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HabitAware Awarded Small Business Innovation Research Grant

Good money for good causes is something we can certainly get behind, and the latest news from HabitAware definitely fits the bill. The St. Louis Park-based company announced in a blog post that it has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for $224,795 by the National Science Foundation. This marks the second grant the company has received; it was awarded a $300,000 federal research grant from the National Institute of Mental Health in 2018.

Aiming to assist people who suffer from body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRB) such as hair pulling (trichotillomania), chronic nail biting (onychophagia), and skin picking (dermatillomania), HabitAware created Keen, a smart bracelet that learns a wearer’s behavior and subtlety vibrates to interrupt BFRB-related patterns. With the new research grant, the company will test new sensor technology that will be able to more accurately identify BFRB activity.

“This project has the potential to be a game-changing innovation for those suffering from these under-addressed disorders,”  Dr. John Pritchard, HabitAware’s Lead Hardware Engineer and research grant Principal Investigator (PI), said in the post. “HabitAware is proud to support the BFRB community and excited to embark on this work.”

Alex Skjong
Alex oversees the content produced for BETA, Twin Cities Startup Week, and When he’s not writing or editing, there’s a good chance he’s enjoying a refreshing brew and explaining the merits of heavy metal (of which there are many).