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Innovation Strategy offers $350,000 in seed grants to seven OHIO teams

From staff reports | Jun 6, 2016

Ohio University’s Innovation Strategy program has provided $350,000 in seed grants to help seven teams of faculty and staff advance new initiatives.

The program is designed to incentivize novel, interdisciplinary collaborations in the areas of teaching and learning, research and scholarship, creative activity, and the operational functions of the university.

In the last year, the Innovation Strategy has awarded $4.5 million to 16 teams of faculty and staff for such initiatives.

The seed grants have been awarded to help teams develop ideas further and to make them competitive for larger Innovation Strategy awards, other internal funding or external funding.

“Funding from the Innovation Strategy enables Ohio University faculty and staff to develop and launch creative initiatives that address major challenges,” said Joseph Shields, vice president for research and creative activity and dean of the Graduate College.  “Projects chosen for seed funding were identified in the review process as having significant promise, with the potential to benefit from investment that enables further development.”

Each of the seven teams received $50,000 in funding. The teams are:

Project #1: Establishment of a Natural Product Research Center & Commercialization Platform

Description: This project is focused on identifying and developing natural products with proven therapeutic value for the marketplace.

Team: Shiyong Wu (PI), Edison Biotechnology Institute, Research Division and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Arts and Sciences; Brian Clark and Darlene Berryman, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine; Robert Silva and Jeffrey Wiseman, Research Division.

Project #2: ELECTROFEW: Innovation Alliance for Sustainable Food, Energy and Water Systems

Description: This project will establish an alliance to advance sustainable electrochemical processes for Food, Energy and Water Systems, ELECTROFEW. The initiative will holistically address strains on these systems due to population growth and climate change.

Team: Gerardine Botte (PI), Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Russ College of Engineering and Technology; Jason Trembly, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Russ College of Engineering and Technology; David Ingram, Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Arts and Sciences; Luke Pittaway, Department of Management, College of Business.

Project #3: Connecting Science and Practice in School Mental Health

Description: This project proposes to improve services and care for children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral problems across the state.

Team: Steven Evans (PI), Julie Owens, Brian Wymbs and Frances Wymbs, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences; Leena Landmark and Dianne Gut, Department of Teacher Education, Patton College of Education.

Project #4: Ohio Drug Discovery Collaborative: Identification and Development of Novel Molecular Therapies for Human Disease

Description: This project will build a centralized, interdisciplinary initiative focused on drug discovery and development of potential therapeutics.

Team: Steve Bergmeier (PI), Jennifer Hines, Shiyong Wu, Hao Chen and Justin Holub, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Arts and Sciences; Ronan Carroll, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences; Jeffrey Wiseman, Research Division; Douglas Goetz and Monica Burdick, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Russ College of Engineering and Technology; Kelly McCall and Frank Schwartz, Department of Specialty Medicine, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine; Xiao Zhuo Chen and Erin Murphy, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Project #5: Applied Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) in Challenging Environments

Description: The project will design, develop and demonstrate small unmanned aircraft systems that can perform environmental monitoring, field exploration and journalism missions.

Team: Maarten Uijt de Haag (PI), David Chelberg, Douglas Lawrence, Jianchao Zhu, Frank van Graas and Michael Braasch, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Russ College of Engineering and Technology; Scott Miller, Russ College of Engineering and Technology; Nancy Stevens, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine; Robert Stewart, E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Scripps College of Communication.

Project #6: Ohio University Center for Atomically Thin and Layered Systems Technology: OU CATaLyST

Description: This project will establish the new Center for Atomically Thin and Layered Systems Technology (CATaLyST), which will focus on the research and development of novel materials that can be used to develop and enhance the performance of technological devices.

Team: Eric Stinaff (PI), Martin Kordesch, Sergio Ulloa, Saw-Wai Hla and Nancy Sandler, Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Arts and Sciences; Savas Kaya, Faiz Rahman and Wojciech Jadwisienczak, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Russ College of Engineering and Technology.

Project #7: Adaptable Flexible Technologies for Mobile and Wearable Electronics

Description: This project aims to develop and design flexible electronic systems that can sense, digitize, communicate and analyze physiological stress endured by the human body using an array of wearable and mobile sensors to generate clinical insights and support patient self-management.

Team: Savas Kaya (PI), Cynthia Marling, Chris Bartone, Wojciech Jadwisienczak, Razvan Bunescu, Avinash Kodi, Faiz Rahman, Harsha Chenji, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Russ College of Engineering and Technology; Deborah McAvoy and Munir Nazzal, Department of Civil Engineering, Russ College of Engineering and Technology; Robert Silva, Research Division; Saw-Wai Hla, Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Arts and Sciences; Jennifer Hines and Eric Masson, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Arts and Sciences; Mijeong Noh, Department of Human and  Consumer Sciences, Patton College of Education; Frank Schwartz, Department of Specialty Medicine, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine; Suzanne Ballard, Department of Social Medicine, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine; Kapil Bajaj, Office of Medical Informatics, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.

More information about the Innovation Strategy is available at www.ohio.edu/research/innovationstrategy.cfm.