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Aterian Reports First Quarter 2023 Results

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Reports First Quarter 2023 Net Revenue of $34.9 Million

Announces Headcount Reduction Geared to Achieve Adjusted EBITDA Profitability Target

NEW YORK, May 09, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Aterian, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATER) (“Aterian” or the “Company”) today announced results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2023. 

First Quarter Highlights

  • First quarter 2023 net revenue declined 16.3% to $34.9 million, compared to $41.7 million in the first quarter of 2022.
  • First quarter 2023 gross margin declined to 54.8%, compared to 56.6% in the first quarter of 2022, primarily reflecting the impact of our strategy of liquidating high-cost inventory.
  • First quarter 2023 contribution margin declined to 5.9% from 9.2% in the first quarter of 2022, primarily reflecting the impact of our strategy of liquidating high-cost inventory.
  • First quarter 2023 operating loss improved to $(25.0) million compared to a loss of $(36.3) million in the first quarter of 2022. First quarter 2023 operating loss includes ($2.3) million of non-cash stock compensation and a non-cash loss on impairment of intangibles of ($16.7) million, while first quarter 2022 operating loss included a gain of $2.8 million from the net change in fair value and settlement of earn-out liabilities, ($29.0) million of impairment loss on goodwill, and ($2.9) million of non-cash stock compensation.
  • First quarter 2023 net loss of $(25.8) million decreased from $(42.8) million loss in the first quarter of 2022. First quarter 2023 net loss includes ($2.3) million of non-cash stock compensation, a non-cash loss on impairment of intangibles of ($16.7) million, and a gain on fair value of warrant liability of $0.4 million, while first quarter 2022 net loss included a gain of $2.8 million from the net change in fair value and settlement of earn-out liabilities, ($29.0) million of impairment loss on goodwill, and ($2.9) million of non-cash stock compensation, a gain on extinguishment of debt of $2.0 million and ($7.7) million in net charges from the changes in fair-value of warrants and initial issuance of equity.
  • First quarter 2023 adjusted EBITDA loss improved to $(4.3) million from $(4.5) million in the first quarter of 2022.
  • Total cash balance at March 31, 2023 was $33.9 million.

“Despite weakness in consumer demand, we are continuing to execute on our goal of becoming adjusted EBITDA profitable in the second half of this year,” commented Yaniv Sarig, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Aterian. “To that end today we announced a headcount reduction that will save an annualized $6 million toward our target of adjusted EBITDA profitability. It is a difficult decision but one that will put Aterian on a better footing with a solid balance sheet. This cost savings coupled with our portfolio’s market share position will allow us to build forward with emphasis and focus on both growth and profitability.”

Headcount Reduction

The Company plans to reduce expenses by implementing a reduction in its current workforce leading to approximately $6.0 million of annualized savings. This headcount reduction will impact approximately 70 employees and 30 contractors, primarily in the Philippines. The reduction in headcount is part of the Company’s strategy to increase efficiency and to drive focus as part of its second half 2023 adjusted EBITDA profitability goal. The Company expects to substantially complete the reduction in headcount by the end of the second quarter of 2023. The Company expects to recognize restructuring charges in connection with the headcount reduction plan, primarily from severance, of between $1.0 million to $1.3 million. The Company expects the charges will be recognized primarily in the second quarter of 2023, with the majority of such charges anticipated to be paid by the end of the third quarter of 2023.

As part of this headcount reduction, our Chief Supply Chain Officer, Michal Chaouat-Fix, will be transitioning away from the Company. Arturo Rodriguez, our Chief Financial Officer, will also assume the additional responsibilities of supply chain and operations as our Interim Chief Operating Officer. In addition, Tim Stanton, our Chief E-Commerce Officer, will transition away from the Company, Phil Lepper, our Senior Vice President of Revenue will assume Tim’s responsibilities.

Second Quarter 2023 & Second Half of 2023 Outlook

For the second quarter of 2023, taking into account the current global environment and inflation, we believe that net revenue will be between $37 million and $44 million. For the second quarter of 2023, the Company expects an Adjusted EBITDA loss of between $(5.2) million to $(6.2) million including the restructuring charges from our headcount reductions.

As a result of the headcount reduction, the Company is reconfirming its prior guidance of expecting to be Adjusted EBITDA profitable in the second half of 2023.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

For more information on our non-GAAP financial measures and a reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP measures, please see the “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” section below. The most directly comparable GAAP financial measure for EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA is net loss and we expect to report a net loss for the three months ending March 31, 2023 and the second half of 2023, due primarily to interest expense and stock-based compensation expense. We are unable to reconcile the forward-looking statements of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA in this press release to their nearest GAAP measures because the nearest GAAP financial measures are not accessible on a forward-looking basis and reconciling information is not available without unreasonable effort.

Webcast and Conference Call Information

Aterian will host a live conference call to discuss financial results today, May 9, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, which will be accessible by telephone and the internet. To access the call, participants from within the U.S. should dial (833) 636-1351 and participants from outside the U.S. should dial (412) 902-4267 and ask to be joined into the Aterian, Inc. call. Participants may also access the call through a live webcast at https://ir.aterian.io. The archived online replay will be available for a limited time after the call in the Investors Relations section of the Aterian website.

About Aterian, Inc.

