APPROVED NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATION FUNDING
Three firms with successful applications for the OCAST Oklahoma Nanotechnology Applications Project (ONAP) have been approved for $720,000 in funding for the next two years. Two of the firms represent accelerated research projects and one represents a proof-of-concept project. All will be completed within two years.
OCAST administers ONAP, which was created by the Oklahoma legislature to initiate a statewide project to accomplish the following:
- Provide funding and technical support for the application of nanotechnology and assist later stage development of nanotechnology
- Provide education about nanotechnology to the state’s economic development network, researchers, manufacturers and businesses
- Sustain the Oklahoma Nanotechnology Initiative (ONI) that began in 2005
OCAST uses independent peer review with a preference for likelihood of commercial success to determine successful applicants. Program requirements call for collaboration with an Oklahoma firm. OCAST partners with the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, CareerTech and universities and colleges to market ONAP.
Nanotechnology, the science and manipulation of materials at the molecular level, promises to change the way we interact with the world, providing society with a vast spectrum of unique benefits, including:
- Improved healthcare – longer, higher quality of life and extended human physical capabilities
- Safer, more efficient transportation – lighter, faster and safer vehicles and more durable, reliable and cost-effective roads, bridges and rail systems
- Increased sustainability and cleaner environment – improved agricultural yields, more economical water filtration and desalination, highly efficient solar energy conversion and less pollution
- Smaller, more powerful technology – global integrated circuits, powerful semiconductors and ultra-miniature components
SouthWest Nanotechnologies Inc., Norman – John-David Rocha, “SWCNT inks for printing thin film transistors.” Both SouthWest Nanotechnologies and Panasonic will match funds to commercialize semiconducting inks for use in printed electronics applications. Research sectors include semiconductors and advanced materials. A total of 14 jobs and gross sales of $7.4 million are anticipated after two years. Total award: $500,000 for two years
Amethyst Research Inc., Ardmore – Ryan Cottier will lead a project titled “Novel Applications for Hydrogen-Induced Nanostructuring of Ion-Implanted Silicon.” The Office of Naval Research will assist with the matching funds. While most revenues are expected from royalties and licensing fees, the process technology depends critically upon Amethyst’s intellectual property associated with its hydrogenation process, the method by which hydrogen is inter-diffused into semiconductors. The process will have applications in astronomy, fire fighting, environmental thermal mapping and border security. Total Award: $90,000 for two years
CalTech Global LLC – Mike Callaway will lead the project titled “Nanometric Granular H2S Sorbent as a Replacement for Liquid Scavenger.” CalTech will develop a hydrogen sulfide granular scavenging product which will enable greater H2S absorption. The product is intended for use in the oil and gas industry; however, it can also be used for filtering of landfill and sewer gas. Total Award: $130,000 for two years
OCAST BOARD APPROVES 30 HEALTH PROJECTS FOR MORE THAN $4 MILLION
Thirty Oklahoma health research projects were chosen by a peer review team from a total of 168 applicants and have been approved for funding by the OCAST governing board. Total investment through OCAST on behalf of the state of Oklahoma is $4,005,219.
OCAST, the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology, is Oklahoma’s technology-based economic development agency. The Oklahoma Health Research program is the first OCAST program created by the legislature.
The purpose of the health research program is to: (1) strengthen the competitiveness of Oklahoma health researchers for national research funds, (2) improve health care for Oklahomans and (3) strengthen the state’s health care industry.
Research funded under the program investigates the causes, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of human diseases and disabilities and facilitates the development of innovative health care products and services.
C. Michael Carolina, executive director of OCAST, noted the 168 applications represent the pent-up demand for health research in the state. “Of the 168 applicants, 153 were determined to be worthy of funding by the independent peer review team that evaluated the applications for scientific merit and likelihood for commercialization. The 30 who were funded represented the best science among all applicants. That means 123 qualified health research projects were left on the table. It is OCAST’s hope they will reapply and win future competitions.”
Approved applications follow: (For a more in-depth review of individual research projects by the researchers listed below, look on the OCAST web site at www.ocast.ok.gov.)
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
Oklahoma State University
Oklahoma State University-Tulsa
University of Oklahoma
|University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Biotechnology industry experts from around the globe will converge in Washington, DC this summer. The BIO International Convention is scheduled for June 27-30, 2011 and is a time for bio-industry professional to network with peers, learn from experts and connect with potential partners.
Oklahoma will have strong representation at the conference with more than 65 people representing companies and organizations from across the state. Dan Luton will be representing OCAST at the conference, and OK Bio will have a booth.
