Oklahoma Innovations - OCAST's Official Newsletter
Oklahoma Technology Showcase August 23
Three partners – Northeastern State University, Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce and OCAST – will showcase 10 of Oklahoma’s most innovative small businesses August 23 at the 2013 Oklahoma Technology Showcase. The event will be held at the Broken Arrow campus of Northeastern State University.
Governor Mary Fallin is the post-luncheon speaker. Other presenters include Stephen McKeever, Oklahoma Secretary of Science and Technology; Bill Solomon, president, Vacuworx Global of Broken Arrow; C. Michael Carolina, executive director, OCAST; Wes Smithwick, president, Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce; the Honorable Craig Thurmond, mayor, Broken Arrow; Steve Turner Ph.D., president, Northeastern State University and Matt Newman, director of business management, Covanta Energy, Tulsa.
The 10 tech firms are a few examples of world-class advanced technology firms becoming more common in Oklahoma due to the state’s commitment to fund research and development as a driver for the economy. The firms were recruited for the event by OCAST.
“This event provides a great opportunity for purchasing managers and investors to get in on the ground floor of breakthrough technologies,” said Dan Luton, director of programs for OCAST.
Additional Showcase highlights include an overview of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) federal funding program presented by federal program managers, an intern Showcase highlighting OCAST’s Intern Partnership Program and a networking reception.
SBIR program managers will be on hand from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Congress requires these and other large federal agencies to make research dollars available to small businesses each year. Oklahoma targets these programs to give small businesses the opportunity to compete with small business in other states.
Intellectually curious and enterprising Oklahomans interested in meeting small business leaders and who are interested in pursuing grant funding should attend the Showcase. The latest in new technology and collaborative opportunities will be available for Showcase attendees.
NSU, the site for the showcase, is the oldest institution of higher education west of the Mississippi. The university has served as a leader in education and innovation in Oklahoma for more than 150 years. With campuses in Broken Arrow, Tahlequah and Muskogee, NSU provides a broad array of lifelong learning, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs. The three campuses attract students from across the state, surrounding states and foreign countries.
The Broken Arrow campus is the newest and in its short history has become established as a leader in higher education.
“Northeastern sees the technology showcase as an extension of the university’s growing impact on the area economy,” President Steve Turner said. “Higher education is a basic underpinning of a region’s economy. We want NSU to be an integral part of developing a vibrant economy that will create opportunities and support quality of life for our fellow Oklahomans for generations to come.”
Broken Arrow’s Chamber of Commerce references their city as the second fastest growing city in Oklahoma. Broken Arrow is consistently listed as a best place to live and is quickly becoming a manufacturing center of northeast Oklahoma. The community has embraced the innovation economy by attracting and expanding high-tech industries and being home to first-in-class schools and institutions of higher education.
Joining NSU, the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce and OCAST in the showcase sponsorship are Vacuworx Global, Covanta Energy, TulsaTech and i2E.
Visit www.nsuok.edu/otis to register. More information is available at www.ocast.ok.gov.
Applied Research projects receive $3.6 million in awards from OCAST
The governing board of OCAST awarded 17 independently peer-reviewed Applied Research applications $3,608,810. Award winners were chosen from a field of 42 applicants.
Oklahoma research teams will use the funds to conduct research and development for a period of up to three years. A typical award is $300,000 for three years; however, awards can vary in both time and funding amounts.
OCAST administers funds through the Oklahoma Applied Research Support (OARS) program. Proximity to commercialization and good science are the primary standards used to choose the top applicants which represent a long-term effort by the state of Oklahoma to encourage technology-based economic development.
Available funds allowed support of the 17 highest ranked projects. Six other projects were deemed worthy of financial support.
Funded projects include supporting development of 3D displays, corrosion testing and amorphous metal honeycombs, diagnosis of invasive fungal disease, diabetes treatments, fighting excessive costs of drilling during fracking, nano-diamond resonators for sensing applications, development of a new version for gene-editing technology for gene therapy and biomedical research and development of all-composite storage tanks for adsorbed natural gas.
