SUNY, Research Foundation Announce Technology Accelerator Fund Awards

May 29, 2013

$250,000 Awarded to Spur Commercialization at Five Campuses

Albany — The State University of New York and The Research Foundation for SUNY (RF) today announced five new projects selected to receive up to $50,000 each from the SUNY Technology Accelerator Fund (TAF), which supports innovation by SUNY faculty, students, and staff by providing funding to accelerate development and commercialization.

The technologies selected span groundbreaking advancements in nanotechnology, novel cancer therapeutics and diagnostics, the production of biodiesel fuels, and research tool metrology.

“SUNY faculty, students, and staff are conducting research and developing innovations that have the potential to change the world we live in for the better, and the Technology Accelerator Fund is one way SUNY can help bring their ideas to market,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “SUNY is proud to drive innovation, opportunity, and economic development through a number of new initiatives in partnership with New York State and the Research Foundation. Congratulations to these most recent awardees.”

Ongoing SUNY initiatives that run complementary to the TAF include the tax-free zones recently announced by Governor Cuomo, and the SUNY/RF Entrepreneur-In-Residence program, Collaboration Fund, and STEM Fund.

“SUNY’s and New York's innovation ecosystem begins with research,” said Dr. Tim Killeen, president of the RF and SUNY vice chancellor for research. “SUNY’s TAF program rewards and highlights the unique diversity of SUNY research and enhances our ability drive economic development by moving more SUNY technologies from the lab to the marketplace.”

A significant obstacle to the development and transfer of university technology is the lack of funding to advance promising discoveries after government-sponsored support ends and before a licensee or commercial investor is identified and secured. Funding at this stage is essential to bring to market promising technologies with potential implications for public benefit. TAF was created to support innovation across the SUNY research community and to accelerate the development of SUNY technologies for high-impact commercialization.

Since its launch in 2011, the TAF has invested over $1 million to successfully advance the commercial readiness of 16 SUNY-developed innovations that are poised for high-impact commercialization.

SUNY faculty, staff, and student proposals were evaluated by the TAF managing director with input from external experts in various fields of science and business development. Factors considered for the awards include: availability of intellectual property protection, marketability, commercial potential, feasibility, and breadth of impact.

Below are the TAF Class of Spring 2013 Awardees:

  • Novel Cancer Therapeutic, Stony Brook University - A clinical research team led by Sabine Brouxhon, MD, associate professor of emergency medicine, has discovered and validated a novel cancer target that has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of epithelial derived cancers. The team’s therapy has proven to be toxic only to cancer cells and does not harm healthy cells or tissue.
  • Blood Test to Determine Cancer Prognosis, Downstate Medical Center - Henri Tiedge, professor of physiology and pharmacology and of neurology, has developed a novel blood test to help diagnose and predict breast cancer progression. Tiedge's discovery has the potential to significantly impact the cancer diagnostic market and improve breast cancer treatment outcomes.
  • New Synthetic Enzymes to Create Bioethanol, Upstate Medical Center and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) - A collaborative project between Stewart Loh, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at SUNY Upstate, and Arthur Stipanovic, professor of chemistry at SUNY-ESF, is using a set of protein building tools developed at SUNY Upstate and protein activity testing technology developed at SUNY- ESF to produce synthetic cellulosomes for bioethanol production. Cellulosomes are multi-enzyme complexes which enable certain bacteria to efficiently break down thecellulose in woody pant matter into easily digestible sugars. Likewise, synthetic cellulosomes will enable bioethanol producers to efficiently degrade cellulose-rich feedstocks such as wood and switch grass into sugars from which ethanol can easily be produced through fermentation, thereby helping make bioethanol a cost-competitive alternative to petroleum-based gas and diesel.
  • Novel System to Make Atomic Level Measurements, University at Buffalo (UB) - Jason Armstrong, teaching assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, will build the commercial prototype of a metrology device capable of manipulating and measuring material characteristics at the atomic scale. Co-inventors are Susan Hua and Harsh Deep Chopra, both professors in UB’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
  • New Approach that Increases Semiconductor Device Performance, College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) - Fatemeh (Shadi) Shahedipour-Sandvik, associate professor of nanoengineering, has developed a breakthrough technology that can successfully remove defective devices from a network, allowing for increased reliability while not placing additional requirements on established fabrication and processing of devices.


About The Research Foundation for The State University of New York
The RF was founded in 1951 to serve SUNY and to capitalize on its scope, scale and diversity as an engine of New York's innovation economy. The largest, most comprehensive university-connected research foundation in the country, the RF supports nearly $1 billion in SUNY research activity annually, providing sponsored programs administration and innovation support services to SUNY faculty performing research in life sciences and medicine; engineering and nanotechnology; physical sciences and energy; social sciences, and computer and information sciences. To learn more about the RF visit www.rfsuny.org and connect with the RF on Facebook.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school and business in the state. In 2015–16, SUNY served nearly 1.3 million students, including nearly 600,000 in credit-bearing courses and programs and more than 700,000 through continuing education and community outreach programs. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in nearly $1 billion of externally sponsored activity each year. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.


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