Aterian, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATER), is a leading technology-enabled consumer products platform that builds, acquires, and partners with best-in-class e-commerce brands by harnessing proprietary software and an agile supply chain to create top selling consumer products. The Company’s cloud-based platform, Artificial Intelligence Marketplace Ecommerce Engine (AIMEE™), leverages machine learning, natural language processing and data analytics to streamline the management of products at scale across the world’s largest online marketplaces, including Amazon, Shopify and Walmart. Aterian has numerous owned and operated brands and sells products in multiple categories, including home and kitchen appliances, health and wellness, beauty and consumer electronics.

Forward Looking Statements

All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this press release that address activities, events or developments that we expect, believe or anticipate will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements including, in particular, the statements regarding our goal to achieve adjusted EBITDA profitability in the second half of 2023, our portfolio’s market share position and the Company’s strategy of increasing efficiency and driving focus. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties and other factors, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond our control and could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those described in the forward-looking statements. These risks include, but are not limited to, those related to the global shipping disruptions, our ability to continue as a going concern, our ability to meet financial covenants with our lenders, our ability to create operating leverage and efficiency when integrating companies that we acquire, including through the use of our team’s expertise, the economies of scale of our supply chain and automation driven by our platform; those related to our ability to grow internationally and through the launch of products under our brands and the acquisition of additional brands; those related to the impact of COVID-19, including its impact on consumer demand, our cash flows, financial condition, forecasting and revenue growth rate; our supply chain including sourcing, manufacturing, warehousing and fulfillment; our ability to manage expenses, working capital and capital expenditures efficiently; our business model and our technology platform; our ability to disrupt the consumer products industry; our ability to maintain and to grow market share in existing and new product categories; our ability to continue to profitably sell the SKUs we operate; our ability to generate profitability and stockholder value; international tariffs and trade measures; inventory management, product liability claims, recalls or other safety and regulatory concerns; reliance on third party online marketplaces; seasonal and quarterly variations in our revenue; acquisitions of other companies and technologies and our ability to integrate such companies and technologies with our business; our ability to continue to access debt and equity capital (including on terms advantageous to the Company) and the extent of our leverage; and other factors discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of our most recent periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), all of which you may obtain for free on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

Although we believe that the expectations reflected in our forward-looking statements are reasonable, we do not know whether our expectations will prove correct. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof, even if subsequently made available by us on our website or otherwise. We do not undertake any obligation to update, amend or clarify these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable securities laws.

Investor Contact:

Ilya Grozovsky
Director of Investor Relations & Corp. Development
Aterian, Inc.
[email protected]
917-905-1699 
aterian.io

ATERIAN, INC.


Consolidated Balance Sheets
(in thousands, except share and per share data)

    December 31,
2022
  March 31,
2023
ASSETS        
Current assets:        
Cash   $ 43,574   $ 33,911
Accounts receivable, net   4,515   3,486
Inventory   43,666   40,378
Prepaid and other current assets   8,261   6,870
Total current assets   100,016   84,645
Property and equipment, net   853   830
Other intangibles, net   54,757   36,392
Other non-current assets   813   753
Total assets   $ 156,439   $ 122,620
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY        
Current Liabilities:        
Credit facility   $ 21,053   $ 19,103
Accounts payable   16,035   8,955
Seller notes   1,693   1,303
Accrued and other current liabilities   14,254   13,045
Total current liabilities   53,035   42,406
Other liabilities   1,452   1,447
Total liabilities   54,487   43,853
Commitments and contingencies (Note 9)        
Stockholders’ equity:        
Common stock, $0.0001 par value, 500,000,000 shares authorized and 80,752,290 and 81,134,161 shares outstanding at December 31, 2022 and March 31, 2023, respectively   8   8
Additional paid-in capital   728,339   730,825
Accumulated deficit   (625,251)   (651,051)
Accumulated other comprehensive loss   (1,144)   (1,015)
Total stockholders’ equity   101,952   78,767
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity   $ 156,439   $ 122,620
ATERIAN, INC.
Consolidated Statements of Operations
(in thousands, except share and per share data)
    Three Months Ended March 31,
    2022   2023
Net revenue   $ 41,673   $ 34,879
Cost of good sold   18,066   15,782
Gross profit   23,607   19,097
Operating expenses:        
Sales and distribution   22,974   20,226
Research and development   1,144   1,247
General and administrative   9,541   5,959
Impairment loss on goodwill   29,020  
Impairment loss on intangibles     16,660
Change in fair value of contingent earn-out liabilities   (2,775)  
Total operating expenses   59,904   44,092
Operating loss   (36,297)   (24,995)
Interest expense, net   802   371
Gain on extinguishment of seller note   (2,012)  
Loss on initial issuance of equity   5,835  
Change in fair value of warrant liability   1,879   354
Other (income) expense, net   (25)   54
Loss before income taxes   (42,776)   (25,774)
Provision for income taxes     26
Net loss   $ (42,776)   $ (25,800)
Net loss per share, basic and diluted   $ (0.78)   $ (0.34)
Weighted-average number of shares outstanding, basic and diluted   55,141,448   76,732,539
ATERIAN, INC.
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
(in thousands)
    Three Months Ended March 31,
    2022   2023
OPERATING ACTIVITIES:        
Net loss   ($42,776)   ($25,800)
Adjustments to reconcile net loss to net cash used in operating activities:        
Depreciation and amortization   1,846   1,762
Provision for (recovery of) sales returns   109   (223)
Amortization of deferred financing cost and debt discounts   106   106
Stock-based compensation   2,865   2,317
Gain from decrease of contingent earn-out liability fair value   (2,775)  
Change in inventory provisions     (1,023)
Loss in connection with the change in warrant fair value   1,879   354
Gain in connection with settlement of note payable   (2,012)  
Loss on initial issuance of equity   5,835  
Impairment loss on goodwill   29,020  
Impairment loss on intangibles     16,660
Changes in assets and liabilities:        
Accounts receivable   4,608   1,028
Inventory   (12,380)   4,312
Prepaid and other current assets   410   751
Accounts payable, accrued and other liabilities   95   (7,661)
Cash used in operating activities   (13,170)   (7,417)
INVESTING ACTIVITIES:        
Purchase of fixed assets   (16)   (33)
Purchase of Step and Go assets     (125)
Cash used in investing activities   (16)   (158)
FINANCING ACTIVITIES:        
Proceeds from equity offering, net of issuance costs   27,007  
Repayments on note payable to Smash   (1,084)   (398)
Borrowings from MidCap credit facilities   30,357   20,549
Repayments for MidCap credit facilities   (33,845)   (22,602)
Insurance obligation payments   (719)   (534)
Cash provided (used) by financing activities   21,716   (2,985)
Foreign currency effect on cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash   (171)   129
Net change in cash and restricted cash for the year   8,359   (10,431)
Cash and restricted cash at beginning of year   38,315   46,629
Cash and restricted cash at end of year   $ 46,674   $ 36,198
RECONCILIATION OF CASH AND RESTRICTED CASH:        
Cash   44,281   33,911
Restricted Cash—Prepaid and other current assets   2,264   2,158
Restricted cash—Other non-current assets   129   129
TOTAL CASH AND RESTRICTED CASH   $ 46,674   $ 36,198
         
