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Wayne State University

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Life beyond barriers harnesses scientific skill, creative thinking to help people overcome physical obstacles

May 4, 2012

Partnership between Urban Science, Wayne State University College of Engineering and Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan aims to eliminate challenges

DETROIT, May 4, 2012 - Life Beyond Barriers, an initiative that combines the power of medicine, science, engineering and entrepreneurship to enhance the quality of life for those in need through research, collaboration and product development, was launched at an event held for partners and supporters.

Life Beyond Barriers, created in partnership through Urban Science, the Wayne State University (WSU) College of Engineering and Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, combines world-class resources in the medical and biotechnological engineering fields to develop solutions that help people around the world overcome the physical challenges they face every day. WSU students on the Life Beyond Barriers development team are empowered with the ability to bring their products to market, producing a new generation of inventive entrepreneurs.  

"From the invention of the wheelchair to the latest technology in prosthetics, so many strides have been made to improve peoples' lives," said Blake Mathie, vice president, operations, Life Beyond Barriers. "Our goal is to discover and develop game-changing solutions like these through a grassroots approach, connecting some of the brightest minds in academia, engineering and medicine with people who recognize the need for such products."

LifeBeyondBarriers.com allows healthcare providers, caregivers, those with disabilities and others to submit challenges and product ideas for research and development consideration on a rolling basis. The Life Beyond Barriers development team will then design, engineer and develop a solution for selected submissions and then produce and market the invention. The website also provides users with the opportunity to submit existing products, and products or technologies currently in development, for consideration to be taken to market.   

"I started Urban Science with a single idea after graduating from Wayne State's College of Engineering," said Jim Anderson, chairman, Life Beyond Barriers, and president and CEO, Urban Science. "Life Beyond Barriers provides an avenue for other engineers with initiative and ideas to solve challenges - large or small - and create ground-breaking solutions that improve the quality of life through innovation and an entrepreneurial can-do spirit."

About Urban Science

Founded in 1977, Urban Science is a global automotive retail consulting firm that takes a scientific approach to helping automotive manufacturers and their dealers identify where they should allocate resources in order to increase their market share and profitability in the most effective and efficient manner. With headquarters in Detroit, Urban Science serves its global clientele from offices in the United States, Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Australia, China, Mexico, Russia and Japan. For more information about Urban Science, visit http://www.urbanscience.com/.

About the Wayne State University College of Engineering

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution of higher education offering more than 400 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 32,000 students. For more information about engineering at Wayne State University, visit www.engineering.wayne.edu.

About the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan

For more than 50 years, Detroit Medical Center's Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan has helped people rebuild their lives after a serious illness or injury. RIM does this by delivering comprehensive rehabilitation services based on cutting-edge treatment techniques, innovative research and excellent, personalized medical care. A full spectrum of comprehensive services and programs is available for spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, stroke, cerebral palsy, musculoskeletal disorders, lower back problems, amputations, geriatric conditions, work-related injuries, sports injuries and other medical conditions requiring physical rehabilitation.

  • Contact: Brian Bleau
  • Voice: 248-649-8900
  • Email: bbleau@quell.com
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