Seed funds will accelerate technology commercialization
Five projects led by College of Engineering faculty – Carlos Castro, Asimina Kiourti, Alan Luo, Boyd Panton and Shaurya Prakash – were recently chosen for funding via The Ohio State University Accelerator Awards.
The Accelerator Awards program is designed to spur the advancement of cutting-edge innovations from The Ohio State University into the marketplace. It provides grants of up to $150,000 to support external validation and de-risking activities to demonstrate commercial viability of a technology with the intent to license to an Ohio-based startup company at the conclusion of the project. Administered through the Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship, the program is funded by the university with matching funds from the Ohio Third Frontier Technology Validation and Startup Fund.
“Early-stage discoveries often need additional funding targeted at translational work to help advance the technology to the market,” says Cheryl Turnbull, senior director of the Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship at Ohio State. “If we can help bridge that gap, the technologies are better positioned for transitioning out of the university as a startup, attracting capital for continued commercial development, and moving to the market where these techs can, ultimately, improve lives.”
Since the program launch in 2015, the Accelerator Awards have distributed over $5 million dollars to 69 unique projects. These projects have led to more than 20 startup companies. In this most recent award cycle, Ohio State researchers submitted 25 pre-proposals resulting in nine funded projects, five of which are led by engineering faculty.
Carlos Castro | Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Rapid COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing using DNA origami Nanostructures
Development of a molecular COVID-19 diagnostic test that generates results in 30 minutes or less using a DNA-based dynamic nanobiosensor. The Accelerator Award funds will allow key steps to validate a minimum viable product demonstrating sensitivity, evaluating storage conditions, and demonstrating capability to scale production.
Asimina Kiourti | Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
(co-led by College of Nursing Assistant Professor Lisa K. Militello)
Sleep-well Baby Bedding
Development of a patented solution to detect and monitor a baby's position during sleep. The remote monitoring system is comprised of conductive threads, non-intrusively situated within an infant’s bedding, triggering an alert to potentially high-risk situations, such as if an infant has rolled face-down or too close to an edge. The Accelerator Award funds will be used to advance the proof of concept and refine prototype design and development.
Alan Luo | Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
Advanced Manufacturing of a Bioresorbable Magnesium Alloy for Biomedical Devices
Development of manufacturing strategies – including additive manufacturing processes – for a patent-pending bioresorbable magnesium alloy. Skeletal fixation devices made of the new magnesium alloy would hold grafted bone in place during the healing period and lose strength until they fully resorb. Accelerator Award funds will be used to help develop the first prototype fixation device for animal model testing. Luo's co-PIs are Associate Professor David Dean and Director of Additive Manufacturing Ed Herderick.
Boyd Panton | Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Engineering, Welding Engineering
Micro-impact Welding to Manufacture Lightweight and Energy Efficient Mechanical Actuators for Electric Land and Air Vehicles
Development of a micro-impact welding technology for shape memory alloys (SMAs) that is 275% stronger than the state-of-the-art and enables manufacturing of actuators with 50% smaller joints and 50% lighter joints, streamlining of manufacturing. The supply chain and end-users are missing key joining technologies to assemble finished SMA actuators. The Accelerator Award will be used to enable the benchmarking of the micro-impact welding process and the actuator performance to advance commercialization efforts with potential customers.
Shaurya Prakash | Associate Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Printed Electroceutical Dressing for Infection Mitigation and Wound Healing
Development of an innovative, easy to use, disposable electroceutical dressing for treatment of chronic wounds that are highly susceptible to bacterial biofilms. The Accelerator Award funds will be used to design a clinical prototype for in vivo validation in animal studies and enable future human clinical trials to support FDA submission.
In 2020, Professors David Dean, Emre Ertin, Sanjay Krishna, Mrinal Kumar and Tanya Nocera earned Accelerator Awards.