SUPPLEMENTAL DISCLOSURES OF CASH FLOW INFORMATION        
Cash paid for interest   $ 357   $ 538
NON-CASH INVESTING AND FINANCING ACTIVITIES:        
Non-cash consideration paid to contractors   $ —   $ 321
Fair value of warrants issued in connection with equity offering   $ 18,982   $ —
Issuance of common stock for settlement of seller note   $ 767   $ —
Equity fundraising cost not paid   $ 166   $ —
         

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

We believe that our financial statements and the other financial data included in this Quarterly Report have been prepared in a manner that complies, in all material respects, with generally accepted accounting principles in the U.S. (“GAAP”). However, for the reasons discussed below, we have presented certain non-GAAP measures herein.

We have presented the following non-GAAP measures to assist investors in understanding our core net operating results on an on-going basis: (i) Contribution Margin; (ii) Contribution margin as a percentage of net revenue; (iii) EBITDA (iv) Adjusted EBITDA; and (v) Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue. These non-GAAP financial measures may also assist investors in making comparisons of our core operating results with those of other companies.

As used herein, Contribution margin represents gross profit less e-commerce platform commissions, online advertising, selling and logistics expenses (included in sales and distribution expenses). As used herein, Contribution margin as a percentage of net revenue represents Contribution margin divided by net revenue. As used herein, EBITDA represents net loss plus depreciation and amortization, interest expense, net and provision for income taxes. As used herein, Adjusted EBITDA represents EBITDA plus stock-based compensation expense, changes in fair-market value of earn-outs, profit and loss impacts from the issuance of common stock and/or warrants, changes in fair-market value of warrant liability, litigation settlements, impairment on goodwill and intangibles, gain from extinguishment of debt and other expenses, net. As used herein, Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue represents Adjusted EBITDA divided by net revenue. Contribution margin, EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA do not represent and should not be considered as alternatives to loss from operations or net loss, as determined under GAAP.

We present Contribution margin and Contribution margin as a percentage of net revenue, as we believe each of these measures provides an additional metric to evaluate our operations and, when considered with both our GAAP results and the reconciliation to gross profit, provides useful supplemental information for investors. Specifically, Contribution margin and Contribution margin as a Non-GAAP Financial Measure percentage of net revenue are two of our key metrics in running our business. All product decisions made by us, from the approval of launching a new product and to the liquidation of a product at the end of its life cycle, are measured primarily from Contribution margin and/or Contribution margin as a percentage of net revenue. Further, we believe these measures provide improved transparency to our stockholders to determine the performance of our products prior to fixed costs as opposed to referencing gross profit alone.

In the reconciliation to calculate contribution margin, we add e-commerce platform commissions, online advertising, selling and logistics expenses (“sales and distribution variable expense”) to gross profit to inform users of our financial statements of what our product profitability is at each period prior to fixed costs (such as sales and distribution expenses such as salaries as well as research and development expenses and general administrative expenses). By excluding these fixed costs, we believe this allows users of our financial statements to understand our products performance and allows them to measure our products performance over time.

We present EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue because we believe each of these measures provides an additional metric to evaluate our operations and, when considered with both our GAAP results and the reconciliation to net loss, provide useful supplemental information for investors. We use these measures with financial measures prepared in accordance with GAAP, such as sales and gross margins, to assess our historical and prospective operating performance, to provide meaningful comparisons of operating performance across periods, to enhance our understanding of our operating performance and to compare our performance to that of our peers and competitors. We believe EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue are useful to investors in assessing the operating performance of our business without the effect of non-cash items.