The BIO International Convention is the largest global event for the biotechnology industry and attracts the biggest names in biotech, offers key networking and partnering opportunities and provides insights and inspiration on the major trends affecting the industry.
The event features keynotes and sessions from key policymakers, scientists, CEOs and celebrities. The convention also features the BIO Business Forum (one-on-one partnering), hundreds of sessions covering biotech trends, policy issues and technological innovations and the world’s largest biotechnology exhibition – the BIO Exhibition. Also during the conference, there will be a free tour of the National Institutes of Health.
This year’s event will feature 16 tracks with 125+ sessions, 1,000+ speakers, six super sessions and two high-level keynotes. Past keynote speakers have included President George W. Bush, President Bill Clinton, Michael J. Fox, Sir Elton John, Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan and General Colin Powell.
Attendees can find out more and register for the event at convention.bio.org. If you are interested in being a part of the Oklahoma delegation, contact Josh O’Brien 405-813-2412 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
HIGH SCHOOL SUMMER ENGINEERING CAMPS
In an effort to introduce engineering concepts to students before they graduate high school, OU and OSU along with 34 Oklahoma colleges and universities provide the following summer academies.
The University of Oklahoma’s Summer Engineering Academy is composed of two three-day workshops that focus on how engineering methods help solve real-world problems. The first session is for high school teachers only and the second session is for both students and teachers.
During the first three-day session, high school teachers work with OU graduate students and professors who help them learn how to better integrate science, mathematics and engineering concepts into the classroom. The goal is to help science and math teachers learn an effective teaching approach that will create excitement and understanding about how engineering innovations improve our life, fuel economic growth and safeguard the environment.
The newly educated high school teachers then put their skills into practice by leading high school students through creative problem-based learning experiences designed to connect what they learn in science and math classes with what goes on in the outside world. This year’s Summer Engineering Academy will offer students the chance to get hands on experience in computer engineering by examining basic algorithms and discussing internet searches; a review of growth models will incorporate aspects of environmental engineering; and an investigation into light and bioluminescence will encompass aspects of chemical and bioengineering. Applications are accepted through June 10. For more information, visit www.ou.edu/coe.
Oklahoma State University’s summer academy titled “Fired-Up about Research, Science and Engineering” allows high school participants to explore and experience the excitement of technology and sciences that reshape our world.
With instruction from OSU faculty, students will be challenged with laboratory and field-based scenarios centered on a common theme, “Fire.” The participants will also investigate careers, learn new skills, and prepare for the fascinating world of technology. Some of the specific activities will include forensics, robotics and the science and engineering of fire. This free academy is funded by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and OSU. For more information, visit das.okstate.edu.
For more information about summer academies across the state, visit www.okcollegestart.org.
If you missed the recent SBIR/STTR workshop, make sure you mark your calendar for the upcoming workshop in September.
The Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology will be conducting proposal preparation workshops for the federal SBIR/STTR program in order to help Oklahoma companies compete more successfully in the $2.5 billion program.
The nation’s 11 largest federal agencies have $2.5 billion available through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, and OCAST is conducting the September workshop to help Oklahomans effectively compete for the money.
Small, for-profit businesses with fewer than 500 employees with a research project that has the potential for commercialization can apply for funding.
Small business owners can register for the workshop on the OCAST web site, www.ocast.ok.gov or by calling Steven Martinez, 405-319-8408. Space is limited and cost is $25 per person per day.
Selexys Pharmaceuticals announced earlier this month it has initiated enrollment in a Phase I clinical study of its lead compound, SelG1, a humanized anti-P-selectin antibody.
The placebo-controlled, double-blind, first-in-human, ascending single dose and multiple dose study of SelG1 will enroll approximately 30 healthy subjects. This study will evaluate the safety and pharmacology of SelG1 prior to advancement into a Phase II trial in patients with sickle cell disease.
“This Phase I study represents the first step in understanding the potential of SelG1 to address the unmet medical need in sickle cell disease and we are excited to initiate the clinical development of this novel compound,” said Dr. Scott Rollins, Selexys president and CEO. “This Phase I trial represents a key milestone for Selexys as we transition from a preclinical to a clinical development stage biopharmaceutical company.”
In 2008, Selexys received orphan-drug designation for SelG1 from the Food and Drug Administration Office of Orphan Products Development for the treatment of vasoocclusive crisis, a severe and painful complication of sickle cell disease. Orphan drug designation is awarded to therapeutics with the potential for safe and effective treatment diagnosis or prevention of rare diseases and disorders that affect fewer than 200,000 people.
