Ohio Companies Receive Partnership Awards from NASA Glenn and Alliance Partners
The Glenn Alliance for Technology Exchange (GATE) presented four Ohio-based companies with the GATE Partnership Award today.
GATE, a collaboration of NASA's Glenn Research Center, the Ohio Aerospace Institute, and Battelle's Great Lakes Industrial Technology Center, all of Cleveland, established the Partnership Award Program to aid small Ohio companies interested in enhancing their products and processes with NASA technologies.
Twenty-six proposals were submitted from all over Ohio and four were selected in this second round of GATE Partnership Awards. The award consists of $50,000 in cash plus $50,000 in NASA assistance in developing the new product or process.
"NASA Glenn is proud to transfer its technology and expertise to the products and processes of small companies in Ohio," said Glenn Director, Dr. Julian Earls. "GATE has provided us with a vehicle to reach out and impact these small firms, and, by so doing, impact the economy of the state of Ohio."
The winners of the GATE Partnership Award Program include:
- ITEN Industries, Ashtabula, Ohio, will work with researchers from the Polymers Branch at NASA Glenn to create a manufacturing process for a strengthened aerogel, an open-structured silica foam in which 99.8 percent of the volume is empty space. Although it has hundreds of possible uses as a heat, sound and shock insulator, aerogel is extremely fragile. NASA researchers have created a process to strengthen aerogel but it has only been produced in a tightly controlled laboratory environment. A viable manufacturing process should lead to a material that is affordable, strong and easy to create.
- Theken Disk, LLC, Akron, Ohio, will partner with NASA Glenn's Antenna, Microwave and Optical Systems Branch and the Electron and Optical Devices Branch. Together, they will pursue development of an artificial spinal disc with the capability of communicating data to an external receiver for post-operative monitoring. Theken's spinal implant, the eDISC, employs a unique design that mimics the movement and load response of a natural spinal disc. The team's addition of a MicroElectroMechanical System sensor and a radio-frequency antenna to the eDISC should allow surgeons to monitor patients for up to one year after surgery.
- H Cubed, Inc., Olmsted Falls, Ohio, will leverage its existing work with NASA Glenn's Life Prediction Branch and the BioMEMS group at the Cleveland Clinic to further the development of high resolution ultrasonic transducers for use in intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) devices. IVUS imaging is used to detect coronary artery blockages. The transducers developed under this project should vastly improve resolution and image quality of IVUS devices, making them a more useful tool for cardiologists.
- Innovative Engineering & Consulting, Middleburg Heights, Ohio, will work with the Diagnostics and Data Systems Branch at Glenn to develop an innovative Infrared (IR) imaging system. Current commercial IR devices, used for such essential tasks as locating survivors in a burning building, can have limited effectiveness when intense heat sources are present. The proposed Enhanced Dynamic Range Thermal Imager would allow a firefighter to differentiate an intense heat source (such as a fire) from a person. This product also has applications in defense and security fields.
"We are creating research and technology partnerships of direct benefit to Ohio-based companies and to NASA Glenn. Tapping into cutting-edge R&D at Glenn to help businesses in Ohio is critical to technology-based economic development," stated William Seelbach, president and CEO of the Ohio Aerospace Institute and GATE Project Manager.
"These awards can make a critical difference to small technology based companies by providing an infusion of federally-funded technology expertise. This alliance, in partnership with NorTech and our Ohio legislators, is growing technology companies in our own backyard," said Priscilla Diem, executive director, Great Lakes Industrial Technology Center.
The Glenn Alliance for Technology Exchange was established in October 2004. GATE offers several mechanisms designed to foster technology transfer initiatives between NASA Glenn and Ohio companies.
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