CWRU earns $500,000 from tech startup fund for third time

Nihal Manjila, Staff Reporter

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This year CWRU earned a $500,000 grant from the Ohio Third Frontier Technology Validation and Start-up Fund for the testing and commercialization of technologies being developed by faculty and researchers.

The Ohio Third Frontier is chief among Ohio’s organizations that support technological advancement. The Ohio Third Frontier is an initiative designed to support the research, testing and commercialization of technology in Ohio. This program provides the dual benefits of spreading the use of helpful technology and creating new businesses in the state, ultimately growing the economy and creating new jobs. Receiving a grant from the Technology Validation and Start-up Fund (CTP) is very competitive because many innovators apply for funding.

This year’s award recipients are Kiju Lee, Ronald Triolo, James Basilion and Mei Zhang at CWRU. All four hold doctorates and are professors at the university. Triolo, Basilion and Zhang are in the biomedical engineering department, while Lee in the mechanical engineering department. They are experts in a variety of fields and are working on technologies that have the potential for commercial licensing. Lee is researching the development of games for the assessment of Alzheimer’s disease, while Triolo’s project is the creation of a new walker that can handle uneven surfaces better. Basilion is locating a biomarker to sense prostate cancer in patients, and Zhang is working on the creation of an immunotherapeutic technology that can fight cancerous tumors.

The uses of the funding from the CTP is facilitated by the Technology Transfer Office at CWRU. The Technology Transfer Office performs many duties for the university, helping startup companies and applying for patents to protect intellectual property and technology.

CWRU is responsible for launching many startup companies. These companies specialize in a variety of fields, from the materials company Aeroclay that produces an innovative type of foam to therapeutics producer Haima Therapeutics, which researches and produces mechanisms that mimic natural biological functions to fight bleeding.

There are also a variety of resources the grant makes available to inventors, for example  CWRUcible, a collection of resources for mobile app development, and CWRU Technology Ventures, a venture capital fund.

CWRU has received this grant for the past three years, showing the potential of its innovators in schools and laboratories.