OCAST applied research program funds 15 projects totaling $2.5 million
May 1, 2008
Fifteen of 33 funding applications qualified by peer review have been approved for more than $2.5 million in OCAST funding from the Oklahoma Applied Research Support (OARS) program. The research will be conducted for the next three years.
The governing board for the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST) approved the 15 successful applicants. The remaining 18 research applicants qualified for OCAST funding but were left on the table due to limited funds.
OCAST applied research program funds 15 projects totaling $2.5 million
Peer review is the internationally accepted method for evaluating research and development projects vying for public funds. The peer review team considers the likelihood for commercialization and quality science as criteria.
Michael Carolina, executive director of OCAST, said the recently approved applied research projects, when added to those approved over the last two decades, represent a developing science infrastructure that is positioning Oklahoma as a growing mecca for quality research. “Patient investment by the state of Oklahoma in research translates into quality jobs and creation of companies that, with time, will be the solid support behind a growing economy.”
Projects range from nanotechnology applications to energy development and include blood testing for pancreatic cancer and advanced composites.
OCAST applied research funds target accelerated technology that has significant potential for producing a commercially successful product, process or service with high potential to benefit the state’s economy.
The 15 applied research award winners include the following:
- Oklahoma City – Richard Harty working with Altheus Therapeutics Inc. will examine safety, tolerability and efficacy of treatments for patients with active ulcerative colitis. Award: $300,000 for three years
- Norman – Daniel Resasco of the University of Oklahoma is researching development of a nanotube-silica hybrid with improved electrical and mechanical properties. A market for such products preexists and successful research in the area is expected to serve the demanding new market. Southwest NanoTechnologies (SWeNT) is providing matching funds for the effort. Award: $299,351 for three years
- Norman – Ken Stamper of Production Specialties Inc. is investigating improvements for making biogas and sour natural gas ready for market by effectively lowering the cost of hydrogen sulfide removal. The technology targets include producers of small to medium sized gas wells, municipalities which generate biogas from operation of anaerobic digesters and businesses that use anaerobic digestion to process waste from concentrated animal feeding operations. Xcel Energy is providing match support. Award: $273,779 for two years
- Oklahoma City – Kenneth Dormer is principal investigator with the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center for a research project targeting delivery of therapeutic nanocomposites. The technology uses magnetic targeting to make efficient use of drugs, medicines and genes applied to the inner ear. In addition to the OU Health Sciences Center, the Hough Ear Institute, the University of Oklahoma and BBMS (an Israeli investment firm) are providing matching support. Award: $89,664 for two years
- Norman – Shaorong Liu of the University of Oklahoma will investigate development of a nanochannel proton conducting membrane for use in fuel cells. Fuel cells use electrolyte conducting membranes that historically have been negatively impacted by limited thermal strength, fuel crossover and membrane “dry out.” Liu’s research will seek to mitigate this fuel cell problem. Both the University of Oklahoma and the Norman Economic Development Coalition are providing match support. Award: $90,000 for two years
- Norman – Zhisheng Shi of the University of Oklahoma proposes to research, develop and commercialize new detector structures for infrared detection. Nanolight, a private firm, is providing match support. Award: $300,000 for three years
- Oklahoma City – Eldon Jupe of InterGenetics Inc. is studying a newly discovered source of genetic variation that is present in 10 percent of gene containing regions. The variation can make a substantial contribution to individual differences. The research will determine the frequency of occurrence across 20 genes related to breast cancer. Jupe’s approach is expected to improve InterGenetics’ OncaVue product. Award: $300,000 for two years
- Tulsa – Kenneth Oglesby, in concert with Impact Slurry Technologies LLC, will prove benefits and the likelihood for commercialization of a patented High Pressure Slurry Pump. The pump is a technological advancement when compared to current practices. It is capable of pumping abrasive slurry mixtures at high pressure, in excess of 15,000 psi, while isolating pistons, plungers and valves from erosive abrasive mixtures. Award: $90,000 for two years
- Stillwater – Hongbing Lu at Oklahoma State University will develop a nanostructured material, aerogel, and a method to use it in composite panels for fuselage and other components in commercial jetliners. The research will result in improved mechanical strength without sacrificing other properties. Award: $83,138 for two years
- Stillwater –Yu Mao and Oklahoma State University, in concert with NanoLab Inc., will develop an understanding of vapor-phase chemical activity in aligned carbon nanotubes. The research will have applications for biosensors, membranes and electronic nanocoatings. Award: $90,000 for two years
- Oklahoma City – Lijun Xia of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation will determine in a laboratory setting whether or not the application of exogenous mucins has a preventive effect for development of ulcerative colitis. Altheus Therapeutics Inc. is a source of matching support for the project. The targeted human issues involve Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease. Award: $90,000 for two years
- Stillwater – Janet Cole and Oklahoma State University will research the use of cottonseed meal and canola meal as a topdressing for soil used in landscape beds. The expected benefit will be for growth and development of wood, herbaceous perennial and annual species. Award: $66,941 for two years
- Oklahoma City – Jay Hanas and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center are developing a blood test for pancreatic cancer. Applied Biosystems Mariner ESI and ThermoFisher LCQ ESI-Ion are providing matching support for the project. The research focus will be to provide an early detection method for pancreatic cancer, the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. Researchers will use electrospray-ionization mass spectrometry of pancreatic cancer serum as a technique for developing the diagnostic. Award: $90,000 for two years
- Norman – Daniel Resasco of the University of Oklahoma will research techniques for processing heavy oil to enhance its refinery qualities. The research will make more of the heavy oil available to the consuming public. ConocoPhillips, the University of Oklahoma Foundation and the University of Oklahoma Center for Characterization of Surfaces are participating in the project. Award: $300,000 for three years
- Oklahoma City – Ying Chen and Charlesson LLC are researching a new pathway for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration. The study will provide a solid ground for further investigation toward developing new drugs, delivery systems and possible toxicities. Award: $90,000 for two years