Six R.I Companies Receive Grants

Governor Gina M. Raimondo made an announcement that six Rhode Island companies have been selected to receive Innovation Vouchers to use to stimulate innovation and develop in-state partnerships to give the state a competitive edge.

This is the fifth round of grants to be awarded since the Governor and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation in partnership with the General Assembly in 2015 introduced the Innovation Voucher Program.

Innovation Vouchers can be used for commercializing a new product, process, or service or to provide access to scientific, engineering, and design expertise that fits an innovative need. The Vouchers can be used for technological development, and/or scale-to-market development of an idea.

One of the innovation projects funded by the grants awarded Sproutel Inc. of Providence R.I., $50,000 to partner with Brown University to assess how “Jerry the Bear” platform could effectively be used to provide interactive health education to children with type 1 diabetes.

Children care for “Jerry the Bear” by feeding him foods, administering insulin, and monitoring his blood glucose levels. As children keep Jerry healthy, they unlock a modular diabetes curriculum which is a series of 21 animated storybooks depicting Jerry training for the All Star Games.

Doctors and families found the need to comfort and educate children with type 1 diabetes, but also to provide emotional support. What followed was a series of 29 prototype iterations and testing sessions performed with over 350 children to refine the design.

The project was funded in part by NIH in their Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and their Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program. The company is interested in collaborating on the next big product for kids’ health. For information, email

Share Button