Business Oregon Awards Funding for Innovation Projects in Business and Industry
Business Oregon and the Oregon Innovation Council (Oregon InC) is awarding nearly $1 million in a new round of funding to support innovation in Oregon. Eleven recipients will receive awards from two grant programs, the High Impact Opportunity Projects (HIOP) and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) matching grants.
“Business Oregon, through Oregon InC, is pleased to award nearly $1 million in investments to Oregon businesses and projects focusing on innovation. We are optimistic that these funds will catalyze new innovations and give Oregon-based companies and teams a competitive advantage as they commercialize their ideas and products,” said Kate Sinner, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Manager at Business Oregon.
The HIOP program supports the growth of emerging, high-value industry sectors by providing competitive grants to remove barriers to research and development, advance product development and testing, and commercialize technology. Grants are awarded to organizations and consortiums for projects that benefit industry-wide innovation.
SBIR is a federal grant program for small businesses designed to stimulate technological innovation and provide opportunities for small businesses to conduct research and development with commercialization potential. SBIR Matching Grants are designed to complement the federal SBIR program by filling gaps where the federal funding cannot be used. Seven companies were awarded Phase I matching grants and two companies were awarded Phase II matching grants.
Applications were solicited separately for both programs, and after multiple stages of review, the following companies and organizations have been selected to receive grant awards.
McMinnville Economic Dev. Partnership, $241,936: A consortium that includes Oregon State University, municipalities, industry partners, and two trade associations will conduct lab testing and development of concrete formulas intended to reduce the climate impact of carbon. They will research, test, and pilot open-source concrete formulas and publish a toolkit and case study that highlights how the industry can adopt low-carbon concrete.
Oregon State University – Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Institute (ATAMI), $250,000: This project will purchase shared-use equipment to expand the capability of ATAMI’s Continuous Flow Processing (CFP) Facility that supports Oregon’s Specialty Chemical sector, in particular advanced materials for the semiconductor industry. The equipment – used to determine the purity of sample mixtures and to demonstrate the difference in continuous-flow reactor and batch reactor technology – will be used for live demonstrations and R&D with industry partners.
SBIR Matching Awards
Phase I Matching Grants
Birch Biosciences is a seed-stage company that has developed novel enzyme technology to enable circular plastic recycling. The company will use grant funds to expand lab facilities, purchase equipment and supplies to support lab-scale tests and optimization of recycling bioprocess for plastics.
Burch Energy Services has a software platform that prioritizes occupants’ health by improving indoor air quality and comfort while maintaining energy-efficient operations in small and medium-sized buildings. The company will automate the process of incorporating building information into the company’s building control system to allow better control and test completed systems at three sites.
Espiku has a novel and patented technology to recover lithium from brines at a much lower cost and a fraction of emissions produced by current technologies to support clean energy storage. The company will perform market readiness level analysis and customer outreach for lithium extraction technology. Espiku contracts with local partners to conduct manufacturability analysis and detailed purity analysis of the product.
InVivo Biosystems is a biotechnology company that focuses on building and applying genetic technologies for model organisms of disease. The company will purchase equipment to speed product development and intellectual property protection work on cryopreservation techniques on modified zebrafish for biomedical research.
LATERAL.systems has a platform of sensors assembled into a water quality sensor array and an atmospheric environment sensor array designed to monitor indoor growing environments to reduce risk and increase yields. The company will validate its software for data gathering and processing, evaluate its market, and do rapid sensor prototyping and gap analysis for commercialization of its platform.
Lexel Synergistics is developing a portable translator that will provide fast and accurate simultaneous translation completely on-device, with no network connection required. The company will complete construction of the translation device, develop large datasets, train staff, and engage customers.
TheraFluor’s mission is to improve surgical outcomes in veterinary medicine by improving the way veterinarians visualize and treat disease. The company will acquire supplies and complete testing on proprietary dye and develop analytical test methods to ensure consistent manufacturing of the company’s technology in order to improve surgical outcomes in veterinary medicine.
Phase II Matching Grants
AquaHarmonics is developing a power-dense wave energy conversion power unit for ocean observation instrumentation buoys that is highly reliable, efficient, and compact. The company will hire staff to bring its technology closer to commercialization. An engineer will be hired to revise the design concept to improve manufacturability and verify cost estimates of its power take-off converter.
Community Energy Labs has building control solutions that monitor, learn, and adjust building energy use to meet energy goals and makes smart energy management and decarbonization accessible and affordable for community building owners. The company will use grant funds to support technical feasibility analysis and engineering costs of building management system controller, database, and automation workflows. Funds will also support marketing and customer engagement and training.
By Business Oregon Press Release