For Immediate Release: June 4, 2018
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Ofirah Yheskel, Ofirah.Yheskel@governor.virginia.gov | Center for Innovative Technology: Kevin May, Kevin.May@cit.org

Governor Northam Announces FY2018 Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) Awards

Awards support promising technology research and commercialization in Virginia’s private sector, academia and nonprofit research institutes

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam announced today nearly $2.7 million in funding in support of 34 Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) awards. The projects represent exciting advancements in six industries: biosciences and medical technologies, cyber security, clean energy, water quality, data analytics and unmanned systems.

“The Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund accelerates technological innovation and economic growth in Virginia by identifying potential solutions to important state and national problems,” said Governor Northam. “The CRCF is a great example of how the public-sector can leverage outside resources and innovation to serve citizens better. I commend these recipients and look forward to seeing their projects come to fruition.”

During this solicitation round, applications were invited under five programs to support the private sector, academia and nonprofit research institutes across the Commonwealth: Commercialization, Eminent Researcher Recruitment, Matching Funds, SBIR Matching Funds and STTR Matching Funds.

Applications underwent a four-step review process beginning with administrative compliance performed by the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) and followed by subject matter evaluation; subject matter experts were drawn from industry, academia and government. Applications were then evaluated by members of the Research and Technology Investment Advisory Committee (RTIAC), a board of university, industry and economic development experts, who made recommendations for funding to the CIT Board of Directors for final approval. Managed by CIT, the CRCF supports technology priorities identified in the Commonwealth Research and Technology Strategic Roadmap.

“This solicitation continues the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund’s mission to advance outstanding projects that leverage public and private investments, strengthening economic development across the state,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball.

“The quality and quantity of applications received during the FY2018 solicitation were impressive. The round brought in nearly 120 applications from across the Commonwealth,” said Ed Albrigo, CIT’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “This strong turnout demonstrates the need for funding at a critical time in these research commercialization projects. We look forward to monitoring the progress of the latest recipients as they generate significant long-term benefits for the Commonwealth’s economy.”

The following CRCF projects will be awarded, contingent upon acceptance of award terms and conditions:

Commercialization Program

  • AgroSpheres (Charlottesville), AgroSpheres Enhanced Crop Protection, Dr. Mark Kester, $50,000, Biosciences
  • AVEC, Inc. (Blacksburg), Noise Reduction of a Continuous Miner Scrubber Fan System Using an Acoustic Liner, Mr. Kyle Schwartz, $50,000, Energy
  • BEAM Diagnostics, Inc. (Roanoke), BEACON: A Commercial Tool for Clinicians to Assess Alcohol Reinforcer Pathology with Behavioral Economic Tasks, Dr. Sarah Snider, $14,720, Biosciences
  • Blue Point Materials Research LLC (Herndon), Development of a Material for Reduction of Infections in Orthopedic Implants, Dr. Ratna Prakash Kolli, $50,000, Biosciences
  • Bonumose Biochem LLC (Charlottesville), Enzyme Production for Rare Sugar Manufacturing, Dr. Daniel Wichelecki, $50,000, Biosciences
  • Clockwork, LLC (Charlottesville), 1st Diligence, Mr. Alexander Goodman, $50,000, Information Technology
  • DeepSig Inc. (Arlington), Wireless Cyber Intrusion Detection, Mr. Benjamin Hilburn, $25,000, Cyber Security
  • Embody LLC (Norfolk), Biofabrication of Telocollagen-Based Regenerative Medical Devices for Ligament and Tendon Repair, Dr. Michael Francis, $50,000, Biosciences
  • MR Technologies (Midlothian), The Cytogenetic Diagnostic Tool: PRECYSE, Dr. Jason Reed, $49,963, Biosciences
  • Quest Knight Enterprises (Leesburg), Unmanned Systems Platform Sensor Workforce Development, Mr. Timothy Tingler, $48,635, Unmanned Systems
  • Sentek Instrument, LLC (Blacksburg), Ultra-High Temperature Sensors for Clean Power Generation Systems, Dr. Bo Dong, $50,000, Energy
  • Service Robotics & Technologies (Arlington), SRT’s Map-Building Robot for Creating Visual Facility Maps, Dr. Gregory Scott, $50,000, Unmanned Systems
  • Tympanogen (Williamsburg), Manufacturing Feasibility of a Gel Patch for Nonsurgical Eardrum Repair, Dr. Elaine Horn-Ranney, $50,000, Biosciences

SBIR Matching Funds Program

  • Adaptive Aerospace Group, Inc. (Hampton), High-Integrity Safe Autonomy Flexible Innovation Testbed (SAFIT), Mr. Jesse Couch, $50,000, Unmanned Systems
  • BlackBoiler, LLC (Arlington), Automatic Contract Editing in Two Party Negotiation with Lexical Decomposition and Deep Learning Based Semantic Understanding, Mr. Jonathan Herr, $50,000, Information Technology
  • Pancopia, Inc. (Hampton), Commercialization Testing of Low Cost Nitrogen Removal Technology, Mr. William Cumbie, $50,000, Environment
  • WynnVision LLC (Richmond), Antimicrobial Catheters with Cell and Tissue Compatibility, Dr. Kennard Brunson, $50,000, Biosciences

