32 new grants made for innovative technology R&D


NIST funds new advanced technology program awards

The U.S. Commerce Department's Advanced Technology Program today announced 32 new cost-sharing awards for research on highly innovative industrial technologies. A total of 43 companies, including seven joint ventures, are involved in the new projects, which were chosen on the basis of difficulty, technical innovation and the potential for significant benefits to the nation's economy. The ATP is managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The 32 new ATP projects span a broad range of key technology areas. Among the areas targeted are: new energy technologies for oil exploration and for fuel cells, new medical diagnostic and therapeutic technologies, improvements in electronics and automobile manufacturing and an improved computer interface for the severely disabled. The new awards represent a total of up to $80.1 million in ATP funding and an industry share of up to $56.9 million, if all projects are carried through to completion.

The ATP supports projects that industry cannot fully fund on its own because of significant technical risks. ATP awards are made on the basis of rigorous, competitive peer review considering scientific and technical merit of each proposal. In addition, awards are based on the potential for broad-based economic benefits, the need for ATP funding, and evidence of a clear commercialization pathway and broad diffusion.

As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Technology Administration, NIST develops and promotes measurement, standards and technology to enhance productivity, facilitate trade and improve the quality of life.

The 32 awards went to:

  • 3DGeo Development (Santa Clara, Calif.)
    Automated Wave-Equation Imaging for Oil and Gas Exploration Develop and demonstrate a next-generation seismic imaging technology that includes an automated solution to modeling the acoustic propagation velocity for seismic waves, yielding faster and more accurate images to guide oil and gas exploration.

  • Advanced Interfaces, Inc. (State College, Pa.)
    Enabling Personalized Multimodal Access for People with Severe Communication/Motor Disabilities Develop a touch-free, personalized, trainable multimodal interface to enable effective communication for individuals affected by severe communication/motor disabilities.

  • AureoGen Biosciences, Inc. (Kalamazoo, Mich.)
    A Genetic Engineering Technology Platform for Production of Novel Cyclic Peptide-Based Drugs Develop methodologies and tools to enable simple, efficient genetic engineering of biosynthesis complexes to produce cyclic peptides for use as antifungal, antibacterial and anticancer drugs.

  • Carbon Nanotechnologies, Inc. (Houston, Texas)
    "Free Standing" Single-Wall Carbon-Nanotube Fuel Cell Electrode Develop a novel, free-standing single-wall carbon nanotube electrode assembly containing an immobilized noble-metal catalyst to enable compact proton exchange membrane fuel cells with superior performance and longer lifetimes while simplifying manufacturing.

  • Corning Incorporated (Corning, N.Y.)
    Scalable Planar Solid-Oxide Fuel Cell Technology for Beyond 200kW Develop a thin, large area planar solid oxide fuel cell based on innovative ceramics, device design, and array architecture, for enterprise-level primary and cogeneration distributed power that can cycle repeatedly and be more easily fabricated into 200kW power units.

  • Cree, Inc. (Durham, N.C.)
    Low Cost, High Efficiency Chip Scale LED Lamp Demonstrate a white light-emitting diode (LED) lamp package with an integrated chip approach that would more than quadruple the brightness and double the efficiency of existing LED systems and significantly reduce the cost per lumen.

  • Crystal IS, Inc. (Latham, N.Y.)
    Processes for Growing Large, Single-Crystal Aluminum Nitride Develop cost-effective, high-quality, and commercially important, single-crystal aluminum nitride (AlN) substrates, which are needed for diverse and important power electronics and optoelectronics applications, by using an approach that incorporates new techniques of crystal seed growth, coupled with advanced thermal gradient control, and new crucible designs, to grow large high-quality, AlN crystal boules.

  • CytImmune Sciences, Inc. (Rockville, Md.)
    The In Vitro Production of Human Monoclonal Antibodies Develop a semi-synthetic human immune system on colloidal gold nanoparticles, to make wholly human monoclonal antibodies in vitro for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases.

