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Introducing SousZen

See how Xinova partners with PepsiCo and Innit to launch the new Seattle restaurant tech startup, SousZen, that aims to digitize ‘back of house’.

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Innovation Opportunities

Seeking innovative solutions for:

OUR GOAL: a world free of malaria

Innovator team member:
Chris Rothfuss, PhD


Sen Chris Rothfuss - Xinova innovator who is brainstorming and testing truly innovative solutions to improve the timeliness, quality and visibility of data for the malaria supply chain in Northern Nigeria.The Xinova innovator team is brainstorming and testing truly innovative solutions to improve the timeliness, quality and visibility of data for the malaria supply chain in Northern Nigeria.
Joining our team is Sen. Chris Rothfuss, PhD. 

Chris Rothfuss, PhD, is the Senate Minority Leader of the Wyoming Legislature and a scientist through and through: engineer, chemist, researcher, analyst, consultant, and inventor. That makes him a unicorn in his day job, which he performs with a politician’s focus on benefitting society and an engineer’s mindset for applying technology and solving problems. Engineers are taught to understand a problem within its broader context, and to appreciate the complexity of its surrounding system.
The surrounding system of the Defeating Malaria with Data project, is a resource-constrained environment that’s allowed malaria to flourish as the most prolific cause of death in Nigeria, with 54 million cases and 82,000 deaths annually. 
As a consulting inventor with Xinova for the past decade, Dr. Rothfuss has worked on several supply chain optimization projects. He is inspired to be part of a team tasked with identifying breakthrough approaches to improve the timeliness, quality and visibility of data for the malaria supply chain in Northern Nigeria.
“I thoroughly enjoy collaborative invention and problem solving–this particular project is exciting because success means improving and preserving lives,” said Dr. Rothfuss, adding that the most important thing to keep in mind when working in a low-resource setting is that: “Everyone involved must have buy-in. They must understand the value and support the mission. Technology should focus on simplicity, durability, reliability, reusability and minimization of cost.”
Dr. Rothfuss has broad foreign policy expertise and experience and is currently an Adjunct Professor of International Studies at the University of Wyoming.
Long interested in helping society as well as advancing technology, Dr. Rothfuss saw engineering and government service as complementary expertise rather than either/or career propositions. He progressed from the debate team in high school to attending the University of Wyoming to study International Studies and Engineering. He earned his M.S. in Chemical Engineering at University of Wyoming and went on to earning an M.S. in Applied Physics and a PhD in Chemical Engineering at University of Washington.
He found his way back into government work via innovation. Following his doctorate, Dr. Rothfuss worked from 2003 – 2006 for the US Department of State as a AAAS Science and Technology Diplomacy Fellow serving as a Foreign Affairs Officer in their Office of Space and Advanced Technology. The experience gave him an incredibly broad view of advanced technologies, as he recalls.
After his State Department service, Dr. Rothfuss went into politics in his home state of Wyoming. Easy-going and affable, Dr. Rothfuss has a natural gift for letting every voice in a room be heard, and for translating scientific evidence into everyday language while advancing a solution to a complex problem.
With Xinova and its precursor entities, Dr. Rothfuss has participated in numerous collaborative invention sessions, submitted over 100 invention disclosures and has 30+ patents and pending applications. For example, he is an inventor or co-inventor on the following three patents related to additive manufacturing that sprang from a particularly productive invention session.
  • 10,144,152 “Feedstocks for additive manufacturing and methods for their preparation and use”
  • 9,757,880    “Spatial heat treatment of additively manufactured objects”
  • 9,586,371    “Method of bonding material layers in an additive manufacturing process”
Rothfuss is part of a select team of Xinova innovators collaborating to identify new approaches to improve the ability to track malarial supplies. The top ideas will be pitched directly to the foundation for follow-on funding. The ultimate goal is to deploy and test one or more concepts in the field and measurably improve the supply chain.
Malaria is the leading cause of death in Nigeria, accounting for 18-percent of all deaths and 26-percent of the mortality rate for children under the age of 5. Effective supply chains are a critical condition of success in the fight against malaria and depend on data to make sure that the right products are available in the right places at an acceptable cost. Despite recent enhancements to data capture and reporting systems in Nigeria there is still an opportunity to improve the speed and accuracy of supply chain data flows. This challenge is made more acute by the disparate malaria product supply chains across thousands of government, private and NGO clinics, pharmacies and drug shops. 
Join the Xinova Innovator Network    Learn more about this project 

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