NH Public Radio’s Todd Bookman has a long, detailed piece out today (here it is) detailing the complicated (and maybe eyebrow-raising) financial benefits that inventor Dean Kamen’s private firms get from the federally funded non-profit ARMI:

The federal government is spending money to turn the same Manchester mill buildings that once churned out cotton textiles into the site of a revolution in healthcare.

It’s pouring $215 million in public money into the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute, or ARMI, a nonprofit organization that aims to one day help grow replacement human tissues and organs — a medical breakthrough so transformative that it could save countless lives if it succeeds.

But at least $34 million of the project’s funding is flowing through ARMI and into a constellation of for-profit businesses controlled by the nonprofit’s executive director: Dean Kamen

It’s a complicated story including such items as failure to file a Schedule L, but it’s just the sort of analysis that independent journalism should do – part of the checks-and-balances needed for a functioning democracy.

The article also details Kamen’s many much-hyped products (hyped by me, at times) that work and are cool but haven’t really gone anywhere in the real world, including the standing-wheelchair iBot and the water-purifying Slingshot. That’s the part of the article that, I guarantee, will cause his fans to call it a “hit piece”.

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