Contribution margin, Contribution margin as a percentage of net revenue, EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue should not be considered in isolation or as alternatives to net loss, loss from operations or any other measure of financial performance calculated and prescribed in accordance with GAAP. Neither EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA or Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue should be considered a measure of discretionary cash available to us to invest in the growth of our business. Our Contribution margin, Contribution margin as a percentage of net revenue, EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue may not be comparable to similar titled measures in other organizations because other organizations may not calculate Contribution margin, Contribution margin as a percentage of net revenue, EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA or Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue in the same manner as we do. Our presentation of Contribution margin and Adjusted EBITDA should not be construed as an inference that our future results will be unaffected by the expenses that are excluded from such terms or by unusual or non-recurring items.

We recognize that EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue, have limitations as analytical financial measures. For example, neither EBITDA nor Adjusted EBITDA reflects:

  • our capital expenditures or future requirements for capital expenditures or mergers and acquisitions;
  • the interest expense or the cash requirements necessary to service interest expense or principal payments, associated with indebtedness;
  • depreciation and amortization, which are non-cash charges, although the assets being depreciated and amortized will likely have to be replaced in the future, or any cash requirements for the replacement of assets;
  • changes in cash requirements for our working capital needs; or
  • changes in fair value of contingent earn-out liabilities, warrant liabilities, and amortization of inventory step-up from acquisitions (included in cost of goods sold).

Additionally, Adjusted EBITDA excludes non-cash expense for stock-based compensation, which is and is expected to remain a key element of our overall long-term incentive compensation package.

We also recognize that Contribution margin and Contribution margin as a percentage of net revenue have limitations as analytical financial measures. For example, Contribution margin does not reflect:

  • general and administrative expense necessary to operate our business;
  • research and development expenses necessary for the development, operation and support of our software platform;
  • the fixed costs portion of our sales and distribution expenses including stock-based compensation expense; or
  • changes in fair value of contingent earn-out liabilities, warrant liabilities, and amortization of inventory step-up from acquisitions (included in cost of goods sold).

Contribution Margin

The following table provides a reconciliation of Contribution margin to gross profit and Contribution margin as a percentage of net revenue to gross profit as a percentage of net revenue, which are the most directly comparable financial measures presented in accordance with GAAP:

    Three Months Ended March 31,
    2022   2023
         
    (in thousands, except percentages)
Gross Profit   $ 23,607   $ 19,097
Less:        
E-commerce platform commissions, online advertising, selling and logistics expenses   (19,777)   (17,029)
Contribution margin   $ 3,830   $ 2,068
Gross Profit as a percentage of net revenue   56.6%   54.8%
Contribution margin as a percentage of net revenue   9.2%   5.9%
 

Adjusted EBITDA

The following table provides a reconciliation of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA to net loss, which is the most directly comparable financial measure presented in accordance with GAAP:

    Three Months Ended March 31,
    2022   2023
Net loss   $ (42,776)   $ (25,800)
Add:        
Provision for income taxes     26
Interest expense, net   802   371
Depreciation and amortization   1,846   1,762
EBITDA   (40,128)   (23,641)
Other (income) expense, net   (25)   54
Change in fair value of contingent earn-out liabilities   (2,775)  
Impairment loss on goodwill   29,020  
Impairment loss on intangibles     16,660
Gain on extinguishment of seller note   (2,012)  
Change in fair market value of warrant liability   1,879   354
Loss on original issuance of equity   5,835  
Litigation reserve   800  
Stock-based compensation expense   2,865   2,317
Adjusted EBITDA   $ (4,541)   $ (4,256)
Net loss as a percentage of net revenue   (102.6)%   (74.0)%
Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue   (10.9)%   (12.2)%
         

Each of our products typically goes through the Launch phase and depending on its level of success is moved to one of the other phases as further described below:

i. Launch phase: During this phase, we leverage our technology to target opportunities identified using AIMEE (Artificial Intelligence Marketplace e-Commerce Engine) and other sources. This phase also includes revenue from new product variations and relaunches. During this period of time, due to the combination of discounts and investment in marketing, our net margin for a product could be as low as approximately negative 35%. Net margin is calculated by taking net revenue less the cost of goods sold, less fulfillment, online advertising and selling expenses. These primarily reflect the estimated variable costs related to the sale of a product.

ii. Sustain phase: Our goal is for every product we launch to enter the sustain phase and become profitable, with a target of positive 15% net margin for most products, within approximately three months of launch on average. Net margin primarily reflects a combination of manual and automated adjustments in price and marketing spend.

iii. Liquidate phase: If a product does not enter the sustain phase or if the customer satisfaction of the product (i.e., ratings) is not satisfactory, then it will go to the liquidate phase and we will sell through the remaining inventory. Products can also be liquidated as part of inventory normalization especially when steep discounts are required.

