FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 9, 2013
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Seventeen Applied Research projects receive $3.6 million in awards from OCAST
Seventeen independently peer-reviewed Applied Research applications were awarded $3,608,810 by the governing board of the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST). Award winners were chosen from a field of 42.
Oklahoma research teams will use the funds to conduct research and development for a period up to three years. A typical award is $300,000 for three years; however, awards can vary in both time and funding amounts.
OCAST administers funds through the Oklahoma Applied Research Support (OARS) program. Proximity to commercialization and good science are the primary standards used to choose the top applicants which represent a long-term effort by the state of Oklahoma to encourage technology-based economic development.
Available funds allowed support of the 17 highest ranked projects. Six other projects were deemed worthy of financial support.
Funded projects include, but are not limited to, supporting development of 3D displays, corrosion testing and amorphous metal honeycombs, diagnosis of invasive fungal disease, diabetes treatments, fighting excessive costs of drilling during fracking, nanodiamond resonators for sensing applications, development of a new version for gene-editing technology for gene therapy and biomedical research and development of all-composite storage tanks for adsorbed natural gas.
Successful applicants include the following:
• Keith Jamison, principal investigator, “Cation Substituted CCTO Super Capacitors” – US Ferroics in collaboration with Oklahoma State University, will fabricate and test material that could be used to construct capacitor based energy storage systems for electric power grid load leveling. The goal is to store energy in periods of low use and make it available in peak demand. Match Source: U.S. Army STTR award – $300,000
• Chris Whittenburg, principal investigator, “Image Recognition for Improved Explosive Device (IED) Defeat” – The goal is to design and commercialize IRIS that will allow identification of building blocks of an improvised explosive device. The research when successful would improve the military’s ability to identify and effectively deal with IEDs and mitigate casualties. Match Source: Tactical Electronics & Military Supply LLC – $168,706
• Sean Bauman, principal investigator, “DNA-based Lateral Flow Assay for Diagnosis of Invasive Fungal Disease” – The project goal is to develop a diagnostic that will aid in the early detection of invasive fungal disease in whole blood. Match Source: National Institutes of Health STTR award – $297,412
Optics and Photonics
• Zhisheng Shi, principal investigator, “Development and Commercialization of IV-VI semiconductor mid-infrared detectors” – Mid-infrared (IR) sensing and imaging have widespread military and industrial applications. Dr. Shi, at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, leads a team that recently developed detectors which offer a competitive advantage over other detectors. The development was partially sponsored by a previous OCAST OARS award. Match Source: University of Oklahoma, Department of Defense, AFOSR – $300,000
• Bijo Mathew, principal investigator, “Advanced Spectral Materials for Military Applications” – The project will research development of novel 3-D configuration of plasmonic materials exhibiting electromagnetically induced transparency. If successful, the process will be used by the U.S. Army to create more effective obscurant procedures to protect soldiers and weaponry in an age when electronics make smoke and other obscurant material ineffective. Match Source: Bijhem Scientific Inc. – $90,000
• Weidong Wang, principal investigator, “Discovering small molecules that protect beta cells against ER stess-induced death for treatment of diabetes” – The researcher and his team are developing chemical drugs for diabetes treatment. Central to this project is discovery of a therapeutic to mitigate endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-mediated pancreatic B cell failure and death. Match Source: Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) – $90,000
• Weidong Wang, principal investigator, “Developing a new version of TALEN gene-editing technology for gene therapy and biomedical research” – Transplantation of autologous cells represents an opportunity for regenerative medicine for a wide range of disorders. A new endonuclease-based technology, termed TALEN, has been developed for this purpose. The principal investigator and his team have developed a new version of TALEN technology. They will focus on both its non-therapeutic and therapeutic applications. Match Source: Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) – $291,122
