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We are pleased to announce that the collaborative art-science project “Towards the ‘InnerNet:’ An integrated sensor analysis of biome/microbiome systems, employing novel interactivity through acoustics and design for personalized health monitoring” is being supported and funded by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the W.M. Keck Foundation.

The project team exploring these new frontiers includes: Paul Weiss, Beth Cardier, Niccolo Cassas, Allison Kudla, Andrea Polli, Ruth West, and a special thanks to J.D. Talasek, director of Cultural Programs, National Academy of Sciences, and Donald E. Ingber, director of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard.

The group is awarded one of 11 competitive seed grant awards totaling $1 million offered by the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative (NAKFI) – a project of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Projects were developed at the Nov. 2015 Keck Futures conference, in which seed idea challenge groups of scientists, engineers, artists, designers and other innovators worked together to tackle important global issues over the course of three days. Awards were announced June 15, 2016 on the NAKFI website.

The interdisciplinary group will work over the next two years and beyond to develop the project through further interdisciplinary collaboration and working groups with the support of the NAKFI seed grant.

About the Seed Project:

Towards the ‘InnerNet:’ An integrated sensor analysis of biome/microbiome systems, employing novel interactivity through acoustics and design for personalized health monitoring – $100,000

The InnerNet project considers the whole biophysical system of the body with the goal of understanding how bodily systems ‘talk’ to one another by tapping into communications between the body and the microbiome. This team will explore the development of wearable external and internal sensor arrays for this purpose.

Full Team Description:

Paul Weiss, University of California, Los Angeles; Ruth West, University of North Texas; Andrea Polli, University of New Mexico; Beth Cardier, Sirius-Beta Inc.; Niccolo Cassas, RISD Rhode Island School of Design, The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College of London; Allison Kudla, Institute for Systems Biology.

View the award annoucement and learn more about other awarded seed projects at the Keck Futures website:

Watch the documentary series about the 2015 NAKFI Conference:

More about the NAKFI Futures Initiative and Conference:

NAKFI believes the key to creating new ideas is interdisciplinarity. Expanding on this concept, they invited artists to join the November 2015 conference in Irvine, California through the Creative Disruptions exhibition curated specifically for the conference. Artist and scientists came together around the conference theme “Art and Science, Engineering, and Medicine Frontier Collaborations: Ideation, Translation & Realization.’”

Founded in 2003, the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative (NAKFI) was created with the purpose of fostering innovation among scientists of different disciplines. NAKFI has big ideas, calling itself “an experiment to examine, stimulate, and promote interdisciplinary research in exciting areas” and noting “the generative ideas that NAKFI creates are an important component of the pursuit of discovery and innovation that is necessary to fuel our prosperity and success as a nation for the next 50 years..

“NAKFI harnesses the intellectual horsepower of the brightest minds from diverse backgrounds who apply to attend an annual “think-tank” style conference to contemplate the real-world challenges of our day, having been prepared for deep conversations through conference tutorials.  Seed grants are awarded to conference participants to enable further pursuit of new ideas and inspirations generated at the conference, conceptualized as “venture science,” similar to start-up capital in the business world.” (Read more:


Learn more about the Futures Initiative

To view the documentaries on the conference website, visit:

Learn more about xREZ students and professors at the NAKFI 2015 Conference: ATLAS in silico at the National Academy of Sciences

News@xREZ June 16, 2015

xREZ Art + Science Lab

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xREZ Art+Science lab forges productive paths that harness the unique creative forces found only at the intersection of the arts, sciences and humanities to open new portals of imagination, knowledge and communication.Our goal: alter the landscape of human endeavor to create transformative impact on our world and our future.

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