The following tables break out our first quarter of 2022 and 2023 results of operations by our product phases (in thousands):

    Three months ended March 31, 2022
    Sustain   Launch   Liquidation/
Other
  Fixed Costs   Stock Based Compensation   Total
Net revenue   $ 37,964   $ 837   $ 2,872   $ —   $ —   $ 41,673
Cost of goods sold   15,749   411   1,906       18,066
Gross profit   22,215   426   966       23,607
Operating expenses:                        
Sales and distribution expenses   17,479   535   1,762   2,851   347   22,974
Research and development         870   274   1,144
General and administrative         7,217   2,324   9,541
Impairment loss on goodwill         29,020     29,020
Change in earn-out liability         (2,775)     (2,775)
    Three months ended March 31, 2023
    Sustain   Launch   Liquidation/
Other
  Fixed Costs   Stock Based Compensation   Total
Net revenue   $ 28,631   $ 158   $ 6,090   $ —   $ —   $ 34,879
Cost of goods sold   11,678   92   4,012       15,782
Gross profit   16,953   66   2,078       19,097
Operating expenses:                        
Sales and distribution expenses   13,353   119   3,557   2,526   671   20,226
Research and development         813   434   1,247
General and administrative         4,747   1,212   5,959
Impairment loss on intangibles         16,660     16,660

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Artificial Intelligence

More than $9 Million Awarded to High School Scientists and Engineers at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair 2024

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Grace Sun, 16, receives $75,000 Top Award for a new kind of organic electrochemical transistor at the world’s largest pre-college science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competition.
TARRYTOWN, N.Y. and WASHINGTON, May 17, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) and Society for Science (the Society) announced that Grace Sun, 16, of Lexington, Kentucky, won the $75,000 top award, the George D. Yancopoulos Innovator Award, named in honor of the pioneering drug researcher and Regeneron co-Founder, Board co-Chair, President and Chief Scientific Officer, in the 2024 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (Regeneron ISEF), the world’s largest pre-college science and engineering competition. Other top prizes went to projects in second-order cone programming, microplastics filtration and multi-sensory therapy for dementia.

