Mark your calendars!
Dates for OCAST's peer-reviewed funding programs have been finalized. The funding helps principal investigators pursue their ideas for increased scientific understanding of important problems in health research, applied research, plant sciences and internship opportunities and lays the foundation for driving economically significant future innovations.
The first round of funding in Fiscal Year 2019 for the Faculty and Student Intern Partnerships program will be open August 27 until September 28. Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. through the online application system OKGrants. Find more information at www.ok.gov/ocast/documents/CurrentInternApplication.pdf
The spring application cycle for OCAST programs has been set for January 15, 2019 to March 1, 2019. All program funding applications will run simultaneously.
Funding information will be available on the OCAST website at www.ok.gov/ocast/FUNDING_OPPORTUNITIES and applications for the programs will be completed online through OKGrants at https://grants.ok.gov.
OCAST funded programs include:
Other services provided by OCAST and its strategic partners through the Oklahoma Innovation Model are:
To be included in all OCAST program updates, sign up for notifications.
OCAST, the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology this week awarded $4,058,316 for 61 research and development projects that include innovations in energy, aerospace, agriculture, health and other critical industries. “The quality of applications we received this year demonstrate that Oklahoma’s research and development capacity continues to grow,” stated Dan Luton, director of programs for OCAST.
In addition to awarding funding for research and development projects, OCAST also awarded 10 internship projects through the Intern Partnerships program. The Intern Partnerships program is designed to serve as a bridge between Oklahoma’s universities and innovative firms across the state. Through participation in project-based experiential learning opportunities, these students will be better prepared to enter into the workforce upon the completion of their degrees.
Three projects have been funded in the new Health Research Postdoctoral Fellowship initiative which provides OCAST funding to support postdoctoral fellows who work on projects that form the basis of new high-technology health research and care industry for the state.
OCAST programs are designed to grow and diversify Oklahoma’s economy, and these awards reflect Oklahoma’s commitment to expanding its technology-based economy. “Oklahoma has shown a significant commitment to growing and diversifying our economy,” according to C. Michael Carolina, executive director of OCAST. “Succeeding in the knowledge economy requires strong public-private partnerships as exhibited through the Oklahoma Innovation Model (the partnership between OCAST, i2E, the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance and OSU’s New Product Development Center). Through OCAST, Oklahoma continues to be a leader in investing in high-tech firms and supporting game changing research and development.”
Successful applicants and their organizations follow:
|Health Research Program||Oklahoma Applied Research Support Program|
|Laureate Institute for Brain Research||Amethyst Research Inc.|
|Hamed Ekhtiari||Khalid Hossain|
|Oklahoma State University||Jiayi Shao|
|Mari Andiappan||S. Ali Shojaee|
|Joe Cecil||Exaptive Inc.|
|Gouliang Fan||Dave King|
|Yu Mao||GasTech Engineering LLC|
|Antonius Oomens||Yui Shaffer|
|Stephanie Sweatt||Oklahoma State University|
|Shuodao Wang||David Lampert|
|OSU Center for Health Sciences||James Manimala|
|Kathleen Curtis||Ranjith Ramanathan|
|William Paiva||Joshua Ramsey|
|Ben Vassar||Kurt Rouser|
|University of Oklahoma||Mohamed Soliman|
|Chung-Hao Lee||Optecks LLC|
|Yihan Shao||Hakki Refai|
|Ann West||Progentec Diagnostics Inc.|
|OU Health Sciences Center||Eldon Jupe|
|Shannon Conley||Ross Faith|
|Anna Csiszar||University of Oklahoma|
|Paul DeAngelis||Machhad Fahs|
|Ralf Janknecht||Paul Moses|
|Rajagopal Ramesh||Michael Santos|
|Karla Rodgers||Bayrammurad Saparov|
|Maria Ruiz-Echevarria||Ian Sellers|
|Deepa Sathyaseelan||University of Tulsa|
|William Sonntag||Ram Mohan|
|Beverley Van Meerveld||Eduardo Pereyra|
|Hongwu Wang||XRG Technologies LLC|
|Zhizhaung Joe Zhao||Erwin Platvoet|
|University of Tulsa|
|Syed Hussaini||Intern Partnership Program|
|Roger Kollock||NextThought LLC|
|Angus Lamar||Jeffrey Muehring|
|Jamie Rhudy||True Digital Security|
|Oklahoma Plant Science Program||University of Oklahoma|
|Noble Research Institute||Musharraf Zaman|
|Xuefeng Ma||University of Tulsa|
|Patrick Zhao||Kaveh Ashenayi|
|Oklahoma State University||Peter Hawrylak|
|Randy Allen||Surendra Singh|
|Mohamed Fokar||Postdoctoral Fellowship|
|Ramanjulu Sunkar||Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation|
|University of Oklahoma||Courtney Griffin|
|Heather McCarthy||Timothy Griffin|
|Abigail Moore||OU Health Sciences Center|
Inside a science laboratory on the campus of the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics (OSSM), teams of students attempt to connect syringes to plastic tubing and canisters filled with vegetable oil and coffee grounds.
