SUNY Announces $200,000 Investment to Spur Commercialization of Research at Four Campuses

June 26, 2017

Albany – The State University of New York today announced four new projects receiving investments from the SUNY Technology Accelerator Fund (TAF). TAF strategically invests in SUNY’s most disruptive innovations developed by faculty and students to accelerate their development and commercialization.

The technologies selected span groundbreaking advancements in biotechnology, information technology, therapeutics, food safety, and diagnostics.

"SUNY’s 2017 TAF investments represent the extraordinary diversity of research conducted on SUNY campuses across New York State," said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. "As a result of our system’s size and scope, SUNY has an unmatched ability to develop new technologies. Whether it be new approaches to improving wireless communications or rethinking the way we treat cancer and other diseases, SUNY is proud to drive innovation, opportunity, and economic development in partnership with New York State. Congratulations to these awardees."

"University-based research and innovation is one of the strongest economic generators and SUNY is at the forefront," said SUNY Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development Grace Wang. "Research at SUNY produces more than 100 new technologies every year and SUNY’s TAF program helps our researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs turn their ideas into market-ready technologies."

"This funding provides critical bridge support between the time when research funding ends and commercialization support begins," said Alexander N. Cartwright, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor. "This is the kind of investment that ensures that the innovations developed by SUNY faculty can be brought to market where they improve lives, and positively impact state and global challenges."

"Today’s announcement of investment in innovation recognizes and carries forward SUNY’s tradition of excellence in research," said Jeffrey M. Cheek, President of the Research Foundation for SUNY. "Life-changing research performed by SUNY researchers has generated some of the most transformative technologies in history."

Funding proposals submitted by SUNY faculty, staff, and students 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, completion of a customer discovery process, commercial potential, feasibility, and breadth of impact.

Below are the TAF 2017 Awardees:

  • Innovating quick and accurate testing in dairy production, University at Albany – Dr. Dan Fabris has developed technology that allows for a fast, accurate, sensitive, comprehensive, and inexpensive way to identify infections, diseases, and pathogen contamination in biological samples. While the new testing technology has a very broad application, the team will use the TAF investment to focus on solving a pain point in the dairy industry – detecting mastitis in cows. The team will conduct a field trial in partnership with the Quality of Milk Production Services Laboratory at Cornell.
  • Connecting biomolecules for cancer treatment or medical imaging, Binghamton University – Dr. Susan Bane-Tuttle has developed a process to join biologic materials, such as antibodies and protein, to small molecules, such as drugs for cancer treatment or to probes for medical imaging, with extreme precision and efficiency. The TAF investment will help Dr. Bane-Tuttle create new prototype materials and meet requests for synthetic reagents from several potential commercialization partners.  The proprietary, patent-pending bioconjugation technology that joins compounds together is sought by industry partners across a variety of sectors – including biotechnology, materials, and pharmaceuticals.
  • Increasing the success rate of therapeutics, University at Buffalo Dr. Sathy Balu-Iyer has developed proprietary platform technology that has been shown to reduce the ability of biologic drugs to provoke an immune response. The technology has the potential to treat autoimmune diseases and offers an immune tolerance approach to improving the success of gene therapy.  The TAF investment will enable Dr. Balu-Iyer’s research team to conduct pre-clinical "proof of concept" studies to demonstrate efficacy in gene therapy, a critical step to meet the scientific requirements of potential partners in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Enabling fast and secure data transfer, SUNY Oswego A team led by Dr. Patanjali Parimi has designed a device that can be retrofitted as a component to existing communication systems – both at the transmitter and at the receiver – to increase wireless connection and data transmission speed to much faster rates than existed today. The TAF investment will enable the research team to produce a prototype and test it in accordance to specific requirement that potential industry partners have identified.
About the SUNY Technology Accelerator Fund

The Technology Accelerator Fund (TAF) helps faculty inventors and scientists turn their ideas into market-ready technologies. TAF targets critical research and development milestones – such as feasibility studies, prototyping and testing – which demonstrate that an idea or innovation has commercial potential. Since its launch in 2011, the TAF has invested over $1 million to successfully advance the commercial readiness of 40 SUNY-developed innovations and has catalyzed the investment of an additional $4.4 million from external partners, including federal agencies, industry licensees and angel investors. Please visit for more information about the TAF program, information on how to partner with a TAF team, and to learn more about each funded project.

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, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2021, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three 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

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