STTR Matching Funds Program

  • BrachyFoam, LLC (Charlottesville), Development and Validation of Delivery System for Commercialization of Self-Expanding Hydrogel for Pelvic Brachytherapy, Dr. Timothy Showalter, $50,000, Biosciences

Matching Funds Program

  • College of William & Mary (Williamsburg), Developing Acoustic Technology to Reduce Birds’ Risks of Collision with Wind Turbines: Expanding Wind Energy Opportunities in Virginia, Dr. John Swaddle, $99,711, Energy
  • Commonwealth Center for Advanced Logistics Systems (Colonial Heights), Addressing the Logistical Challenge of Medication Reconciliation in Emergency Medicine Settings, Dr. Dayanjan Wijesinghe, $100,000, Biosciences
  • Commonwealth Center for Advanced Logistics Systems (Colonial Heights), Development of Secure Compartmentalized Automated Refrigerated Storage (SeCARS) for Controlled Medicines, Dr. Thomas Roper, $100,000, Biosciences
  • George Mason University (Fairfax), From Unidentifiable and Undruggable to the Future of Pharmaceuticals: Protein Painting Reveals High-Value Protein-Protein Interactions as Drug Targets, Dr. Lance Liotta, $99,586, Biosciences
  • James Madison University (Harrisonburg), Sustainable Energy from Radio Waves, Dr. Giovanna Scarel, $59,533, Energy
  • Old Dominion University Research Foundation (Norfolk), Cyber Risk Scoring and Mitigation, Dr. Sachin Shetty, $100,000, Cyber Security
  • Old Dominion University Research Foundation (Norfolk), Highly-Transmissive Colored Coatings for Architectural Photovoltaic Panels, Mr. Hani Elsayed-Ali, $100,000, Energy
  • University of Virginia (Charlottesville), Anti-Icing Surfaces for Wind Energy Turbine Blades and Energy Savings in Refrigeration Systems, Dr. Mool Gupta, $100,000, Energy
  • University of Virginia (Charlottesville), Nano-Enhanced Vaccine for Melanoma, Dr. Craig Slingluff, $100,000, Biosciences
  • University of Virginia (Charlottesville), Optimizing Anemia Dosing Algorithms by Leveraging EMR Data to Improve Outcomes in End Stage Renal Disease, Dr. Brendan Bowman, $99,944, Biosciences
  • Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond), Development of a Click Hydrogel Carrier for In Situ Delivery of Bioactive Agents, Dr. Barbara Boyan, $100,000, Biosciences
  • Virginia Institute of Marine Science (Gloucester Point), Progeny Tests of Triploids to Establish Additive Advantages from Tetraploid Parents for Commercial Oyster Culture, Dr. Standish Allen, Jr., $83,207, Biosciences
  • Virginia Tech (Blacksburg), An Automated and Cost-Effective Lithium-Ion Battery Direct Recycling Program, Dr. Zheng Li, $100,000, Energy
  • Virginia Tech (Blacksburg), Ultra-Miniature Ultra-High Temperature Sapphire Sensor for Power Generation, Dr. Yizheng Zhu, $100,000, Energy

Eminent Researcher Recruitment Program

  • George Mason University (Fairfax), Recruiting Eminent Cybersecurity Researcher, Dr. Kenneth Ball, $250,000, Cyber Security
  • Virginia Tech (Blacksburg), Cybersecurity for the Internet of Things, Dr. Charles Clancy, $250,000, Cyber Security

The list of FY2018 and prior year CRCF award recipients can be accessed at www.cit.org/initiatives/crcf-awards/.

Future CRCF funding opportunities will be posted on the CIT website at www.cit.org/initiatives/crcf/. Those interested in receiving CRCF announcements should fill out the online form to join the CRCF listserv. Questions may be directed to the CRCF team at crcf@cit.org.

About the CRCF and R&T Roadmap
The Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) advances science- and technology-based research, development and commercialization to drive economic growth in the Commonwealth and create and foster high potential technology companies.

In support of the Commonwealth’s overall plan to maximize the return on investment of taxpayer dollars and to enhance economic development, CRCF awards must further the goals set forth in the Commonwealth Research and Technology (R&T) Strategic Roadmap, a comprehensive planning tool the Commonwealth uses to identify research areas worthy of economic development and institutional focus. It provides elected and other officials with priorities in key industry sectors that have commercial promise and that are eligible for new CRCF awards.

The Research and Technology Investment Advisory Committee (RTIAC), comprised of university, industry and economic development experts, supports the Roadmap and the CRCF, including by making CRCF award recommendations the CIT Board.

About the Center for Innovative Technology, www.cit.org
Since 1985, CIT, a nonprofit corporation, has been Virginia’s primary driver of innovation and entrepreneurship. CIT accelerates the next generation of technology and technology companies through commercialization, capital formation, market development and revenue generation services. To facilitate national innovation leadership and accelerate the rate of technology adoption, CIT creates partnerships between innovative technology start-up companies and advanced technology consumers. CIT’s CAGE Code is 1UP71. To learn more, please visit www.cit.org. Follow CIT on Twitter @CITorg and add the Center for Innovative Technology on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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