Mtech Maryland Industrial Partnerships Awards 16 Tech Product Development Projects Worth $3.3M Teaming Companies, Faculty
Eric Schurr, University of Maryland
All funding goes to the faculty members conducting the research and development on company products.
"Programs such as MIPS are critical to our 21st century technology economy in Maryland," says Governor Martin O'Malley. "Blockbuster companies in Maryland like MedImmune, Martek, and Hughes Network Systems have leveraged MIPS to create thousands of jobs in the region, generate $19.5 billion in revenue and develop products that enhance, protect and save lives."
Projects for this round of funding include floating wetlands to clean the Chesapeake Bay, bolts that change color as they are tightened, faster Internet-via-satellite upstream, wireless sensors for monitoring home energy use, bioremediation for restaurant oil, and a backup mass-emergency electrical system. Treatments, vaccines or tests for anthrax, malaria, influenza, staph infections and infertility are also included.
Worth $3.3 million, the projects combine $1.9 million from participating companies and $1.4 million from MIPS. Funding supports research in the laboratories of participating university faculty, who work closely with partner companies to advance their products.
Nine company partners are in Montgomery County; four are in the Baltimore area, one is in Howard County, one is in Frederick County and one is in Frostburg.
Projects awarded include:
- Silver Spring-based Bio-Quick Corporation (www.bio-quick.com) and Richard Zhao, associate professor and division head, pathology, University of Maryland, Baltimore ($195,570): clinical study of Bio-Quick's ultrasound-facilitated tissue preservation system, which cuts down the time it takes medical and research facilities to preserve tissue samples from two days to one hour.
- Elicott City-based BlueWing Environmental Solutions & Technologies LLC (www.bluewing-env.com) and Joshua McGratch, assistant professor, environmental science & technology, University of Maryland, College Park ($139,000): developing BioHaven Floating IslandsTM, which closely model natural floating island systems commonly found in clean waterways, to remove harmful nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus from impaired waters such as the Chesapeake Bay.
- Rockville-based Cellex Inc. (www.cellex.us) and Richard Zhao, associate professor and division head, pathology, University of Maryland, Baltimore ($172,600): performing a second phase clinical evaluation on the QFLU test, which simultaneously diagnoses influenza and detects flu virus drug resistance in point-of-care settings.
- Frederick-based Cerona Networks Corporation (www.cerona.com) and John Baras, Lockheed Martin Chair in Systems Engineering, and professor, electrical and computer engineering and Institute for Systems Research, University of Maryland, College Park ($161,500): developing algorithms for Internet via satellite communications to improve upload speeds from users to the Internet, support more subscribers per satellite and enable communications on the move.
- Takoma Park-based CoolCAD Electronics LLC (www.coolcadelectronics.com) and Shuvra Bhattacharyya, professor, electrical and computer engineering, University of Maryland, College Park ($150,000): developing a cost-efficient wireless sensor network for monitoring residential energy use.
- Lutherville-based Corridor Pharmaceuticals Inc. (www.corridorpharma.com) and Gerald Rosen, professor, pharmaceutical sciences, University of Maryland, Baltimore ($223,031): testing the use of a compound against bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes anthrax.
- Olney-based EcoEmergence Corporation (www.EcoEmergence.com) and Jianhong Meng, director, Institute for Food Safety and Nutrition, University of Maryland, College Park ($440,745): developing the first industry standard test to evaluate the efficacy of bioremediation products (including EcoEmergence's bacteria mixture) for fats, oils and grease, which clog sewer systems and have a negative impact on the environment.
- Baltimore-based Encore Path, Inc. (www.encorepath.com) and Jill Whitall, professor, physical therapy and rehabilitation science, University of Maryland, Baltimore ($138,872): developing a new rehabilitative TREADTRAC Device to facilitate the recovery of walking in individuals with stroke in clinical and, eventually, community settings.
- Baltimore-based Fyodor Biotechnologies, Inc. (www.fyodorbio.com) and Ganesh Sriram, assistant professor, chemical and biomolecular engineering, University of Maryland, College Park ($180,330): developing and optimizing a yeast-based platform to reliably produce the drug artemisinin, a therapeutic effective against malaria and other diseases.
- Frostburg-based Instant Access Networks LLC (www.stop-EMP.com) and Hilkat Soysal, lecturer, physics and engineering, Frostburg State University ($225,000): developing an economically viable backup electricity system by combining battery and hydrogen storage with renewable energy sources to provide power for mission-critical infrastructures in the case of a disaster when the electric grid becomes unavailable for a long period of time.
- Germantown-based Integrated BioTherapeutics, Inc. (www.integratedbiotherapeutics.com) and Mary-Claire Roghmann, professor, University of Maryland, Baltimore ($137,277): developing a toxin-based vaccine against Staphylococcus aureus, a common cause of both hospital-acquired and community-acquired infections and bacterial sepsis.
- Halethorpe-based KYDES Pharmaceuticals, LLC (www.kydespharm.com) and Stephen Hoag, professor, pharmaceutical sciences, University of Maryland, Baltimore ($300,399): developing compounds that deactivate drugs such as opiates, amphetamines and benzodiazepines when they are tampered with to prevent their abuse.
- Rockville-based Opticul Diagnostics Corporation (www.opticuldiagnostics.com) and Richard Venezia, professor, pathology, University of Maryland, Baltimore ($325,849): pre-clinical and clinical testing of Opticul's rapid, point-of-care test for antibiotic-sensitive and antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, the bacterium that causes staph infections.
- Gaithersburg-based Pregmama, LLC (www.pregmama.com) and Istvan Merchenthaler, professor, epidemiology and preventative medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore ($143,278): developing a therapeutic regimen called Fertamax to prevent egg aneuploidy, infertility, miscarriages, and trisomic pregnancies for women over 35.
- Bethesda-based StarEnergyCo, Inc. (www.starenergyco.com) and Nam Sun Wang, professor, chemical and biomolecular engineering, University of Maryland, College Park ($225,848): developing an economical, turn-key process to produce astaxanthin—useful as an antioxidant and as a pigment in aquaculture—from algae and using carbon dioxide emitted from ethanol plants.
- Bethesda-based Stress Indicators Inc. (www.smartbolts.com) and Chandrashekhar Thamire, professor, mechanical engineering, University of Maryland, College Park ($200,000): developing a reliable process for manufacturing the company's Smartbolts®, which are bolts that change color as they are torqued to ensure proper tightening and prevent over-tightening.
Funding from the Maryland Biotechnology Center supported projects with Cellex and Integrated BioTherapeutics. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources provided support for the project with BlueWing.
This is the 46th round of MIPS funding. The program has supported research projects with more than 450 different Maryland companies since 1987.
University System of Maryland institutions participating, along with the number of projects, include: University of Maryland, College Park (7); University of Maryland, Baltimore (8); Frostburg State University (1).
Projects are subject to final contract negotiations.
The Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program, an initiative of the A. James Clark School of Engineering’s Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute, or Mtech (www.mtech.umd.edu), brings university innovation to the commercial sector by supporting university-based research projects to help Maryland companies develop technology-based products. Commercial products benefiting from MIPS projects have generated more than $19.5 billion in revenue, added jobs to the region, and contributed to successful products such as Martek Biosciences’ nutritional oils, Hughes Communications’ HughesNetTM, MedImmune’s Synagis®, and Black & Decker’s Bullet® Speed Tip Masonry Drill Bit.