For Immediate Release
February 17, 2011
Contacts: Neil Tickner, 301 405 4622 or email@example.com
UMD's MIPS OKs $3.7M Tech-Product Development Grants
Mtech Unit's Grants Will Fund 16 Projects
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program (MIPS) - an initiative of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) at the University of Maryland - is authorizing 16 new high-technology and biotechnology product development grants worth $3.7 million.
MIPS fosters technology innovation and creates jobs in Maryland by funding commercially promising product development projects. These partner companies in the state with researchers at University System of Maryland institutions. Both companies and MIPS contribute money, which all supports the work of faculty and graduate students.
The projects combine $2.4 million from participating companies and $1.3 million from MIPS. Funding from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Agency and the Maryland Biotechnology Center supported select MIPS projects.
"As Maryland transitions into the new economy, programs like MIPS are proof that by investing in innovation, we can move forward by creating high-tech jobs," said Governor Martin O'Malley. "Together, we can continue to make the choices that spur innovation, choices that promote education and achievement, and choices that advance the creative capacity of our people."NEW TECHNOLOGIES RESEARCH
New technologies approved for funding include: a biofuel-producing scrubber to remove CO2 from smokestacks; systems to remove harmful nutrients and sediment from the Chesapeake Bay, a variable-torque wind turbine with a speed converter, pest-resistant soybeans, ultra-thin rechargeable batteries, a system that speeds Internet-via-satellite communications and more.
The grants are awarded in support of technology product development around the state:
INTERNET-VIA-SATELLITE: Frederick-based Cerona Networks and John Baras, professor, electrical and computer engineering and Institute for Systems Research, University of Maryland, College Park - $268,600 for development of a broadband Internet-via-satellite system with two-way performance approaching terrestrial Internet connections that saves costs for providers and can be retrofit to existing systems.
WIND TURBINE TECHNOLOGY: Owings Mills-based Differential Dynamics Corporation and Weidong Zhu, professor, mechanical engineering, University of Maryland, Baltimore County - $160,000 for development of a new type of wind turbine with a speed converter and a variable-torque generator that can reduce the failure rate and maintenance cost, harness more energy, and reduce unit cost.
BIO-REACTOR SYSTEM: Frederick-based FiberCell Systems Inc and Dean Mann, professor, University of Maryland, Baltimore - $263,212 validating a prototype, large-scale, hollow-fiber bioreactor system for use in manufacturing in the biotechnology industry.
INTEGRATED BATTERY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: College Park-based FlexEl LLC and Victor Granatstein, professor, electrical and computer engineering, University of Maryland, College Park - $141,025 developing an integrated battery management system for FlexEl's thin-film batteries incorporating upstream energy scavenging circuitry and downstream load management circuitry to give end-users an ultra-thin, plug-and-play power solution.
BIOFUEL-PRODUCING SMOKESTACK SCRUBBER: Dayton-based HY-TEK Bio LLC and Feng Chen, associate professor, Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science - $227,961 optimizing technology to sequester CO2 and additional harmful nutrients from flue gas produced from burning fossil fuels using enhanced micro algal growth, simultaneously creating clean energy from fossil fuels.
NOVEL VEGETARIAN MEAT ALTERNATIVE: Cumberland-based J Green Natural Foods and Y. Martin Lo, associate professor, nutrition and food science, University of Maryland, College Park - $396,500 optimizing a novel, plant-based protein strip that sets a new standard in the field of vegetarian meat alternatives.
MOBILE TOMATO PROCESSING: Princess Anne-based Luke's Premier Foods, LLC and Jurgen G. Schwarz, director agriculture, food and resource sciences, University of Maryland, Eastern Shore - $256,362 developing and testing a fixed, then prototype mobile processing facility in Maryland for efficiently processing fresh heirloom tomatoes from Maryland farmers into tomato nectar.
SEPARATING SPEECH FROM BACKGROUND NOISE: College Park-based OmniSpeech LLC and Shihab Shamma, professor, electrical and computer engineering, University of Maryland, College Park - $135,000 improving the performance of software that separates speech from background noise for clear cellular and other communications.
PEST-RESISTANT SOYBEANS: Baltimore-based Plant Sensory Systems LLC and James A. Saunders, director, molecular biology, biochemistry and bioinformatics, professor, department of biological sciences and department of chemistry, Towson University - $142,320 developing pest-resistant soybeans.
AIRBORNE FOREST INVENTORY: Friendsville-based Red Rock Forestland Services LLC and Matthew E. Ramspott, assistant professor, geography, Frostburg State University - $172,500 validating a multi-sensor, airborne forest inventory and mapping system.
HEMOSTATIC BANDAGE: College Park-based Remedium Technologies Inc. and Srinivasa Raghavan, professor, chemical and biomolecular Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park - $103,950 developing a novel wound care technology called HemoGripTM, an effective hemostatic bandage that rapidly stops traumatic bleeding and serves as a protective anti-bacterial barrier.
CORPUS FOR ADVANCED SPEECH RECOGNITION : Silver Spring-based Speech Conversion Technologies Inc. and William Idsardi, associate professor, linguistics, University of Maryland, College Park - $143,278 developing a new, annotated, spoken-word corpus (database of speech audio files and text transcriptions) for use in the development of novel automated speech recognition (ASR) software.
ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION FROM PALM OIL WASTE: College Park-based Tseai Energy Unlimited and Stephanie Lansing, assistant professor, environmental science and technology, University of Maryland, College Park - $260,330 optimizing the bio-methane potential of effluent from West African palm oil mills by developing a biodigestion system that will convert the mill effluent to biogas for electricity production.
APPLIED PHYSIOLOGY-BIOMECHANICS: Baltimore-based Under Armour and Jae Kun Shim, assistant professor, kinesiology, University of Maryland, College Park - $698,000 conducting a biomechanical and physiological assessment of running and comparing the differences between traditional and new running shoes.
ADVANCED SMOKE-SENSING TECHNOLOGY: Owings Mills-based Universal Security Instruments and James A Milke, professor and associate chair, fire protection engineering, University of Maryland, College Park - $142,639 validating the performance of the company's patent-pending smoke sensing technology, which responds 87 percent faster to smoldering fires while still responding quickly to fast flaming fires and has immunity to nuisance alarms.
The research will be conducted at various University System of Maryland institutions:
MIPS ECONOMIC IMPACT
This is the 47th round of MIPS funding. The program has supported research projects with more than 450 different Maryland companies since 1987.
MIPS, an initiative of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute 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 $21.6 billion in revenue, added thousands of jobs to the region, and contributed to successful products such as Martek Biosciences' nutritional oils, Hughes Communications' HughesNet, MedImmune's Synagis®, and Black & Decker's Bullet® Speed Tip Masonry Drill Bit.
The University of Maryland, the region's largest public research university, provides education and research services statewide, supporting Maryland's economic and social well-being.
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