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Seven Rhode Island Firms Awarded State Small Business Development Grants

Area Development Online News Desk (12/06/2013)
Seven Rhode Island companies, three firms in the state capitol, two in North Kingstown and one each in Lincoln and Barrington, will be the first recipients of Innovate Rhode Island Small Business Fund matching grants awarded by the state’s Economic Development Corporation's Science and Technology Advisory Council.

"Developing the Innovate Rhode Island Small Business Fund was one of the highlights of the legislative year," Governor Lincoln D. Chafee said. "The fund enables us to promote and encourage high-tech research, recognize our small businesses that are doing great work, and attract federal research dollars to Rhode Island."

Three firms in Providence were awarded grant funds:

121 Nexus of Providence, was a grant of award $45,000. Funds will be utilized for its project to determine the feasibility of using AgileQR smart packaging technology in a biomedical track and trace solution for increasing the efficiency of product tracking and recall management.

Cytosolv in Providence was awarded $45,000. Cytosolv is developing an implantable bioactive material for improving the healing of recurrent hernia. The growth factor-based product targets a population mostly impacted by various co-morbidities that fail to heal after primary hernia repair.

EpiVax, Inc. in Providence was awarded $45,000. Children with Pompe disease, a life threatening build-up of glycogen that damages muscles, often have an immune response to drugs to treat the condition. This project will further study the use of natural tolerance inducing peptides to increase the efficacy of existing treatments.

Grants were also doled out to two firms in North Kingstown:

Applied Radar, Inc. of North Kingstown was award $44,978. Applied Radar is developing a millimeter-wave material characterization system that will be used by the U.S. Army to develop next-generation radar sensors operating up to 225 GHz for helicopter brownout and whiteout situations, as well as miniature robotic all-weather sensors. CREmedical Corporation in North Kingstown, was awarded $44,974 CREmedical is developing pioneering medical devices to advance diagnosis, therapy and research.

Grants were also awarded to firms in Lincoln and Barrington:

Calista Therapeutics in Lincoln was awarded $45,000. Calista Therapeutics is developing peptide and protein-based drugs that are designed to affect biological targets that have been impossible to treat by traditional small chemical drugs. This project optimizes an inhaled drug for cystic fibrosis that stabilizes the defective cystic fibrosis ion channel and restores its function.

Vision Systems, Inc. in Barrington was awarded $44,978. VSI's SBIR grant is to develop a real-time and an accurate mapping solution of aerial images to the ground. One of the many applications will be to update Google, Bing or GPS maps with real-time visual traffic updates.

President of the Rhode Island Senate M. Teresa Paiva Weed said, "These grants will help Rhode Island small businesses in the medical, technology and defense industries as they develop ideas and work towards additional federal financing. This state and federal support for innovative small businesses is helping to foster job creation in groundbreaking fields here in Rhode Island."

The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation's Science and Technology Advisory Council “are focused on helping our businesses in the life sciences, technology and engineering sectors thrive. We have a dynamic research industry, and the development of the IRISBF supports that," said RIEDC Executive Director Marcel A. Valois. "These companies are conducting ground-breaking work to solve real-world problems, and they are accomplishing that work here in Rhode Island."

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