Haynes worked on with other artists and quilters. Haynes did most of the piecing, while artists like Liz Tran and Carlos Jesus Dominguez did the painting elements on a couple of quilts. Quilters Libs Elliott and Heidi Parkes also worked with Haynes on piecing one quilt each. Haynes strives to subvert the traditional quilting form by integrating modern concepts. He received formal training in art and architecture at The Cooper Union in New York. Haynes continues to experiment with quilting art while exploring art and architecture across the globe. He gets inspiration from the pursuit of explaining things that interest him both in terms of concept and material manipulation. A chance encounter with a box of fabric remnants sparked Haynes' imagination, and he's been experimenting with fabric ever since. Haynes developed a system to piece manageable parts into a larger whole, applying a modern design sense to a familiar process. He uses reclaimed materials from the communities he works with in his projects to speak with the textile language of the area. "We are honored to feature these incredible art quilts from such an amazing talent like LUKE Haynes," said AccuQuilt President Greg Gaggini. Haynes loves to create work that asks questions and sparks conversation; therefore, it is fitting that much of Haynes' quilts are featured in museums and galleries across the country. You can view the Quiltllaborations Exhibit online, or you can call 888.258.7913 to schedule a tour to see the exhibit in person. Visit AccuQuilt’s website for the latest information on new product releases. Headquartered in Omaha, Neb., AccuQuilt offers quilters, fabric crafters and retailers a premiere line of fabric cutters, dies, quilting patterns and other quilt and fabric cutting solutions that help quilters quickly and accurately cut shapes for quilting and fabric crafts. AccuQuilt also offers quilters a wide variety of rich educational resources to enhance their quilting experiences. Cutting with AccuQuilt cutters is a natural evolution of fabric cutting methods. "First scissors…then rotary…finally…AccuQuilt" for fast, easy, accurate fabric cutting. For more information, visit accuquilt.com or call 888.258.7913.

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