  • DAFCA, Inc. (Framingham, Mass.)
    Reconfigurable Infrastructure Platform for Systems-on-Chips Develop an infrastructure platform for system-on-a-chip (SoC) electronics that implements a new kind of reconfigurable embedded debug logic to detect and fix design errors after fabrication, enabling reduced design cycle time, bypassing manufacturing defects, and improving yields.

  • Gemini Life Sciences, Inc. (Sugar City, Idaho)
    Biotechnology for Conferring Apomixis (Clonal Seed Production) to Crops Develop technologies to stabilize superior crop hybrids by asexual seed production ("self-cloning") thereby improving yields of major food, feed, fiber and biomass crops and reducing hybrid seed production costs.

  • Glennan Microsystems, Inc. (Cleveland, Ohio)
    Advanced Fuel and Emission Control (AFEC) System Technology Demonstrator Develop an active combustion control system for gas turbine engines based on MEMS technology and SiC sensors that will greatly reduce polluting emissions while extending engine life and preserving fuel efficiency.

  • Innovative Wireless Technologies, Inc. (Forest, Va.)
    Unified Radio Architecture - A Cognitive Radio Platform Develop a "cognitive radio" software and hardware platform based on a novel radio-frequency IC chipset that allows interoperability across different wireless protocols, multiple frequencies, and airlinks, enabling communications between public safety personnel with different equipment.

  • Kent SeaTech Corporation (San Diego, Calif.)
    Targeted Bacteriophage Therapeutics as Replacements for Conventional Antibiotics in Aquaculture Develop therapies using naturally occurring bacteriophages and phage-produced enzymes to treat and prevent major bacterial diseases that threaten commercial aquaculture.

  • Language Weaver, Inc. (Marina del Ray, Calif.)
    Syntax- and Rule-Based Decoding for Statistical Machine Translation Systems Develop an integrated, statistical phrase-based and syntactic rule approach to machine translation to improve grammaticality and accuracy of translated materials, enabling broader use of machine-based translation by national security, government and business organizations.

  • Multibeam Systems, Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.)
    Development and Demonstration of a Multiple, High-Current-Density Shaped E-Beam Column With Independent Vector Beam Placement Develop a new technology for a multiple-beam, linear-array electron-beam lithography system to enable cost-effective production of low-volume application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) through direct-write lithography.

  • Nanospectra Biosciences, Inc. (Houston, Texas)
    The Seamless Detection and Treatment of Cancer With Near-Infrared Absorbing Nanoshells Develop an integrated approach to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer allowing more accurate detection and contemporaneous, minimally invasive treatment using near-infrared absorbing nanoparticles.

  • NexTech Materials, Ltd. (Lewis Center, Ohio)
    High-Power-Density Solid Oxide Fuel Cells for Aerospace Applications Develop a lightweight solid oxide fuel cell that offers five times the power density of the current state of the art, as well as greater durability and flexibility of operation, for use in auxiliary power units for aircraft.

  • OFS Fitel, LLC (Murray Hill, N.J.)
    Specialty Fiber for High-Power Fiber Lasers Develop a new class of components and manufacturing technologies for building high-power pulsed optical-fiber-based lasers, with applications in materials processing, and medical, industrial and scientific instrumentation.

  • Quantum Dot Corporation (Hayward, Calif.)
    Quantum Dots for Biomedical and Consumer Applications Develop quantum dots without the use of cadmium or other elements with extreme regulatory burdens for use in imaging-based medical diagnosis and treatment, and develop an industrial-scale flow-based process for quantum dot production at significantly increased output and reduced cost.

  • Receptor Logic, Ltd. (Amarillo, Texas)
    TCR Mimics: A New Class of Antibodies Against HLA-peptide Complexes for Diagnosis and Therapy of Breast Cancer Develop a new class of breast cancer diagnostic and therapeutic antibodies unique in their ability to recognize tumor proteins presented by the body's natural antigen display systems known as HLA.

