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Ten Colorado Firms Receive A Total Of Nearly $3 Million In Research Grants

Area Development Online News Desk (12/27/2013)
The first round Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant Program grantees, a total of $2,908,883 in Proof-of-Concept and Early Stage Capital and Retention Grants, was awarded to support research of ten companies throughout the state.

“Advanced industries are prime drivers of the United States and Colorado economy, comprised of engineering and R&D intensive companies that deliver products and services in industries ranging from aerospace to medical devices,” Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade officials said.

Proof-of-Concept grants are open to Colorado research universities, federal labs located in Colorado and other private, nonprofit and for-profit labs. Proof-of-Concept Grants are for pre-commercialization research and commercialization preparation.

National Jewish Health in Denver received an $85,000 grant for its KneeTap, used to facilitate the aspiration of fluid from or injection of medication into the joint space. Ultimately, the research team plans to develop a family of devices will be developed for the various joints as well as new devices based on the same manufacturing process and materials. It is estimated that more than 5 million joint taps are performed annually at a cost of more than $1 billion.

Colorado School of Mines in Golden received two $150,000 Proof-of-Concept Grants for its multi-functional coatings to enable advanced optoelectronics and to develop advanced rail steels for use in heavy haul applications.

Researchers at Colorado School are working to develop low-cost solutions to produce low-e coatings, transparent electrical conductors, optical coatings and moisture barriers on polymer substrates. Successful processes developed at the batch scale at CSM will be transferred to ITN Energy Systems for scale up and further commercialization.

The school is also working to develop advanced rail steels containing copper with enhanced head hardness and wear resistance for use in heavy haul applications. Industrial material with varying copper alloying levels has been produced by EVRAZ Pueblo. Grant funds will be used for a test plan to study these materials in detail and evaluate the strength, hardness, fracture toughness, fatigue crack growth rate, microstructure and wear performance of the as-produced material.

Eight Early Stage Capital and Retention grants will be used to fund companies using technologies developed in proof of concept grants and other early stage start-ups, which have created viable products that meet a market need and that can be created or manufactured in Colorado and exported globally.

dbMEDx, in Littleton received a $249,000 Early Stage Capital and Retention grant to help its researchers develop the Benchmark Bladder System, a fully-automated, wireless, hand-held, non-invasive scanner capable of measuring the volume of a patient’s urinary bladder. The BBS represents a major breakthrough in terms of ease-of-use and simplicity for users.

Lightning Hybrids in Loveland was granted $500,000. The firm produces a hydraulic launch assist that bolts on to the drivetrain of a vehicle and converts it to a hybrid. This system works together with the existing vehicle drivetrain to provide fuel efficiency savings and emission reductions.

Membrane Protective Technologies in Fort Collins received $125,000 for its GameteGuard Technologies, a blend of organic plant extracts containing antioxidants, membrane and DNA protectants, The blend is added in a proprietary manner to semen used in artificial insemination, which improves artificial insemination pregnancy rates 10 to 30 percent.

Solid Power in Louisville, a spin-out company from the University of Colorado, was granted $250,000 to develop advanced rechargeable batteries for applications including aerospace, electric vehicles, utility grid storage and consumer electronics. They have support from the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy’s ARPA-E and Missile Defense Agency.

Steelhead Composites in the city of Golden received $500,000. The firm is an advanced manufacturing company dedicated to best-in-class capabilities in high pressure vessel design, metal forming and filament winding for the automotive industry. Steelhead will use the grant funding to accelerate and expand our product offering to light-weight vessels for alternative fuels.

Prieto Battery in Fort Collins received a $150,000 grant. A private company founded by Dr. Amy Prieto and several members of her academic team, the company is a spin-out of Colorado State University’s Clean Energy Supercluster and backed by private investors. All research, development, and prototyping is located in Fort Collins. Prieto Battery is working on the advancement of a prototype of a copper antimonide based three-dimensional, porous negative electrode for use in lithium-ion batteries.

Sundolier Inc. in Boulder was granted $499,883. Sundolier Inc. provides core daylighting to large open spaces directly below the roof line or deep in the core as well as two floor daylighting solutions. It offers active indirect daylight delivery systems and net zero hybrid lighting systems- daylight, electric light, control and renewable PV power.

VetDC in Fort Collins received $250,000. The firm developed VDC-1101, a novel drug in development to treat canine lymphoma, one of the most common and deadly cancers affecting dogs and cats today. VDC-1101 has a compelling efficacy, safety and convenience profile and is moving rapidly towards regulatory submission with the FDA in early 2014.

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