NATIONAL SBIR CONFERENCE TO BE HELD IN OKC
The Small Business Innovation Research program will host their national conference in Oklahoma City November 8-10. This is an excellent opportunity for researchers and small businesses to learn more about securing development capital from the $2 billion annual program.
Bear Runyan ran a successful small business, manufacturing cattle feeders in Mill Creek, OK. But when his company received more than $400,000 in federal grant money to research how to improve one of their feeders, the future growth potential of 3C Cattle Feeders stretched beyond his expectations.
More than 500 people are expected to attend the conference where small businesses from across the state and country can learn about the application process, hear from businesses that have been awarded SBIR funding, meet with agencies that administer the funding and hear what they are looking for in an application.
The Small Business Administration coordinates the SBIR program which is funded by 2.5 percent of the total extramural research budgets of federal agencies. Small businesses with fewer than 500 employees with a research project that has the potential for commercialization can apply for funding through one of 11 federal agencies including: the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration or National Science Foundation.
With the assistance of Oklahoma State University New Product Development Center, 3C Cattle Feeders has been the recipient of three SBIR grants that are allowing the company to modify one of its traditional cattle feeders to deter wild hogs and other animals from stealing food and spreading diseases. Current cattle feeders do not have a way to keep out other animals.
“Ranchers often don’t realize the amount of feed that is lost to hogs and other wild animals,” said Runyan. “We didn’t know the full extent of it until we started working with OSU monitoring cattle feeders in the field with 24-hour video equipment. The stolen feed really adds up financially and is a problem seen all across the country.”
Through a connection with the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, 3C Cattle Feeders was introduced to the OSU New Product Development Center. The center has worked with them to improve their current product line, develop the idea, write the SBIR grants, conduct the research after the company received the grant and create a business plan to market the new feeders once they are developed.
“While the SBIR funding enables a company to do things a small business could never dream of doing on their own, the real benefit comes from working through the process,” said Dr. Daniel Tilley with the OSU New Product Development Center. “The process of applying for the grant makes a company start thinking differently about how they do business, how to improve their products and how to fulfill a need in the market.”
In addition to winning two large federal SBIR grants, 3C Cattle Feeders also benefited from state funding through the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology. Because the SBIR application is time consuming, requiring staff time to complete the grants, OCAST provides bridge funding to financially help a company through the application process.
The federal SBIR program is a highly specialized form of funding for small, advanced technology firms to perform cutting-edge research and development that addresses the nation’s most critical scientific and engineering needs. The National SBIR Conference will be held November 8-10 at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City. To learn more about the conference or to register, visit www.SBIROK.org.
HEARING LOSS ON THE RISE, STATE RESEARCHERS ARE TUNED IN
As the baby boomer population is aging and beginning to experience hearing loss in larger numbers, a recent study released by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston shows that older adults aren’t the only ones having a harder time hearing. The study reports nearly one in five U.S. teens have some hearing loss, a sharp increase from just 15 years ago.
The prevalence of hearing loss increased from 14.9 percent in the 1988-94 period to 19.5 percent in the 2005-06 period, a rise of about 31 percent, the researchers reported in the August 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
In Oklahoma, researchers are turning up the volume on efforts to treat and cure hearing loss for people of all ages, and the Oklahoma Center of Advancement of Science and Technology is proud to have funded several hearing-related research projects.
Oklahoma scientist Dr. Rong Z. Gan, Charles E. Foster Chair and Professor of Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma, is developing a superior hearing device that will be implanted in the human ear. Her research has identified how to improve sound quality and fit and develop a totally implantable hearing system with the U.S. patent awarded recently (January 2010). The next steps are fabrication of the device and seeking FDA approval. With a good team and funding, the product is set to go to market within five years. Dr. Gan also is working to prevent hearing loss and improve the diagnosis of ear diseases. Ear pieces for cell phone and iPods are ubiquitous in modern society and can lead to hearing damage. Her latest focus includes collaborative work with a company to develop a motor that will aid in prevention of hearing loss. Prompted by funding from the Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Gan developed a 3D computational model of the human ear. This model could be used for clinicians and audiologists to visualize how the ear disease relates to ear structural changes in their practice and to interpret the diagnostic test results and identify specific type of hearing losses.
Dr. Robert Floyd at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation is doing his part to treat and cure noise-induced hearing loss as well. Explosions and weapons training can cause hearing loss in soldiers. Prompted by funding from the Office of Naval Research, Dr. Richard “Rick” Kopke at the Hough Ear Institute, Dr. Floyd and the American BioHealth Group began testing a combination of chemicals that could be used to treat hearing loss. After exposure to a loud noise, a person could take a medication that would reverse the damage. The three formed Otologic Pharmaceutics and are on track to developing a treatment.
Two promising research projects happening right “hear” in our state.
Want to hear more about exciting research projects? Tune into OCAST’s Oklahoma Innovations radio program. To find the broadcast on your local radio station, visit www.ocast.ok.gov.
BIOMASS SOUTH 2010 CONFERENCE
As the energy industry and scientific community continue to develop and improve alternative ways to fuel the world, southern states are positioning themselves to lead the bio-based renewable resource economy. Biomass South 2010 will be held October 14 and 15 at the University of Memphis and will bring together researchers, business leaders, government, farmers, ranchers and other key players in developing bio-based energy resources and products.
State and federal officials as well as experts from academia, industry and the financial sector will guide discussions on the opportunities and challenges the industry holds, impacts of public policy and the latest industry innovations. The conference will include two tracks during the breakout sessions: turning biomass into bio-goods and farms, forests and feedstock.
Join fellow Oklahomans at the conference including Joe Alexander, Oklahoma’s secretary of science and technology; Herschel Lamirand, president and CEO of the Oklahoma Health Center Foundation; and Michael Carolina, OCAST executive director, who serve on the Science Technology Council of the Southern Growth Policies Board.
Hosted by the Memphis Bioworks Foundation, the Southeast Agriculture & Forestry Energy Resources Alliance and Southern Growth Policies Board, the 2010 Biomass South Conference will take place October 14-15 in Memphis, TN, at the University of Memphis Holiday Inn and the FedEx Institute of Technology. To register, visit www.biomasssouth2010.com.
||FY11 Intern Partnership application deadline
||FY11 Oklahoma Applied Research Support application deadline
||Oklahoma Conference on Manufacturing, Norman
||FY11 Oklahoma Plant Science Research letter of intent due
||FY11 Oklahoma Plant Science Research application deadline
||Biomass South Conference, Memphis, TN
||Small Business Innovation Research National Conference, Oklahoma City
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Learn how the Division of Management and Entrepreneurship at the University of Oklahoma’s Price College of Business trains students to make strategic contributions to organizations through critical thinking and mastery of fundamental concepts.
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INNOVATIONS IN HISTORY
In September 1896, the first successful surgery on heart muscle was performed by Ludwig Rehn in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The physician sutured a myocardial laceration – a 1.5 cm wound of the right ventricle of a 22-yr-old man stabbed in a drunken brawl.
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