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IOWA CITY, Iowa, Sept. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — iotaMotion, Inc., a medical device startup, has received a $1.47 milliongrant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. iotaMotion earned this Federal grant to support further research and development for IOTA-Progress™, the company’s next-generation implantable robotic technology.

The SBIR program exists as one of the largest sources of early-stage capital for technology commercialization in the United States. The Federal research grant allows these small businesses to engage in development that has strong potential for impact and commercialization, and to create jobs. In 2017, the NIH will invest more than $925 million into companies whose work aligns with the institute’s mission of improving health and saving lives. The grant is highly competitive with only 15% of applications successfully funded.

“We are very pleased to have received this Phase II SBIR grant totaling nearly $1.5 million,” said Chris Kaufmann, MD, co-founder of iotaMotion. “The funds will be used to support our research and development efforts around our next-generation technology, IOTA-Progress. The IOTA-Progress implantable robotic system will provide an unprecedented level of control during and after cochlear implant surgery.”

iotaMotion is currently developing a robotic-assisted cochlear implant insertion system, which will provide precise and controlled electrode advancement during hybrid cochlear implant surgeries. The company spun out of the University of Iowa in 2015 by co-founders Chris Kaufmann, MD, MS and Marlan Hansen, MD, FACS.

“Our first goal is to provide a more controlled, fine insertion of the electrode; this should significantly enhance our ability to preserve hearing,” said Dr. Hansen. “Then we have what this grant is helping to fund for our company, which is the development of an implantable system allowing for electrode adjustments within the cochlea after the original surgery, without surgical intervention. The goal here is optimal positioning within the cochlea to best match that patient’s hearing, which often changes over time.”


A privately-held Iowa based company, iotaMotion is developing robotic technologies with the goal of focused, individualized, hearing loss treatment. The company’s solutions aim to standardize cochlear implant insertion, and to provide unprecedented control in the surgical and post-surgical care settings with the goal of expanding access to cochlear interventions for both surgeons and patients. For more information, visit or contact Chris Kaufmann at