  • Revivicor, Inc. (Blacksburg, Va.)
    Production of Fully Human Polyclonal Antibodies in Genetically Modified Pigs Develop pigs with human genes for the production of fully human polyclonal antibodies that can be used to treat a wide range of infectious and autoimmune diseases, in cancer treatments, to address the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, and to provide potential therapeutic agents in the event of a bioterrorist attack.

  • RheoGene, Inc. (Norristown, Pa.)
    Novel Technologies for Adult Stem Cell Therapeutics Develop novel techniques for site-specific insertion and control of therapeutic genes in human adult neural stem cells that can be transplanted to treat incurable ocular diseases.

  • Sarnoff Corporation (Princeton, N.J.)
    Advanced Vision-Radar Threat Detection (AVRT): A Pre-Crash Detection and Active Safety System Combine vision and radar sensor technology to create a new type of auto safety system that will detect approaching hazards, measure their rate of motion, determine if and where a collision will occur, and trigger mitigating actions, such as applying brakes, pretensioning seat belts, and firing side airbags, with a near-zero false alarm rate.

  • SemiSouth Laboratories, Inc. (Starksville, Miss.)
    Silicon Carbide Smart Power Chip Develop and integrate advanced silicon carbide (SiC) power transistors and power control circuitry within a compact prototype SiC power module for potential use in commercially available hybrid electric vehicles and future low-emission electric vehicles.

  • Sensametrics, Inc. (Los Altos Hills, Calif.)
    Wireless Structural Health Monitoring System Develop a dense peer-to-peer wireless sensor network for monitoring the health of structures that has damage assessment and decision support and is able to include chemical and biological sensors.

  • Siemens Westinghouse Power Corporation (Orlando, Fla.)
    Conformal Direct-Write-Technology-Enabled, Wireless, Smart Turbine Components Develop embedded sensors capable of withstanding harsh environments and integrate them in a wireless telemetry system to enable thermal, mechanical and wear sensing in operating gas turbines for condition-based maintenance.

  • Spry Learning Company (Portland, Ore.)
    Technology for Early Detection and Intervention of Cognitive Decline Develop technology to monitor, and possibly mitigate, cognitive decline in older adults by tracking user interaction with computer applications and assessing over time the rate of cognitive impairment, thus facilitating earlier intervention and treatment.

  • STAR Cryoelectronics, LLC (Santa Fe, N.M.)
    Next-Generation Energy Dispersive Spectrometer for X-Ray Microanalysis Develop a next-generation energy-dispersive microcalorimeter spectrometer to meet critical needs for high-resolution X-ray microanalysis in the semiconductor industry and materials research.

  • Stewart Automotive Research (Houston, Texas)
    Highly Accurate Large-Format Machining for Mold and Die Production Develop a large-format, high-speed finish milling machine for Class-A auto body panels to enable the design and manufacture of a complete tooling set in one-third to one-half the time now required, at significantly lower cost.

  • The Dow Chemical Company (Midland, Mich.)
    High-Speed AFM-Based Platform for Quantitative Nanomechanical Measurements Develop an atomic force microscopy based platform for high-speed, high-bandwidth quantitative nanomechanical measurements which provides structure-property understanding at the nanoscale in order to accelerate discovery, design, and commercialization of nanomaterials.

  • UOP LLC (Des Plaines, Ill.)
    Selective Liquid-Phase Oxidation of Methane to Methanol Develop novel catalysts and an integrated reaction process for low-temperature, low-pressure direct conversion of methane in stranded gas fields to methanol.

  • wTe Corporation (Bedford, Mass.)
    Optoelectronic Sensing of Liquid Metal Composition Develop a novel process for determining, in situ and in real time, the chemical composition of molten pools of metals and alloys, enabling immediate adjustments to composition during melting and significantly improving the efficiency of smelting, foundry and casting operations.

For links to longer project descriptions for each of the 32 awards go to: http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/releases/atpaward09-04.htm.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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