PlasmaSol, Stevens spin-out, acquired for $17.5 million
Environmental technology start-up founded by faculty and studentsPlasmaSol Corporation, a Technogenesis® spin-out company founded at Stevens Institute of Technology, has been acquired by Stryker Corporation in a merger that was concluded December 30, 2005. The cost of the transaction totals approximately $17.5 million, including an up-front cash payment, plus the assumption of certain liabilities by Stryker.
PlasmaSol has developed a technology that will allow Stryker to provide sterilization equipment for use in sterilizing certain of its MedSurg Equipment products.
"PlasmaSol is a Technogenesis success story, written at Stevens Institute of Technology," said Stevens' President Harold J. Raveché. "In 1999, a group of Stevens' faculty members and a team of grad students joined together and founded a company to commercialize a patented environmental technology invented at the Institute. Six years later, this company is recognized as a valuable technology asset by a major American corporation. Technology development from laboratory innovation to marketplace implementation – that's what we call Technogenesis."
The basic technology at the core of PlasmaSol Corporation is an invention by Stevens scientists, known as Capillary Discharge Non-Thermal Plasma.
The work to propagate large-volume cold plasmas began in earnest at Stevens in 1996. That year, Dr. Erich Kunhardt of the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics, now Dean of Sciences and Arts, received a development grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. With his Stevens colleague Dr. Kurt Becker, Kunhardt went for a much sought-after goal: engineering dynamic plasma reactions in a non-vacuum environment. Their success translating particle theory to measurable results in the lab opened a whole new range of applications.
In 1999, three graduate students from Stevens co-founded PlasmaSol to commercialize the non-thermal plasma technology: Kurt Kovach, Seth A. Tropper, and Richard Crowe, with the later addition to the core team of Michael Epstein. Frank Shinneman joined the company several years later as CEO.
The PlasmaSol team conducted a marketability study of the technology's environmental applications and discovered very large market potential in several areas. Dr. George Korfiatis, Dean of Engineering, and Dr. Christos Christodoulatos, Director of Stevens' Center for Environmental Systems, are also co-founders and technology advisors.
Following an initial grant by the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology, PlasmaSol won major contracts for decontaminative applications from the US Army and NASA. For more information about PlasmaSol Corp and its technology, please visit the company's website at www.plasmasol.com.
About Stevens Institute of Technology
Established in 1870, Stevens offers baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degrees in engineering, science, computer science, management and technology management, as well as a baccalaureate in the humanities and liberal arts, and in business and technology. The university has enrollments of approximately 1,780 undergraduates and 2,700 graduate students, and a current enrollment of 2,250 online-learning students worldwide. Additional information may be obtained from its web page at www.Stevens.edu.
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