18 research projects receive innovation funding

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Eco-friendly cosmetics and a vaccine to treat Lyme disease are among 18 Virginia university research projects selected to receive grants from the Virginia Innovation Partnership.

Created last fall by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s i6 Challenge, the partnership announced $861,086 in awards in its first round of funding. The 18 projects were chosen from 84 submitted by 10 institutions. The program is designed to advance early-stage research and connect academic researchers with mentors, corporations and investors to accelerate commercialization of new projects.

The partnership includes all of Virginia’s research universities, the state’s community colleges, 10 commercialization incubators, and many corporate and government agency partners. It is being supported by $1 million in federal funding over two years with matching funds from corporate participants, university partners and other entities.

A list of the funded projects follows:

The College of William & Mary

“Ocean safe biodegradable microspheres for the cosmetic and toiletries industry,” led by Kirk Havens and Donna Marie Bilkovic, was awarded $60,000.

Eastern Virginia Medical School

“Evaluating P1C1 in a model of acute intravascular hemolytic transfusion reaction,” led by Neel Krishna, Dr. Kenji Cunnion, Julius Nyalwidhe and Frank Lattanzio, was awarded $70,000.

Old Dominion University

“Synergistic traffic counting: A cost-effective solution to traffic count collection,” led by ManWo Ng, was awarded $40,000.

University of Virginia

“PureMadi: Metallic-ceramic technologies for global household water purification,” led by James Smith, Dr. Rebecca Dillingham and Richard Crawford, was awarded $50,000.

“Effective cooling solutions for very high heat flux applications,” led by Hossein Haj-Hariri, was awarded $40,000.

“Gas expanded lubricants: Energy efficiency and increased reliability in power production using tunable fluids,” led by Andres Clarens and Timothy Dimond, was awarded $40,000.

“Surge suppression technology based on active magnetic bearings for increasing the energy efficiency of centrifugal compressors,” led by Zongli Lin and Se Young Yoon, was awarded $40,000.

“Hacker-proofing the Web,” led by Anh Nguyen-Tuong, Jason Hiser and Jack Davidson, was awarded $40,000.

“A non-scaffold drug delivery system to treat nerve injury,” led by Christopher Deppman and Anthony Spano, was awarded $40,000.

“Augmenting Erythropoiesis,” led by Dr. Thomas Braciale and Taeg Kim, was awarded $40,000.

“Reconfigurable array of magnetic automata,” led by Stuart Wolf and Jiwei Lu, was awarded $40,000.

Virginia Commonwealth University

“Development of a novel chimeric vaccine for tick-transmitted disease,” led by Jason Carlyon and Richard Marconi, was awarded $70,000.

“Transporter-directed prodrugs for drug delivery to the brain: In vivo proof of concept,” led by Phillip Gerk, was awarded $68,000.

“Point-of-care biomarker of ischemia,” led by Dr. Lynne Gehr, was awarded $40,000.

“Airway stent delivery system,” led by Dr. Aamer Syed and Dr. Hans Lee, was awarded $40,000.

“Sustained drug release formulation for glaucoma,” led by Hu Yang, was awarded $40,000.

Virginia Tech

“Vortex-induced vibration energy harvester for distributed power supply,” led by George Hagerman, Richard Hirsh, Khai Ngo, Shashank Priya, Mark Stremler and Pavlos Vlachos, was awarded $51,880.

“Coupling of nanofibrous electrodes with nanostructured electrolytes for enhanced performance in energy storage devices,” led by Robert Moore and E. Bruce Orler, was awarded $51,206.

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