Oregon Innovators Receive Matching Grants from Business Oregon

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Business Oregon and the Oregon Innovation Council (Oregon InC) are thrilled to announce the twelve recipients of state grants that will help these innovative small businesses leverage their federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant awards. The SBIR and STTR grant programs are federal programs designed to stimulate technological innovation and provide opportunities for small businesses to conduct research and development with commercialization potential. 

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) administers the SBIR and STTR programs, which are often referred to as “America’s largest seed fund.” In 2020, Oregon companies were awarded nearly $45 million in SBIR/STTR awards. SBIR/STTR provides funding that doesn’t dilute ownership, preserving control and flexibility for entrepreneurs. 

However, the SBIR funding alone leaves gaps in areas critical to getting early-stage companies to the point of producing revenue and becoming viable businesses. The federal funding helps develop the product but can’t be used for many critical elements to create and scale a business. To address these gaps and increase the business’s chances of success, Business Oregon offers a matching grant program that complements the federal program, to help Oregon companies that received these federal grants. 

Business Oregon’s funds also help position the companies for future fundraising and growth after the federal grants are completed. The state funds can be applied to expenses that help a company stay and grow in Oregon, such as business plan development, facilities, testing equipment, production equipment, intellectual property protection, product marketing, business consulting, and more. These funds are awarded in several phases to support the changing needs of companies as they take steps forward in building their businesses and products.

Business Oregon’s Phase I matching grants provide up to $50,000 to help very early-stage companies do feasibility studies on new technologies. Phase II grants build on Phase I work to help companies develop commercially ready prototypes to test with customers. The Phase II matching grants provide up to $100,000.

A list of the businesses awarded SBIR/STTR matching grants in this round of funding from Business Oregon is below. 

Phase I Grant Awardees:

AirOmatix specializes in improving methods of oxygen concentration, storage, and delivery for use in healthcare, athletics, and food transportation and storage. The grant award will be used to complete research and development, new market exploration, and IP protection.  

Ampere Scientific is dedicated to the continuous improvement of specialty alloy production and processing, offering the most advanced Vacuum Arc Remelting process monitoring and control systems in the industry. The grant award will be used to purchase and install equipment to allow for critical sampling and analysis of the company’s proprietary ingot manufacturing process.

Canopii incentivizes farming through the creation of turn-key urban farms that utilize novel end-to-end labor automation and energy management to reduce costs. The grant award will be used to conduct target market analysis for the company’s fully automated vertical greenhouse system.

Community Energy Labs offers modern building control solutions that make smart energy management and decarbonization both accessible and affordable for community building owners. The grant award will be used for IP protection, usability improvements, and cost modeling for municipal and school building energy control/efficiency system. 

Inherent Targeting is focused on improving surgical guidance and treatment outcomes using nerve-targeted imaging agents. The grant award will be used to complete further analysis of a lead compound and to prepare for FDA approval of the fluorescent compound that prevents nerve damage during surgeries.

mAbDx is committed to developing effective diagnostics for diseases of significant clinical urgency and for which diagnostic tests and key research reagents are lacking. The grant award will be used to install new test production equipment, optimize processes for large-scale production, and work on diagnostic creation for the early detection of Dengue virus.

NeuvaRx is a biotechnology start-up focused on the development of therapeutics for neurovascular diseases, including ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke and aging-related vascular dementia. The grant award will be used for product testing and IP protection for promising compounds aimed at improving the treatment of hemorrhagic stroke.

Nzumbe develops technologies to identify and target disease-causing epigenetic events that lead to cancer, neurological disorders, and other diseases. The grant award will be used for IP protection and to purchase test equipment.

OmnEcoil has developed a novel device that utilizes the benefits of MRI for prostate cancer detection and tissue sampling in one integrated procedure for a more efficient and accurate diagnosis. The grant award will be used for vital regulatory support services for prostate cancer diagnosis technology.

Overwatch Imaging designs and manufactures imaging systems with custom onboard AI software for both piloted and unmanned aircraft. By helping organizations of all kinds move to autonomous aerial detection, Overwatch Imaging assists in improving efficiencies, reducing costs, and enhancing safety. The grant award will be used to design, build, and test upgraded search and rescue technology for maritime environments.

PathHouse is a modular mass timber housing system capable of producing thousands of volumetric, waterproof units per year. It combines the benefits of mass timber with the efficiency of factory-based construction to speed up the delivery of permanent housing at attainable prices. The grant award will be used to design an automated equipment plan for a manufacturing facility to produce the company’s modular mass timber housing system.

RUTE Foundation Systems produces and delivers the most efficient, sustainable structural foundation systems for the wind and solar industries. The grant award will be used to build out and test the design of innovative cable-stayed solar photovoltaic tracker technology to support solar installations on agricultural land.

Phase II Grant Awardees:

Ampere Scientific is dedicated to the continuous improvement of specialty alloy production and processing, offering the most advanced Vacuum Arc Remelting process monitoring and control systems in the industry. The grant award will be used for the development of marketing materials, customer engagement, and the development of a portable, small-scale version of the ingot sensor system for demonstrations and further product development.

Continuous Solutions works to solve complex problems in the power, energy, and electric motor industries. The company is focused on revolutionizing electric motors through ultra-efficient, cost-effective technologies. The grant award will be used for the production, distribution, and testing of high-quality prototypes of novel inductor technology and in the development of strategic partnerships.

e-MSion works to advance mass spectrometry-based life sciences research by offering accessible electron capture dissociation (ECD) fragmentation. The new and complementary data the ExD Cell enables unlocks new avenues of protein characterization that is useful to drug manufacturers and researchers. The grant award will be used to increase capacity for programming, technical writing, software engineering, and customer training to enable testing and sales of biotherapeutic characterization technology.

Health Technology Innovation Inc. (HTI) provides a machine learning platform to accelerate structure-based drug discovery with Cryo-EM services and software. The grant award will help HTI commercialize and accelerate its CryoDiscovery™ product launch.

LeapFrog Technology Inc. blends the best of entrepreneurship, startup thinking, and world-class engineering to help clients imagine and build software that people love to use. The grant award will be used to hire additional staff to support the commercialization and production of the cost-effective greywater rainwater and wastewater recycling system.

PDX Pharma is focused on improving human health and medicine through innovative therapies for various forms of cancer. The grant award will be used for IP protection, to assist with financing a new facility, and generating fundraising support.

Phase3 Photovoltaics is dedicated to helping clients successfully design, assemble, transport, and install their own manufactured solar homes. The grant award will be used for prototype development, destructive testing, and test specimens to allow industry certification of a solar energy system that is pre-installed in modular housing at the point of initial construction.

More information on the SBIR/STTR grant programs can be found on Business Oregon’s SBIR/STTR Program webpage.

Media Contact: Amber Nabors, amber.nabors@biz.oregon.gov

Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency, invests in Oregon businesses, communities, and people to promote a globally competitive, diverse, and inclusive economy. The agency’s services span rural community development and infrastructure financing; business retention, expansion and recruitment; export promotion and international trade; investments in industry research and development and entrepreneurship; small business assistance; and support for arts and cultural organizations. Learn more at biz.oregon.gov.

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