New strategic investor for 80 Acres Farms

80 Acres Farms, a high-tech indoor, pesticide-free farming enterprise has a new strategic investor—Barclays, a British investment bank. 80 Acres calls itself a farm “that doesn’t need sun, soil or favorable weather to do its thing” because it uses a combination of LED Lighting, artificial intelligence and robotics to grow a variety of vegetables. The funds from Barclays will allow the company to begin its next phase of “rapid domestic and global expansion.”

A COVID app for Black communities

A cardiologist at the University of Cincinnati is developing an app with COVID-19 and other health related information specifically for Black communities. Donald Lynch, assistant professor of cardiovascular health and disease at UC, wants to empower Black people to help fight the disease that is disproportionally affecting their communities.

A safe return to the office

Cincy tech company Avuity has added features to its workspace usage platform to help clients safely return to the office. Avuity’s software collects and analyzes data about space utilization. That functionality has been expanded to provide real-time notifications when an area is too populated, automatic workstation booking to manage worker proximity, and notifications when areas such as workstations, conference rooms, and bathrooms have reached a visitor threshold and need cleaning.

UC cosmetic scientist wins grant

University of Cincinnati cosmetic scientist Harshita Kumari has received a research grant for more than $700,000 for a multi-year study to explore certain new proprietary surfactants for industrial applications and personal care products such as skin- and haircare as well as laundry detergents. The grant was awarded by AdvanSix Inc., a global, American-based manufacturer of nylon resins and chemical intermediates