OCAST board awards $1.35 million to seven Applied Research projects
December 6, 2012
Seven Applied Research applicants this week were awarded $1,353,669 by the governing board of the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST). The award winners were chosen from a field of 39.
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 seven highest ranked projects. Twelve other projects were deemed worthy of financial support.
Funded projects support growth in unique wheat genetics, thermophotovoltaics, thermoelectric energy harvesting, hydrogen production through hydrolysis, treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia, Crohn’s Disease and silicon substrates.
Applied research projects range from one to three years.
Successful applicants include the following:
- Khosrow Namjou, principal investigator, “Reflective Metals for Epitaxial Growth of Gallium Nitride on Silicon Substrates” – The goal is to commercialize gallium nitride on silicon growth templates. The firm, Lightwave Photonics, has patented grown-epitaxial metal-mirror technology which can be used to develop light emanating diodes (LED) integrated into high performance, low-cost solid-state lighting products. Benefits are far reaching; however, one benefit includes driving down cost and speeding adoption of LEDs as replacements for incandescent light bulbs. Lightwave Photonics – $300,000
- Patrick McCann, principal investigator, “High Efficiency Thermophotovoltaics” – Improved technology has made new materials more efficient than traditional materials used in developing thermophotovoltaics. New materials eliminate the need for using spectral filters, an expensive part in developing thermophotovoltaics. Benefits will be realized in the aircraft, water heater, off-line electrical generation and automobile industries. iRpowr Inc. – $183,900
- Gerald Koelsch, principal investigator, “Development of Clinical Candidate CTZ-026 to Treat Memory and Cognitive Loss in Alzheimer’s Disease and Schizophrenia” – The project builds upon the knowledge of a CoMentis Inc. base of research designed to develop pharmaceuticals to treat Alzheimer’s and schizophrenic patients. The product from the proposed work is an enabling package for the CoMentis alpha-7 NAChR agonist CTZ-026. CoMentis, Inc. – $300,000
- Scott Rollins, principal investigator, “Development of an Anti-PSGL-1 Antibody to Treat Crohn’s Disease.” – The objective is to develop supporting preclinical work that will lead to commercialization of a safe, more effective therapy for the treatment of Crohn’s, an inflammatory bowel disease. The research and pharmaceutical outgrowth would involve both Cytovance and Selexys, two Oklahoma biotech firms. Selexys – $300,000
- Liuling Yan, principal investigator, “Rapid Deployment of a Unique Gene in Wheat ‘Duster’ for Resistance Against Multiple Foliar Disease Pathogens” – Through gene mapping, the researcher believes genetically Oklahoma hard red winter wheat can be improved to resist multiple foliar disease pathogens in novel wheat cultivars. If the research benefits are realized, wheat growers in Oklahoma and the southern plains could reap billions of dollars in crop production improvements. Oklahoma State University – $90,000
- Ranji Vaidyanathan, principal investigator, “Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting Devices for Structural Components” – Thermoelectric devices will be developed using thick-film nanostructured thermoelectric materials recently developed at OSU. The development will prepare for the scale-up of devices for the commercial market. Oklahoma State University - $89,896
- Daryoosh Vashaee, principal investigator, “Scalable Rapid Solar Hydrogen Production via Photo-Bio-Chemical Hydrolysis” – Using a material system, the researchers realize they can harvest both heat and light by exposing water containing sodium chloride and a bio-compatible additive sensitive to visible light. The research proposes to develop a broader hydrogen market in a multi-state area centered by Oklahoma. Oklahoma State University – $89,873