Successful applicants include the following:
- Keith Jamison, principal investigator, “Cation Substituted CCTO Super Capacitors” – US Ferroics in collaboration with Oklahoma State University, will fabricate and test material that could be used to construct capacitor based energy storage systems for electric power grid load leveling. The goal is to store energy in periods of low use and make it available in peak demand. Match Source: U.S. Army STTR award – $300,000
- Chris Whittenburg, principal investigator, “Image Recognition for Improved Explosive Device (IED) Defeat” – The goal is to design and commercialize IRIS that will allow identification of building blocks of an improvised explosive device. The research when successful would improve the military’s ability to identify and effectively deal with IEDs and mitigate casualties. Match Source: Tactical Electronics & Military Supply LLC – $168,706
- Sean Bauman, principal investigator, “DNA-based Lateral Flow Assay for Diagnosis of Invasive Fungal Disease” – The project goal is to develop a diagnostic that will aid in the early detection of invasive fungal disease in whole blood. Match Source: National Institutes of Health STTR award – $297,412
Optics and Photonics
- Zhisheng Shi, principal investigator, “Development and Commercialization of IV-VI semiconductor mid-infrared detectors” – Mid-infrared (IR) sensing and imaging have widespread military and industrial applications. Dr. Shi, at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, leads a team that recently developed detectors which offer a competitive advantage over other detectors. The development was partially sponsored by a previous OCAST OARS award. Match Source: University of Oklahoma, Department of Defense, AFOSR – $300,000
- Bijo Mathew, principal investigator, “Advanced Spectral Materials for Military Applications” – The project will research development of novel 3-D configuration of plasmonic materials exhibiting electromagnetically induced transparency. If successful, the process will be used by the U.S. Army to create more effective obscurant procedures to protect soldiers and weaponry in an age when electronics make smoke and other obscurant material ineffective. Match Source: Bijhem Scientific Inc. – $90,000
- Weidong Wang, principal investigator, “Discovering small molecules that protect beta cells against ER stress-induced death for treatment of diabetes” – The researcher and his team are developing chemical drugs for diabetes treatment. Central to this project is discovery of a therapeutic to mitigate endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-mediated pancreatic B cell failure and death. Match Source: Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) – $90,000
- Weidong Wang, principal investigator, “Developing a new version of TALEN gene-editing technology for gene therapy and biomedical research” – Transplantation of autologous cells represents an opportunity for regenerative medicine for a wide range of disorders. A new endonuclease-based technology, termed TALEN, has been developed for this purpose. The principal investigator and his team have developed a new version of TALEN technology. They will focus on both its non-therapeutic and therapeutic applications. Match Source: Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) – $291,122
- Kevin Moore, principal investigator, “Development of improved monoclonal antibody for typing of Duffy blood group antigens” – The researcher through Siwa Biotech seeks to commercialize improved monoclonal antibody reagents for typing of the two clinically significant Duffy blood group antigens. The project includes transferring the research cell bank to Cytovance Biologics, an Oklahoma-City based contract manufacturing organization, for generation of a master cell bank and manufacture of a clinical grade product in bioreactors. In collaboration with the Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) in Oklahoma City and in consultation with the Food and Drug Administration, Siwa will conduct clinical trials at the OBI and two additional U.S. blood centers to test the performance of Siwa’s reagents. Match Source: Siwa Biotech Corp. – $300,000
- Priyank Jaiswal, principal investigator, “A physical test model based on stress-shadowing to optimize drilling operations during fracking” – Each year Oklahoma oil and gas companies waste $10 million in drilling and fracking costs due to their inability to predict the trajectory and pattern that hydraulically stimulated fractures will adopt. Data from this project will be used to formulate guiding equations for fracture propagation in unconventional reservoirs which in turn will be converted to a commercial software package licensable through Oklahoma State University. Petroquest Energy anticipates cost savings in the millions of dollars through this research effort. Match Source: Petroquest Energy LLC – $90,000
