Investing in a Bright and Innovative Future
Sixteen of Utah’s most promising and innovative technologies have recently been awarded a $40,000 Technology Commercialization and Innovation Program (TCIP) grant through the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED).
The TCIP grant aims to help entrepreneurs commercialize and build their new companies by accelerating the process of taking university-developed technologies to market.
Through a competitive process, Utah invests approximately $1.6 million a year in support of university technology commercialization to help drive Utah’s economic development and job creation.
“The TCIP grant program focuses on helping Utah entrepreneurs accelerate the commercialization of promising and innovative technologies,” said Vincent Mikolay, GOED director of business outreach and international trade. “Assisting commercialization of these kinds technologies ensures continual economic and job growth across the state.”
The most recent round of TCIP grants were awarded to a range of technologies which will strengthen and grow several of Utah’s industry clusters. Awardees include advancements in the accuracy of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to semiconductor nanocrystals called quantum dots that can emit different wavelengths to track or destroy cancer cells.
Several of the recent TCIP awardees have a strong relationship with the Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative such as ENVE Composites and AnalySwift. Additionally, Rajesh Menon, a University of Utah (U of U) electrical and computer engineering and USTAR professor, was awarded a TCIP grant for continued development of new applications for the composite material graphene.
“These three innovative technologies represent some of Utah’s brightest,” said Ted McAleer, executive director of USTAR. “These winners demonstrate the breadth of the TCIP grant program, and the state’s focus to increase innovation, entrepreneurship and drive economic development.”
A great example of this is ENVE, which has emerged as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-end carbon bicycle rims and related products.
ENVE, located in Ogden, Utah, houses local entrepreneurs and innovators which are leveraging their unique mastery of composites to lead their industry in research and design.
Prior to being awarded the most recent TCIP grant, ENVE also received a Technology Commercialization Grant (TCG) from USTAR’s Northern Technology Outreach and Innovation Program (TOIP). The grant enabled ENVE to develop software to better integrate with the company’s basic testing framework leading to the creation of an innovative machine that redefined their market bringing 324 new jobs to Utah.
The development of ENVE’s testing machine made it possible for the company to replicate real-world forces on its carbon rims related to “braking-induced” heat and pressure. The new equipment enabled ENVE to generate and analyze data from which they can now produce rims that lead the industry in ride performance and overall durability. ENVE will utilize the new funds from the TCIP grant to create a state-of-the-art test fixture to conduct fatigue testing and data acquisition on components.
AnalySwift, a Utah State University (USU) spinout company was also awarded a TCIP grant for the company’s cutting-edge composite and engineering testing software. The company offers the best available combination of efficiency, accuracy and versatility for multiphysics analysis of composite materials and structures. The software, which was developed at USU with support from the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. National Science Foundation and USTAR, has greatly improved composites in the aerospace, energy and other advanced materials.
“The [TCIP] grant will be used to further improve the powerful SwiftComp Micromechanics engineering software program,” said Allan Wood, president and CEO of AnalySwift. “More specifically, it will fund the development of a Graphical User Interface (GUI), which will make the tool accessible to a wider range of engineers, while enhancing convenience and usability.”
As with ENVE, AnalySwift also received a TCG from USTAR, which help to propel AnalySwift’s SwiftComp Micromechanics technology into commercialization. The TCG facilitated the development and eventual spin out of the technology. AnalySwift is now an industry leader in composite analysis.
The last USTAR affiliated TCIP awardee is a group of U of U researchers including USTAR professor Rajesh Menon. This group of researchers has developed an innovative method to form pristine carbon nanotubes and graphene films in a cost-effective and time-conscious manner.
The graphene ribbon has a width in the range of 1 to 20 nanometers. As a matter of context, a sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick. These ribbons are then curled into carbon. These nanotubes can be used to produce semiconductors which are 1,000 times better that silicon, and are 40 times stronger than steel.
USTAR and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development are committed to the continued growth of Utah’s entrepreneurial eco-system and making the state a global leader in innovation.
To see a list of all of the TCIP winners visit: http://business.utah.gov/programs/coe/coe-annual-reports/