Research Communications

Tech Gap, Tech Seed funds provide $316,559 for faculty technology commercialization 

August 5, 2011

The Technology Gap and Technology Seed fund programs, administered by the Vice President for Research, have awarded a total of $316,559 to faculty research projects that have potential for commercialization.

The programs were created to develop new technologies and inventions in various stages of the state of Ohio’s Third Frontier Technology Commercialization Framework. The goal is to enhance economic development in Ohio and leverage extramural funding for research.

The Technology Seed fund, which supports early-stage technology commercialization projects, provided $144,644 for six projects. The funding comes from the state of Ohio’s Research Incentive program.

Recipients of the 2011 awards are:

1)    Allan Showalter, professor of environmental and plant biology, $25,000 for a study on how to optimize the process of using plant cell wall material as a source of biofuels.

2)    Guy Riefler, associate professor of civil engineering, $25,000 for a project that will produce synthetic paint pigments from acid mine drainage in Appalachian Ohio.

3)    Eric Masson, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and Jennifer Hines, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, $25,000 for the purchase of an isothermal titration calorimeter, an instrument that will aid biomedical studies that could lead to novel diagnostics and therapeutics.

4)    David Bayless, Loehr Professor of mechanical engineering, and Ben Stuart, associate professor of civil engineering, $24,644 for a project that will grow and extract Omega-3 fatty acids from algae for use in nutritional supplements.

5)    Jason Trembly, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and David Bayless, Loehr Professor of mechanical engineering, $25,000 to develop a cost-effective method of converting coal- and biomass-derived syngas into dimethyl ether for use as a transportation fuel.

6)    Hao Chen, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and Howard Dewald, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, $20,000 to develop a electrochemistry/mass spectrometry device that could be used to determine the performance quality of fuel cells, an energy source used to power electronics, automobiles and military equipment.

The Technology Gap fund, which supports research projects in a later stage of technology commercialization, awarded $171,915 to four projects. The program is supported by the Vice President for Research and the state of Ohio’s Research Incentive program.

The 2011 recipients are:

1)    David Bayless, Loehr Professor of mechanical engineering, and Ben Stuart, associate professor of civil engineering, $48,219 for a project that will increase the commercial viability of algae by enhancing growth production.

2)    Robert Williams, professor of mechanical engineering, $43,686 to develop a commercial prototype of a medical manual exam for the haptic simulation device for medical training.

3)    Jim Zhu, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and Tony Adami, research engineer, $49,886 for a flight test of a trajectory tracking flight controller, using an unmanned air vehicle.

4)    Tingyue Gu, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, $30,124 for building and testing of a prototype biofilm sensor.

For more information about funding opportunities provided by the Vice President for Research division, visit www.ohio.edu/research/funding.cfm.