- Allen Apblett, principal investigator, “Development and Commercialization of Novel Oxidative Dehydrogenation Catalysts” – The technology developed will be applied to produce novel oxidative dehydrogenation catalysts for chemical transformation of propane to propylene, a high-value commodity chemical feedstock for a variety of chemicals. Match Source: XploSafe LLC – $89,999 (Other match funds at Oklahoma State University for this project are provided by the King Abdulaiz City for Science and Technology – KACST)
- Jeanmarie Verchot, principal investigator, “Propagation of virus free canna through diagnostic screening and tissue culture” – Traditional growing techniques for the canna lily have produced an epidemic explosion of new diseases in the nursery industry. Growing canna lilies is a $400 million per year business in Oklahoma. Evaluation and testing conducted in this project will help growers fight diseases common to canna production and enhance sound stewardship of resources and support rural communities. Match Source: VF Canna LLC, Horn Canna Farms – $200,769
Optics and Photonics
- Hakki Refai, principal investigator, “Ultra High Resolution Volumetric 3D Display” – The project builds upon prior research and development of prototype systems by the firm, 3DIcon Corp. The research will use technology licensed by the University of Oklahoma, funded by 3DIcon. The goal is to improve the performance of key components of a static volumetric 3D display with commercialization potential. Match Source: 3DIcon Corp. – $300,000
- Jay Hanan, principal investigator, “Accelerated Corrosion Testing and Development of Amorphous Metal Honeycombs” – This research project will target development of high strength, high elastic limit and an amorphous microstructure metallic glass as a honeycomb base material. The development will have applications in the aerospace field. Match Source: MetCell LLC – $300,000
- Nirmal Govindaraju, principal investigator, “Nanodiamond Resonators for Sensing Applications” – Operating at Oklahoma State University, Tulsa, and matched with a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, this project will address the issue created by increased human interdependence of vulnerability to disruptive events. By applying nanodiamonds to the detection process, the researchers hope to improve the ability to detect chemical and biological substances that may be used in terrorist-type activities. Match Source: National Science Foundation grant to Oklahoma State University – $90,000
- Ranji Vaidyanathan, principal investigator, “All-Composite Storage Tanks for Adsorbed Natural Gas” – Under this proposal, the Next Generation Materials Laboratory at Oklahoma State University, Tulsa, in collaboration with CleanNG LLC, will develop low pressure, linerless all composite adsorbed natural gas tanks. The technology could replace high pressure natural gas tanks with lower pressure systems. Match Source: CleanNG LLC – $299,283
- Lawrence Wheeler, principal investigator, “Calcium Chloride (CaCl2) Prilling – USP Crystals” – Magnesium Products in collaboration with the New Product Development Center and Dr. Allen Apblett in the Department of Chemistry at Oklahoma State University will design and test highly purified pharmaceutical grade CaCl2 crystals. The successful outcome will establish MagPro as a single provider of calcium chloride crystals that are being requested by its current customer base. Match Source: Magnesium Products Inc. (MagPro) – $298,109
Tulsa and Muskogee
Test and Measurement
- Peter LoPresti, principal investigator, “Online Phosphonate Detection System” – The object of the exercise is to design a sensor system that uses phosphonate chemistry and its interaction with ultraviolet radiation for a more accurate and reliable detection of the presence of phosphonate in water used in cooling towers. Match Source: Bennett Engineering Inc. (Tulsa), Advantage Controls LLC (Muskogee), Sublette Consulting Inc., (Tulsa) – $103,410
OCAST, EPSCoR, i2E join forces to make Oklahoma small businesses more competitive
Oklahoma’s small businesses should be more competitive and have the potential to secure larger federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants due to a recently formed partnership among OCAST, Oklahoma Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) and i2E.
Oklahoma EPSCoR will utilize a portion of their funds for the Oklahoma SBIR Collaborative Resources (OSCR) program. Helping Oklahomans better compete for the federal small business grants has long been a part of the OCAST and i2E services.
