UA awarded $5 million in funding


By Michelle DeShon, Writer


The Ohio Third Frontier Commission awarded The University of Akron over $5 million to support research and technology development. UA was awarded more than any other organization in Ohio.

David Goodman, director of Ohio Development Services Agency and chair of Ohio Third Frontier Commission, said, “taking ideas and getting them to the marketplace strengthens Ohio’s technology economy.”

The Ohio Third Frontier Commission supports both established and emerging companies in making technological advances. A total of $12.5 million was awarded to various organizations earlier this month.

The 2014 Ohio Third Frontier Innovation Platform Awards awarded $3 million to UA and their collaborators, PolyOne, Lubrizol, SNS NanoFiber, Viscus Biologics and Austen BioInnovation Institute of Akron. This grant will allow established organizations to fund further research and development projects in X-ray shielding materials, protective coatings for medical devices and antimicrobial materials for wound healing.

        Another $1,744,192 was awarded to the university in collaboration with Exacter, Inc. and Jacco & Associates. The emerging organizations will be able to develop a sensor platform for mitigating electrical grid outages and a HVAC sensor system to regulate airflow and improve system efficiency, according to a report from the awards.

The 2014 Ohio Third Frontier Technology Validation and Start-Up Fund gave five $50,000 grants to support the research and development of new technologies at UA. One grant is funding the developments that will improve electric motors. Another is aiding the development of imaging goggles that will make cancer screening more successful.

The other grants are allowing UA researchers to make advances in technology to prevent cell phone screens from cracking, to make prosthetics more comfortable with cooling systems in the sockets, and to allow one company to speed up calculations carried out by graphics in computer processing.

Another $100,000 was awarded to UA and Akron Ascent Innovations LLC to commercialize a reusable adhesive.

UA was awarded most of the grants they proposed. Lisa Colbert of Ohio Third Frontier Commission stated that outside evaluators recommend organizations to pursue the awards.

Each organization writes a proposal and sends it to the Ohio Third Frontier Commission. The organization has to describe in detail what they plan to accomplish with the help of the funding.  Then members of the Ohio Third Frontier Commission vote for the organizations they feel deserve the grants the most.