The top winners were honored during two award ceremonies: the Special Awards on May 16 and the Grand Awards Ceremony on the morning of May 17. In total, over $9 million USD was awarded to the finalists based on their projects’ creativity, innovation and depth of scientific inquiry. The competition featured nearly 2,000 young scientists representing 49 U.S. states and nearly 70 countries, regions and territories across the world.
Grace Sun, 16, of Lexington, Kentucky, won first place and received the $75,000 George D. Yancopoulos Innovator Award for her research on building a better organic electrochemical transistor that she hopes will be used to develop new electronic devices that could help detect and treat serious illnesses like diabetes, epilepsy and organ failure. To overcome the problems that have previously prevented such devices from working effectively inside the body, Grace developed a new way of chemically treating their organic components, which greatly improved their laboratory performance.
Michelle Wei, 17, of San Jose, California, received one of two Regeneron Young Scientist Awards of $50,000 for her research to improve the speed and efficiency of a type of software that is useful in many fields such as machine learning, transportation and financial systems. Michelle’s new approach involved determining a quick approximate solution to the second-order cone programming problem, then splitting the initial cone into smaller cones, which enabled her new algorithm to greatly outperform previous approaches.
Krish Pai, 17, of Del Mar, California, received the second Regeneron Young Scientist Award of $50,000 for his machine-learning research to identify microbial genetic sequences that can be modified to biodegrade plastic. His new software, called Microby, scans databases of microorganisms and determines which ones can be changed genetically to biodegrade plastics. In tests, he identified two microorganisms that can be genetically modified to degrade plastic at a cost he believes would be ten times less than traditional recycling.
 “Congratulations to the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair 2024 winners,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO, Society for Science and Executive Publisher, Science News. “I’m truly inspired by the ingenuity and determination shown by these remarkable students. Coming from around the world with diverse backgrounds and academic disciplines, these students have shown that it is possible to come together in unity to tackle some of the toughest challenges facing our world today, and I could not be prouder.”
Regeneron ISEF provides a global stage for the world’s best and brightest young scientists and engineers. Through this competition, Regeneron and the Society are fostering the next generation of STEM leaders who are pioneering solutions to improve our world. Since 2020, Regeneron has provided STEM experiences to approximately 2.4 million students, on track to meet its goal of 2.5 million by 2025.
“The talent, intelligence and potential of this year’s Regeneron ISEF finalists is truly inspiring, and I congratulate each on their remarkable achievements,” said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., co-Founder, Board co-Chair, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron. “Science competitions like ISEF were pivotal in shaping my own career and fueling my passion to fight back against disease. I look forward to seeing these students continue to push the boundaries of science and technology to create positive and sustainable change for all humanity.”
Other top honors from the competition include:
Justin Huang and Victoria Ou, both 17, of Woodlands, Texas, received the Gordon E. Moore Award for Positive Outcomes for Future Generations of $50,000 for their new prototype filtration system that uses ultrasonic waves to remove microscopic plastic particles from water. In lab tests, the acoustic force from the high-frequency sound waves removed between 84% and 94% of the suspended microplastic particles in a single pass. The students are now working to scale up and fine-tune their experimental system.
Ingrid Wai Hin Chan, 17, of Hong Kong, China received the Craig R. Barrett Award for Innovation of $10,000 for her research on using a multi-sensory therapy for dementia patients. Her mixed therapy app would allow patients to practice physical and cognitive skills through a personalized, immersive environment using virtual reality headsets. Ingrid conducted an eight-week study with six people living with dementia and found that the cognitive function of patients who used her prototype improved in several areas. She believes her app could serve as a viable option for dementia patients with limited access to in-person professional therapy.
Tanishka Balaji Aglave, 15, of Valrico, Florida, received the H. Robert Horvitz Prize for Fundamental Research of $10,000 for her investigation into a natural alternative treatment against citrus greening, a disease that threatens citrus farming in many parts of the world and is currently only treated with antibiotics. Tanishka injected the trunks of infected trees with an extract from the curry leaf tree, and found through tests that this potential method could effectively and sustainably manage citrus greening disease.
Maddux Alexander Springer, 18, of Honolulu, Hawaii, received the Peggy Scripps Award for Science Communication of $10,000 for his research into fibropapillomatosis (FP), a disease that is the primary cause of death in green sea turtles. Some turtles he studied in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, were stricken with a disease that causes internal and external tumors that inhibit their everyday lives. After analyzing the turtles’ diet of green algae, Maddux concluded that this disease, wastewater, invasive algae and the amino acid arginine all pose a grave risk to these endangered sea creatures.
Ria Kamat, 17, of Hackensack, New Jersey; Anna Oliva, 17, of Houston, TX; and Shuhan Luo, 18, of Worcester, MA, received the Dudley R. Herschbach SIYSS Award, which provides finalists an all-expense paid trip to attend the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar during Nobel Week in Stockholm, Sweden.
Jack Shannon, 18, of Clane, Kildare, Ireland, and Nikhil Vemuri, 17, of Cary, North Carolina, received the EU Contest for Young Scientists Award. Their projects will represent Regeneron ISEF at the EU Contest for Young Scientists to be held this September in Katowice, Poland.
For more information about the top winners and access to visual assets visit:  https://www.societyforscience.org/isef-2024-media-kit.
The full list of Special Award ISEF 2024 Finalists can be found at https://www.societyforscience.org/press-release/regeneron-isef-2024-special-awards-winners.
In addition to the Top Award winners, more than 450 finalists received awards and prizes for their innovative research, including “First Award” winners, who each received a $5,000 prize.
The following lists the First Award winners for each of the 22 categories, from which the Top Awards were chosen:
Animal Sciences, sponsored by Society for ScienceMaddux Alexander Springer, Honolulu, Hawaii
Behavioral and Social Sciences, sponsored by Society for ScienceAndrew Y. Liang, San Jose, California
Biochemistry, sponsored by RegeneronAmy Hong Xiao, Garden City, New York
Biomedical and Health Sciences, sponsored by RegeneronRia Kamat, Hackensack, New Jersey; Kevin Xuan Lei, Shanghai, China
Biomedical Engineering, sponsored by Alfred E. Mann CharitiesAyush Garg, Dublin, California; Divij Motwani, Palo Alto, California; Akash Ashish Pai, Portland, Oregon
Cellular and Molecular Biology, sponsored by RegeneronLara and Maya Sarah Hammoud, Beverly Hills, Michigan
Chemistry, sponsored by Society for ScienceAkilan Sankaran, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Arjun Suresh Malpani and Siddharth Daniel D’costa, Portland, Oregon
Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, sponsored by RegeneronKun-Hyung Roh, Bronx, New York
Earth and Environmental Sciences, sponsored by Google.orgNikhil Vemuri, Durham, North Carolina; Justin Yizhou Huang and Victoria Ou, The Woodlands, Texas
Embedded Systems, sponsored by HPChloe Rae and Sophie Rose Filion, Welland, Ontario, Canada
Energy: Sustainable Materials and Design, sponsored by Siemens EnergyAlia Wahban, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Engineering Technology: Statics and Dynamics, sponsored by Howmet Aerospace FoundationChiyo Nakatsuji, Bunkyoku, Tokyo, Japan; Kevin Shen, Olympia, Washington
Environmental Engineering, sponsored by JacobsKrish Pai, San Diego, California; Jack Shannon, Clane, Kildare, Ireland
Materials Science, sponsored by Howmet Aerospace FoundationGrace Sun, Lexington, Kentucky
Mathematics, sponsored by Akamai FoundationAnna Oliva, Houston, Texas
Microbiology, sponsored by Schattner FoundationMatthew Chang, Irvine, California
Physics and Astronomy, sponsored by Richard F. Caris Charitable Trust IIHarini Thiagarajan and Vishal Ranganath Yalla, Bothell, Washington; Shuhan Luo, Worcester, Massachusetts
Plant Sciences, sponsored by Society for SciencePauline Estrada, Fresno, California; Tanishka Balaji Aglave, Dover, Florida
Robotics and Intelligent Machines, sponsored by RegeneronMichal Lajciak, Dubnica nad Vahom, Trenciansky kraj, Slovakia; Anthony Efthimiadis, Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Systems Software, sponsored by MicrosoftMichelle Wei, San Jose, California
Technology Enhances the Arts, sponsored by Society for ScienceAnant Khandelwal, Sritan Motati and Siddhant Sood, Alexandria, Virginia
Translational Medical Science, sponsored by RegeneronZheng-Chi Lee, West Lafayette, Indiana; Ingrid Wai Hin Chan, Hong Kong, China
The full list of all award-winning ISEF 2024 finalists is available here: https://www.societyforscience.org/press-release/regeneron-isef-2024-full-awards.
View all the finalists’ research here: https://projectboard.world/isef.
About the Regeneron International Science and Engineering FairThe Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (Regeneron ISEF), a program of Society for Science for over 70 years, is the world’s largest global science competition for high school students. Through a global network of local, regional and national science fairs, millions of students are encouraged to explore their passion for scientific inquiry. Each spring, a group of these students is selected as finalists and offered the opportunity to compete for approximately U.S. $9 million in awards and scholarships.
In 2019, Regeneron became the title sponsor of ISEF to help reward and celebrate the best and brightest young minds globally and encourage them to pursue careers in STEM to positively impact the world. Regeneron ISEF is supported by a community of additional sponsors, including Akamai Foundation, Alfred E. Mann Charities, Aramco, Caltech, Google.org, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Howmet Aerospace Foundation, HP, , Jacobs, King Abdulaziz & his Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity, Microsoft, National Geographic Society, Richard F. Caris Charitable Trust II, Rise, an initiative of Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust, Schattner Foundation, Siemens Energy, Annenburg Foundation, Ballmer Group, Broadcom Foundation, Cesco Linguistic Services, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Edison International, Insaco, Oracle Academy, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation and US Army ROTC. Many are entrepreneurs across a wide range of industries. Learn more at https://www.societyforscience.org/isef/.
About Society for ScienceSociety for Science is a champion for science, dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement. Established in 1921, Society for Science is best known for its award-winning journalism through Science News and Science News Explores, its world-class science research competitions for students, including the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair and the Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge, and its outreach and equity programming that seeks to ensure that all students have an opportunity to pursue a career in STEM. A 501(c)(3) membership organization, Society for Science is committed to inform, educate and inspire. Learn more at www.societyforscience.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (Society4Science).
About RegeneronRegeneron (NASDAQ: REGN) is a leading biotechnology company that invents, develops and commercializes life-transforming medicines for people with serious diseases. Founded and led by physician-scientists, our unique ability to repeatedly and consistently translate science into medicine has led to numerous approved treatments and product candidates in development, most of which were homegrown in our laboratories. Our medicines and pipeline are designed to help patients with eye diseases, allergic and inflammatory diseases, cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, neurological diseases, hematologic conditions, infectious diseases and rare diseases. 
Regeneron believes that operating as a good corporate citizen is crucial to delivering on our mission. We approach corporate responsibility with three goals in mind: to improve the lives of people with serious diseases, to foster a culture of integrity and excellence and to build sustainable communities. Regeneron is proud to be included on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and the Civic 50 list of the most “community-minded” companies in the U.S. Throughout the year, Regeneron empowers and supports employees to give back through our volunteering, pro bono and matching gift programs. Our most significant philanthropic commitments are in the area of early science education, including the Regeneron Science Talent Search and the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).
For more information, please visit www.Regeneron.com or follow Regeneron on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook or X.
More information about the top winners and access to visual assets visit:  https://www.societyforscience.org/isef-2024-media-kit.
Media ContactsJoseph Brown, [email protected]
Gayle Kansagor, Society for [email protected]
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J.P. Morgan Life Sciences Private Capital, Blue Horizon Advisors and United Al Saqer Announce Winner of Inaugural 2024 Life Sciences Innovation Summit