In essence, this new partnership means EPSCoR will help fund an OCAST program operated by strategic partner i2E so that Oklahomans gain a greater share of federal SBIR funds.
“We are guilty of trying to use the entire alphabet when we name our programs, but if we can get beyond that, we have just advanced a creative relationship that will bring millions of research dollars to Oklahoma small businesses,” said Chad Mullen, programs manager, OCAST. “We hope our fellow Oklahomans agree that this partnership between agencies is in our state’s best interest.”
OCAST is the state’s science agency authorized to use state funding to pay for public and private sector research for technology-based economic development.
The OSCR program addresses the statutory mandate of supporting applied research and facilitating technology transfer involving small, private for-profit businesses by leveraging federal and private resources and promoting action, encouraging strategic partnerships between firms and research institutions and promoting commercialization of new technologies.
Through the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, federal agencies provide seed support for product feasibility studies and prototype development that is lacking in the private investment community. The federal Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program accomplishes this purpose and forges research collaborations between small firms and universities or nonprofit research institutions. Both the SBIR and STTR programs encourage transfer of technology into federal agency programs and private sector applications.
“Through our new National Science Foundation EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement proposal, Oklahoma EPSCoR will partner with OCAST and i2E in providing SBIR/STTR workshops in our state,” said Dr. James Wicksted, associate director of Oklahoma EPSCoR and an OSU professor. “This partnership has already created a fantastic opportunity in Tulsa on Aug. 12 with a workshop that not only provides the basics for preparing a Phase I SBIR or STTR proposal but will also assist participants in developing an elevator speech regarding the R&D ideas motivating these proposals. We will complement the OSCR service, which assists in developing Phase II SBIR and STTR proposals, by providing funds exclusively for Phase I efforts to assist in defraying costs by researchers in preparing SBIR/STTR Phase I proposals.”
“The OSCR program has a mission to improve on both the quality and quantity of Oklahoma’s SBIR proposals,” said Rick Rainey, director of the OSCR program for i2E. “After working through the first full year of assisting our clients, we have identified common areas of deficiencies and have devised methods to address those gaps. The program has experienced early successes that indicate it is accomplishing its short term goals. We are excited about the potential of OSCR and the resources it has to offer Oklahoma’s innovative companies.”
Oklahomans interested in working through the OSCR program can contact any of the three agencies:
Dr. James P. Wicksted, 405-744-9964, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rick Rainey, 405-813-2423, Email: rrainey@i2E.org
Chad Mullen, 405-319-8416, Email: email@example.com
Intern Partnerships compete for OCAST awards totaling $216,356
Four Intern Partnership applications have been approved by the governing board for OCAST. Total funding for the four projects is $216,356.
Three private firms, a life science investment fund and two research universities are key cooperators in the four winning applications in areas including computer software, subassemblies and components and biotechnology.
Interns are college students or faculty with a focus on technology subjects who agree to work with a technology-based company for up to two years. One of the recent winning applications will fund business students. OCAST pays one-half of the cost of an undergraduate internship in a research and development or business setting.
Program goals include developing collaborations among business owners, university professors and undergraduate student. Some of the students become full-time employees on completion of their internships.
Recent program awards follow:
- NextThought is a technology company that designs education software to improve learning outcomes. Principal investigator Jeff Muehring is working with the University of Oklahoma’s School of Computer Science to develop programs that require students to work together. The organization has a history of success. RiskMetrics Group, co-founded by the CEO of NextThought, created 150 technology jobs in Oklahoma and sold for $1.55 billion in 2010. Award $50,356
Subassemblies and Components
- Enviro Systems Inc., working with principal investigator Surendra Singh of the University of Tulsa, will supervise interns in the design and development of bend inspection fixtures, process control, radio frequency and electromagnetic compatibility testing for certification and qualification of aviation products. Award $60,000
- William Paiva and his Oklahoma Life Science Fund II will supervise the work of two interns in two areas. First is the day-to-day management of a venture capital fund including new investment due diligence and valuation, fund investor communication and financial reporting. Secondly, in the technical, financial, operational and executive management aspects of the eight portfolio companies in which the OLSF fund has invested. Award $46,000
- Charlesson LLC and principal investigator Rafal Farjo will work with assistant professor Eric Phelps to develop new training resources that can be used in undergraduate educational programs. The effort will be made under the theory that many faculty members need additional exposure to industry-based biotechnology research so they may prepare their students adequately for future careers in the field. Award $60,000
OSTRaD Vice-Chairman Hershel Lamirand retires from OU Health Center Foundation
W. Hershel Lamirand III, a member of the OCAST governing board since 2009 and current vice-chair, retired June 30 as president and chief executive officer of the Oklahoma Health Center Foundation.