• Kevin Moore, principal investigator, “Development of improved monoclonal antibody for typing of Duffy blood group antigens” – The researcher through Siwa Biotech seeks to commercialize improved monoclonal antibody reagents for typing of the two clinically significant Duffy blood group antigens. The project includes transferring the research cell bank to Cytovance Biologics, an Oklahoma-City based contract manufacturing organization, for generation of a master cell bank and manufacture of a clinical grade product in bioreactors. In collaboration with the Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) in Oklahoma City and in consultation with the Food and Drug Administration, Siwa will conduct clinical trials at the OBI and two additional U.S. blood centers to test the performance of Siwa’s reagents. Match Source: Siwa Biotech Corp. – $300,000
• Priyank Jaiswal, principal investigator, “A physical test model based on stress-shadowing to optimize drilling operations during fracking” – Each year Oklahoma oil and gas companies waste $10 million in drilling and fracking costs due to their inability to predict the trajectory and pattern that hydraulically stimulated fractures will adopt. Data from this project will be used to formulate guiding equations for fracture propagation in unconventional reservoirs which in turn will be converted to a commercial software package licensable through Oklahoma State University. Petroquest Energy anticipates cost savings in the millions of dollars through this research effort. Match Source: Petroquest Energy LLC – $90,000
• Allen Apblett, principal investigator, “Development and Commercialization of Novel Oxidative Dehydrogenation Catalysts” – The technology developed will be applied to produce novel oxidative dehydrogenation catalysts for chemical transformation of propane to propylene, a high-value commodity chemical feedstock for a variety of chemicals. Match Source: XploSafe LLC – $89,999 (Other match funds at Oklahoma State University for this project are provided by the King Abdulaiz City for Science and Technology – KACST)
• JeanmarieVerchot, principal investigator, “Propagation of virus free canna through diagnostic screening and tissue culture” – Traditional growing techniques for the canna lily have produced an epidemic explosion of new diseases in the nursery industry. Growing canna lilies is a $400 million per year business in Oklahoma. Evaluation and testing conducted in this project will help growers fight diseases common to canna production and enhance sound stewardship of resources and support rural communities. Match Source: VF Canna LLC, Horn Canna Farms – $200,769
Optics and Photonics
• Hakki Refai, principal investigator, “Ultra High Resolution Volumetric 3D Display” – The project builds upon prior research and development of prototype systems by the firm, 3DIcon Corp. The research will use technology licensed by the University of Oklahoma, funded by 3DIcon. The goal is to improve the performance of key components of a static volumetric 3D display with commercialization potential. Match Source: 3DIcon Corp. – $300,000
• Jay Hanan, principal investigator, “Accelerated Corrosion Testing and Development of Amorphous Metal Honeycombs” – This research project will target development of high strength, high elastic limit and an amorphous microstructure metallic glass as a honeycomb base material. The development will have applications in the aerospace field. Match Source: MetCell LLC – $300,000
• Nirmal Govindaraju, principal investigator, “Nanodiamond Resonators for Sensing Applications” – Operating at Oklahoma State University, Tulsa, and matched with a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, this project will address the issue created by increased human interdependence of vulnerability to disruptive events. By applying nanodiamonds to the detection process, the researchers hope to improve the ability to detect chemical and biological substances that may be used in terrorist-type activities. Match Source: National Science Foundation grant to Oklahoma State University – $90,000
• Ranji Vaidyanathan, principal investigator, “All-Composite Storage Tanks for Adsorbed Natural Gas” – Under this proposal, the Next Generation Materials Laboratory at Oklahoma State University, Tulsa, in collaboration with CleanNG LLC, will develop low pressure, linerless all composite adsorbed natural gas tanks. The technology could replace high pressure natural gas tanks with lower pressure systems. Match Source: CleanNG LLC – $299,283
• Lawrence Wheeler, principal investigator, “Calcium Chloride (CaCl2) Prilling – USP Crystals” – Magnesium Products in collaboration with the New Product Development Center and Dr. Allen Apblett in the Department of Chemistry at Oklahoma State University will design and test highly purified pharmaceutical grade CaCl2 crystals. The successful outcome will establish MagPro as a single provider of calcium chloride crystals that are being requested by its current customer base. Match Source: Magnesium Products Inc. (MagPro) – $298,109
Tulsa and Muskogee
Test and Measurement
• Peter LoPresti, principal investigator, “Online Phosphonate Detection System” – The object of the exercise is to design a sensor system that uses phosphonate chemistry and its interaction with ultraviolet radiation for a more accurate and reliable detection of the presence of phosphonate in water used in cooling towers. Match Source: Bennett Engineering Inc. (Tulsa), Advantage Controls LLC (Muskogee), Sublette Consulting Inc., (Tulsa) – $103,410