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In conjunction with Abu Dhabi Global Healthcare Week 2024
ABU DHABI, UAE, May 17, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — J.P. Morgan Life Sciences Private Capital, Blue Horizon Advisors and United Al Saqer Group announced today Rayees Rahman of Harmonic Discovery as the winner of the inaugural J.P. Morgan Asset Management: Life Sciences Innovation Summit. Harmonic Discovery is a precision pharmacology company applying its generative chemistry platform to advance next-generation kinase inhibitors.

In partnership with the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), the Summit took place on May 14-15, 2024 at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi and showcased the 11 innovative finalists, as well as highlighted existing innovators and opportunities in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The event also featured keynote speeches from Dr. Laurie Glimcher of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dr. Shahrukh Hashmi of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, and Dr. David Ho of Columbia University Medical Center and provided attendees networking opportunities to gain valuable insights into the future of life sciences innovation. 
In addition, the jury designated Chun-Hao Huang of Algen Biotechnologies as honourable mention. Algen Biotechnologies is a platform therapeutics and drug discovery company using world-leading CRISPR and AI to find treatments for cancer, inflammation and metabolic diseases.
The winners were selected by an esteemed, international panel of judges, which included:Laurie Glimcher, MD, President and CEO at Dana-Farber Cancer InstituteJorge Guzman, MD, CEO at Cleveland Clinic Abu DhabiProf. Shahrukh Khurshid Hashmi, MD, Director of Research, Department of Health, Abu DhabiYasmine Hayek Kobeissi, PhD, CQF, BSc., Executive Director at Blue Horizon AdvisorsAnya Schiess, Managing Partner at J.P. Morgan Life Sciences Private CapitalWalid Zaher, PhD, Co-Founder and CEO, Carexso
Dr. Asma Al Mannaei, Executive Director of the Research and Innovation Centre at the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi said: “Under the directives of the UAE’s wise leadership, and renowned for its world-leading medical infrastructure, Abu Dhabi stands at the forefront of healthcare excellence, offering an unparalleled opportunity for advancement in healthcare for global partners. It was our utmost pleasure hosting the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Life Sciences Innovation Summit 2024 on the sidelines of Abu Dhabi Global Healthcare Week and we commend the winners for their pioneering efforts in driving impactful advancements in healthcare; their dedication to innovation not only transforms the landscape of medicine, but also holds the promise of improving lives worldwide.” 
Stephen Squinto, PhD, Chief Investment Officer, J.P. Morgan Life Sciences Private Capital said: “We are thrilled with the level of biotech passion and innovation that we observed at this year’s Summit in Abu Dhabi. The energy was truly palpable we are thrilled to announce Rayees Rahman as the winner of our first Life Sciences Innovation Summit. Harmonic Discovery’s approach embodies the next generation of drug discovery and development. We appreciate the time and effort of all participants and cannot wait for our next event in the region.”
Nabil Kobeissi, Chief Executive Officer of Blue Horizon Advisors, said: “As the main sponsor, we are committed to nurturing and fostering the growth of all 11 finalists in this vibrant biotech ecosystem. This Summit marks the beginning of a transformative journey, and we are confident that it will pave the way for a flourishing hub in the region. We are also pleased to announce that we will commit to invest in and partner with the winner, Harmonic Discovery, to support its future growth in the region.”
Sponsors for the event included J.P. Morgan Life Sciences Private Capital, J.P. Morgan Commercial Bank, Blue Horizon Advisors, United Al Saqer Group, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and Salam Capital. The Summit organisation, logistics and finalist recruitment were facilitated by Lyfebulb.
Of importance, at the Summit, Mr. Mohamed Al Breiki, Executive Director of Sustainable Development at Masdar City, announced that Masdar City Free Zone would award all 11 Finalists complimentary business licenses to further support their establishment in the region. Masdar City is one of the world’s most sustainable urban developments and innovation hubs with a growing focus on life science entrepreneurship in Abu Dhabi.