The foundation executive began his career as an investment professional later to serve as a consultant to the Oklahoma Legislature, documenting the difference between committee staffing and the legislative council. He then worked for the Oklahoma Health Systems Agency, assuming responsibility for local and statewide health planning and development. Lamirand joined the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 1981 as the first executive director of development. He became president and CEO of the Oklahoma Health Center Foundation in 1991.
Lamirand has served as vice chair of the Oklahoma County Home Finance Authority, chair of the executive committee Oklahoma Community Service Commission, a former board member of Points of Light Foundation, a founding board member of Leadership USA, and Volunteer Center of Central Oklahoma, and founding member of Leadership Oklahoma and Leadership Oklahoma City.
In addition to his varied duties with Leadership Oklahoma City and Leadership Oklahoma, Lamirand is past president of the National Association for Community Leadership. He is co-founder of the Youth Leadership Exchange, Oklahoma City, and has served many years on the board of the Arts Council of Oklahoma City, including serving as co-chair of the Festival of the Arts.
As chair of the American Association of State Service Commissions, Lamirand presented a paper at Cambridge University, UK, on the role of volunteers in community service. He serves on the National Grantmakers Forum on community service and volunteering. His other service includes participation in mayoral and legislative task forces on mass transportation, water and land use, health education and regional planning, as well as the governor’s committee on inter-local cooperation, health planning and criminal justice. He attended the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City University and holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing.
Innovations in History
In August 1904, a U.S. patent was granted to Michael Joseph Owen for a glass making machine, automating the entire process and enabling the vast production of glass bottles, jars and containers.
Vacuworx Global supplies cutting-edge lifting technology for the pipeline industry. Their systems provide the best technology for safely and cost-effectively handling any type of line pipe (steel, plastic, concrete, cast iron, etc.) with any kind of coating (tape, FBE, coal tar, concrete, etc.). The surface of the pipe can even be somewhat uneven and the system will compensate for it. Listen to Radio Show
Hear a preview of the upcoming 2013 Oklahoma Technology Showcase that will feature 10 innovative Oklahoma companies. The event will also include a special presentation on the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) federal funding program and a special showcase will feature some of the best and brightest young minds from the OCAST Intern Partnership Program. Listen to Radio Show
Who says you can't reinvent the wheel? Glenndyne Design, an Oklahoma-based company, has received multiple patents for their innovative approach to customized motorcycles. Learn about how their products blend together form, function and style to create high-quality bikes recognized with numerous awards and magazine articles. Listen to Radio Show
REI Women’s Business Center (REI WBC) assists Oklahoma’s enterprising women as they explore the opportunities of starting or expanding a business. Tune in to hear how they provide one-on-one business counseling, access to capital, quality business training opportunities and technical assistance. REI WBC has reached more than 20,000 entrepreneurs since opening its doors. Listen to Radio Show
August 20 Gov. Mary Fallin’s STEM Summit
August 22 Greater OKC Chamber: State of the Schools
August 23 2013 Oklahoma Technology Showcase
September 12 Tulsa Regional Chamber: Partners in Education Kickoff
September 18 FY14 Intern Application Deadline
September 26 Noble Foundation: Fall Grazing Workshop
September 27 OMRF Research Forum
October 11 i2E: Entrepreneurial Summit