The SelG1 program for sickle cell disease is supported by a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) fast-track award #5R44HL093893-02 through the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
For more information, visit www.selexys.com.
Cytovance Biologics recently announced a growth equity investment from Great Point Partners LLC, a Greenwich, Connecticut , private investment firm focused on emerging opportunities in the health care and bio-technology categories. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, Cytovance is a leading full service contract manufacturer (“CMO”) of mammalian and microbial biologics for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.
The equity investment from Great Point Partners will enable Cytovance to meet growing client demand for clinical trial and commercial scale cGMP manufacturing by funding facility, service and personnel expansion at its advanced research and manufacturing operation in Oklahoma City. As part of the Great Point Partners financed expansion, Cytovance will move from 840 Research Parkway to 800 Research Parkway to occupy the state of the art laboratories vacated by Genzyme in December 2010. In a separate transaction, Cytovance acquired analytical and bioprocess equipment formerly belonging to Genzyme to equip these expanded facilities.
“Great Point reached out to us last year. It was evident from our first conversation they were very knowledgeable about the biologics manufacturing space and recognized the potential growth opportunities for Cytovance with additional working capital. They share our existing partners’ optimism moving forward and will be a valuable addition to our organization in terms of their vision and understanding of our business,” said Darren Head, CEO of Cytovance. “Great Point’s investment allows us to accelerate our next phase of growth.”
For more information, visit www.cytovance.com.
MORE THAN 1,400 STUDENTS RECEIVE RECOGNITION DURING SCIENCE & TECH MONTH
More than 1,400 middle and high school students from across the state were recognized for their excellent work in science during Science & Technology Month in April.
OCAST along with the governor’s office has developed a recognition program that science teachers can use to honor their hard-working students during the month of April. This award is a tool available to honor Oklahoma students who excel in science.
“We must encourage our children to take an interest in STEM: science, technology, engineering and math, and hope this certificate is but one in a long list of tools available for teachers to keep Oklahoma students interested in science and technology,” stated Michael Carolina, OCAST executive director.
If you know a science teacher who might be interested in learning more about this program, please contact Debbie Cox at OCAST, 405-319-8406 or email@example.com.
LEGISLATIVE ISSUES RELATED TO OCAST
OCAST’s 2012 budget appropriation apparently will stand at $17,811,449, representing a seven percent decrease from the FY 2011 budget, according to Michelle Winn, director of government relations and strategic initiatives. At press time, both the Senate and House had approved the overall budget agreement which was sent to the Governor’s office for her signature.
The 2011 OCAST budget is $19,152,096.
Several state agencies, including OCAST, were considered for consolidation with larger state agencies early in the legislative session, however, legislative action did not materialize.
A complete report of all science and technology-related issues considered by the Legislature will be included in the next OCAST electronic newsletter.
To track legislation, visit: www.oklegislature.gov.
5/19 OKBio How To Do It Featuring McAfee & Taft on New Developments in Patent Law
6/21 OCAST Board of Directors Meeting
6/27-30 BIO International Convention
7/12 EDGE Fund Policy Board Meeting
8/23 OCAST Board of Directors Meeting
9/21 OKBio Rocky Mountain Life Science Investor & Partnering Conference
Greenwood Consulting Group Inc. has been an advocate of SBIR and STTR since their origination because of the value and opportunity for small and start-up companies to get much needed capital for technology-based product development without the need to repay or give up equity for it. Learn more about what GCGI presented at the recent SBIR workshop.
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MedEncentive helps employers and insurers achieve cost control by rewarding both consumers and their doctors for incorporating “best medical practices” and advancing patient education and empowerment, while motivating healthy behaviors. Hear about some exciting advances the company has made in recent months.
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Hear from competitors in the recent Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition. The Governor’s Cup is designed to encourage students of Oklahoma universities and colleges to act upon their entrepreneurial ideas and develop skills to lead tomorrow’s innovative new businesses.
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Researchers at OU Health Sciences Center have received a $1.25 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study remission in juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. The disease affects about 300,000 children under age 18.
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INNOVATIONS IN HISTORY
In May 1958, George de Mestral registered the Velcro trademark. Mestral’s inspiration for Velcro came after a nature walk with his dog who returned covered in burrs. After inspecting a burr under a microscope, Mestral decided to design a two-sided fastener with one side of stiff hooks and the other side of pant-like fabric. The name Velcro came from the combination of the words velour and crochet.
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