October 18-20 | Tucson, AZ

The Research Institution GAP Fund and Accelerator Program Summit

Ohio State University faculty innovators earn Accelerator Awards funding for novel technology commercialization

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October 18-20, 2023 / Tucson, AZ
The annual summit for research institution gap fund and accelerator programs, including proof of concept programs, startup accelerators, and university venture funds

The Story

College of Engineering faculty L. Raymond Cao and Jordan D. Clark are among the five innovative minds selected to receive funding via The Ohio State University Accelerator Awards.

The Accelerator Awards program is designed to advance the translation of technologies developed at Ohio State into the marketplace. The program provides grants of up to $150,000 per project to support external validation that will demonstrate the commercial viability of a technology. The goal of the program is to license the technology to an Ohio-based startup company and support economic development in the region. Administered through the Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship, the program is funded by the university with matching funds from the Ohio Third Frontier Technology Validation and Startup Fund.

“The latest round of the Accelerator Award cycle showcased a remarkable collection of cutting-edge technologies. We are delighted to provide essential funding at this crucial early stage to our PIs enabling them to conduct proof-of-concept studies and develop prototypes that swiftly validate the efficacy of their technologies,” said Cheryl Turnbull, senior director of the Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship. “By investing in such groundwork before entering into license agreements, our aim is to enhance the value and scale of startup ventures emerging from Ohio State.”

L. Raymond Cao (headshot)

Since the program launch in 2015, Accelerator Awards have distributed over $5 million dollars to 69 unique projects. These projects have led to more than 20 startup companies.

L. Raymond Cao | Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
MEGA detector for ultra-sensitive tritium gas detection

Tritium, an isotope of hydrogen found in nature, is already widely used in medical and geological research as a tracer for life cycle studies. The emergence of fusion research and the anticipated clean energy from fusion power will further increase the demand for tritium usage. Industries such as medical, defense, energy, and environmental protection are facing a significant challenge in detecting tritium with ultra-high sensitivity. This project seeks to employ an innovative approach to create tritium detectors that are lighter, smaller, and more cost-effective. The Accelerator Award funds will enable us to develop a prototype for commercialization of a high-sensitivity tritium detector to cater to the unique demands of the aforementioned industries.

Jordan D. Clark (headshot)

Jordan D. Clark | Assistant Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering, and Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Solar air conditioning with metal-organic frameworks

Air conditioning uses about 5% of primary energy in the United States and is responsible for 40% of peak demand on electrical grids and unsustainable growth in demand for energy in the developing world. Working with Casey Wade from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Clark will leverage recent advances in materials science to create an air conditioning cycle that is thermally-driven and eliminates both the need for a compressor and around 80% of the electricity needed for air conditioning. This is accomplished through the unique adsorption behavior of metal-organic frameworks sorbents. Accelerator funds will enable construction of a prototype that will be deployed in a real environment with commercial partners.

Full story: Faculty innovators earn funding for novel technology commercialization | COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING

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