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Congregating in the Lion City for a Win-Win Future of Intelligent Computing at the Global Data Center Facility Summit 2024

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SINGAPORE, May 17, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — On May 17, 2024, the Global Data Center Facility Summit 2024 was held in Singapore with the theme of “Power the Digital Era Forward.” At the summit, over 600 data center industry leaders, technical experts, and ecosystem partners gathered to discuss new trends and opportunities of the global data center industry in the intelligent computing era. The attendees also got to experience all-scenario, all-ecosystem, and all-service end-to-end (E2E) solutions, share innovative practices of green data centers in the Asia Pacific and Europe, and experience the exhibition vehicle to unveil the mystery of Outdoor PowerPOD that features one power system per container. By fully embracing the intelligent computing era, Huawei strives to power the digital era forward.

Seizing Opportunities Brought by AI and Jointly Building Green & Reliable Computing Infrastructure
At the opening speech, Charles Yang, Senior Vice President of Huawei and President of Marketing, Sales and Services, Huawei Digital Power, noted that since ChatGPT ushered in the AI era, large models keep pushing the limits of computing power and the intelligent computing industry is witnessing an unprecedented construction boom. As predicted, 100 GW will be added to the global data center installed capacity and the market value will exceed US$600 billion in the next five years.
According to Charles, with opportunities come challenges. The primary challenge concerning the data center industry is reliability and electricity. Data centers are scaling up from the MW-level to the GW-level. E2E reliability of data centers is becoming even more important than ever. In response to the opportunities, Huawei will work with customers and partners to expand the industry space.
Steering Data Centers to the AI Era with Product + Service + Ecosystem
During the summit, Sun Xiaofeng, President of Huawei Data Center Facility & Critical Power Business, delivered a speech titled “Power the Digital Era Forward. ” He stated that as AI large models are penetrating, the surging compute demands drive the expansive growth in data center.
To address the challenges, Huawei strives to build product + service + ecosystem E2E data center solutions that feature fast deployment, flexible cooling, green energy, and ultimate reliability.
Fast deployment: Data centers are fully modularized and prefabricated to ensure high quality and efficient construction.Flexible cooling: Air-liquid fusion and integrated cooling source emerges as the optimal cooling architecture for intelligent computing.Green energy: New generation-grid-load-storage integrated solution is built to ensure the sound operations of intelligent computing centers.Ultimate reliability: Data centers are safeguarded through reliable products and preventive protection.Currently, Huawei’s global service network covers more than 170 countries with over 1800 professional engineers, providing 24/7 technical support. With N+ flagship service centers, Huawei has built a one-hour service radius for its customers.
The ecosystem is a key part for a win-win future of intelligent computing. Huawei works with partners to develop comprehensive E2E solutions and provide customers with one-stop data center services.
During the summit, Huawei and the ASEAN Centre for Energy released a white paper on “Building Next Generation Data Center Facility in ASEAN.” The document provides insights into the status quo, challenges, and trends of data centers in the ASEAN region, and emphasizes that efficient and energy-saving products and solutions should be applied. It also proposes future-oriented policy recommendations for data center markets.
In the ecosystem exhibition area, Huawei showcased scenario-based solutions for large-, medium-, and small-sized data centers, and demonstrated data center consulting, design, integrated development, and delivery capabilities with dozens of ecosystem partners including CIMC, Weichai, CSCEC, and Huashi.
On a special note, the Huawei Outdoor PowerPOD exhibition vehicle made its global debut. The Huawei Outdoor PowerPOD features one power system per container, outdoor deployment, plug-and-play, and high protection rating and reliability. It has become the preferred choice for decoupling the power supply architecture.
A single tree cannot make a forest.
AI is presenting great opportunities. By delving into the industry, aggregating partner ecosystems, and making innovations applicable to transformations, Huawei will continue to help customers build reliable computing infrastructure, accelerating the industry to embrace AI and powering the digital era forward.
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