OCAST awards $1.6 million to seven Applied Research projects
The Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST) today announced awards totaling $1,633,663 to support research efforts to strengthen the infrastructure of Oklahoma’s technology economy. The funds are administered by OCAST through the Oklahoma Applied Research Support (OARS) program and represent a long-term effort by the state of Oklahoma to encourage technology-based economic development.
OCAST received 28 proposals and external reviewers recommended 16 for funding. Available funds allowed support of the highest ranked seven projects.
Funded projects support growth in the following Oklahoma industries: optics and photonics, animal and plant biotechnology, semiconductors, biotechnology and diagnostics and therapeutic environmental biotechnology.
Each of the seven successful applicants will conduct research under this round of funding for two years.
Successful applicants include the following:
Optics and Photonics
- Terry Golding, principal investigator, “Development and Manufacture of Next Generation Ultra High Efficiency Photo-Voltaic Solar Cells” – This program will develop cost-effective manufacturing processes for the production of ultra-high-efficiency solar cells. If successful, the final product resulting from this OARS project will be panels containing advanced solar-concentrator cells based on multi-junction dilute nitrides that achieve at least 50 percent energy efficiency at a concentration level of 800 times normal sun intensity. Amethyst Research Incorporated – $300,000
- Khalid Hossain, principal investigator, “Antimonide-based Quantum Dots for High Efficiency Photovoltaic Applications” – Materials and structure used in conventional solar cells currently available in the market are inherently poor in quality and cannot efficiently convert solar light into power. As a result, they cannot compete with nuclear and coal energy without the help of government incentives. The goal of the project is to realize quantum-dots, which is beyond nanotechnology, as the solution to next generation solar cells. Amethyst Research Incorporated – $300,000
- Lucas Phinney, principal investigator, “Integrated Analytical Toolset for Defect Reduction in Large Format Infrared Detector Materials” – Successful completion of the project will provide advanced metrology techniques for use in manufacturing of infrared sensors and focal plane arrays. Integration of these techniques into manufacturing will increase device performance as well as enhance operability and yield of focal-plane arrays resulting in lower unit costs. Amethyst Research Incorporated – $253,663
Animal and Plant Biotechnology
- Guolong Zhang, principal investigator, “Development of Immune Boosting Feed Additives” – Routine use of feed-grade antibiotics at sub-therapeutic dosages for growth promotion and disease prevention in livestock and plants is suspect for rapid emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. This practice is long considered a serious threat to public health. Alternative approaches are needed. This investigator has identified alternative dietary supplements that show properties that enhance host immunity and disease resistance. Oklahoma State University – $90,000
- John Quinn, principal investigator, “Next Generation Drug Discovery Platform with Multimode Detection” – SensiQ Technologies Inc. plans to commercialize a new screening platform in the life science market for use by large pharma and biotech companies. This product, when added to the company’s current commercial products in life sciences, will enable SensiQ to become a new leader in the label-free life science market segment. SensiQ Technologies Inc. – $90,000
- Ronald Wassel, principal investigator, “Manufacturing of Biodegradable Polymeric Microparticles” – The project goal is to develop a manufacturing process for the production of biodegradable microparticles for sustained drug delivery to the eye. Charlesson LLC – $300,000
Diagnostic and Therapeutic Biotechnology
Sean Bauman, principal investigator, “Immunoassay for Early Diagnosis of Coccidioidomycosis” – The project goal is to develop an immunoassay to aid in the early diagnosis of coccidioidomycosis using serum or urine samples. Also known as Valley Fever, the fungal disease infects an estimated 150,000 people each year in the U.S. Immuno-Mycologics Inc. – $300,000