They are participating in an oil and gas extraction competition as part of the GE Summer Science Academy this week, which brought 62 students from 35 communities across Oklahoma to the OSSM campus in the heart of Oklahoma City.
The oil extraction challenge emulates real life challenges of the oil and gas industry as campers try to successfully engineer ways to lift the oil from a canister on the ground to a reservoir on a table using tools like syringes, tubing and even balloons.
“You have to try in multiple different ways,” said Sophie Fosmire, a junior-to-be at Kremlin-Hillsdale High School north of Enid. “Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, and sometimes it doesn’t always work the second time even if it worked the first time. It’s frustrating and challenging – and I like that.”
The GE Summer Science Academy was sponsored by the GE Foundation as part of a $400,000 STEM initiative established in partnership with the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST). The academy provides a residential experience for students who pursue a week of academic classes, field trips and challenging competitions.
Camp activities are focused on creating interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), said Nick Drenzek, a senior scientist at the energy innovation center operated by Baker Hughes, a GE company, and located across the street from the OSSM campus.
“It’s very important for us to do this because these kids are the future work force for Oklahoma, and STEM is critically important to us to seed our next generation work force so we can develop the new technology that oil and gas needs,” Drenzek said. “I want the campers to take away a passion for the challenges we face every single day in oil and gas.”
Isabella Cosby, a rising junior from Bethel High School near Shawnee, said she will remember the positive campus atmosphere and diversity of fellow students attending the camp.
“The teachers are so empowering,” she said. “And they make it seem easier to understand than previous classes I’ve taken. I finally got something today in my math class, like ‘oh, that makes sense now.’ ”
The camp serves both as a recruiting tool for the school of science and math and a week-long exposure to challenging academic concepts for campers, said Brent Richards, a professor of biology at OSSM and camp director.
“It’s a way for kids who come from school districts all over the state to get some exposure to advanced science and math – just a taste of it – they might not get otherwise,” Richards said. “It’s a program we are really proud of.”
Take 45 bioscience research scientists, put them in a room together with no real agenda and you get __? Fill in the blank with your own joke.
The Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST) did exactly that this week with its first Bioscience Networking Luncheon at the Tulsa Tech Health Science Center.
Organized by Cornell Cross, OCAST’s associate director of Programs and Tulsa/Northeast Oklahoma Regional representative, the networking event featured 90 minutes without speaker or agenda followed by a series of short presentations over lunch.
“The whole point of the event is to put people in the room who have similar interests, with the hope of collaborating with one another,” Cross said, as conversations swirled around him. “A lot of people don’t even know there is someone in another institution not even 10 miles away that does some kind of research that can assist them in what they are doing. So this is a way to jumpstart that conversation.”
For William Paiva, Ph.D., executive director of the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Systems Innovation, the event inspired scientists to climb out of their “silos” to interact with local counterparts.
“It’s so easy to get into an organization and just stay focused on what you are doing,” said Paiva. “It’s so easy to get stuck in those silos. But the real exciting things start to happen when you bring together the health care practitioners with the engineers with the computer scientists with the health care administrators. That’s where the real magic happens.”
So, what did the event yield for the group of researchers meeting one another out of a lab setting? Scientist arrived armed only with a program that identified their colleagues.
“I think that it has done exactly what it was intended to do, which was facilitate these types of conversations,” said Kath Curtis, Ph.D., associate professor at the OSU Center for Health Sciences and chair of the Tulsa Area Bioscience Education and Research Consortium (TABREC). “I’ve got ideas about people I can talk to about my own research, about people I can talk to help with professional development for graduate students, for the undergrads and for potential intern opportunities. All these things we should have known, but having it here in one place has been great.”
For OCAST, which works to build a more diverse Oklahoma economy through initiatives like its Health Research funding program, the sights and sounds of the vibrant networking event revealed key information about Tulsa area bioscience.
“What we didn’t know at OCAST is just how deep is bioscience in Tulsa on the research side,” Cross said. “What we really didn’t know is who are the researchers and what are they doing? Now what we have is much more detailed information on the kinds of research that is going on in the Tulsa area.”