Ohio colleges receive research funding

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COLUMBUS — The Ohio Third Frontier Commission has recommended nearly $24 million in funding through the Wright Projects Program in support of near-term commercialization projects requiring major capital acquisitions and improvements at Ohio colleges and universities and nonprofit research institutions.

The awards are contingent upon State Controlling Board approval.

About the program

The Ohio Third Frontier Wright Projects Program builds strong research capabilities within Ohio’s colleges and universities in support of the commercialization needs of industry in Ohio, and provides capital for long-term capacity building in commercial, research, and education, areas at Ohio colleges and universities and nonprofit research institutions.

The Ohio State University was awarded $3 million in support of a project to improve the value proposition of hybrid-electric vehicle technology by developing improved power conversion systems.

Electric vehicles

The project will accelerate the electric vehicle industry in Ohio by facilitating the commercialization and development of power conversion products that will enable the electrification of commercial vehicles and their operation as plug-in hybrids.

Stark State College of Technology, located in North Canton (Stark County) was awarded $2.8 million for the expansion of Stark State’s fuel cell test capabilities in support of Rolls-Royce’s one megawatt solid oxide fuel cell development program for stationary power generation.

The Ohio Third Frontier investment is in support of the development of a fuel cell smart grid. The project will further strengthen fuel cell curriculum at Stark State and create employment opportunities for Stark State students.

University of Dayton, located in Dayton (Montgomery County), was awarded $3 million to establish the Center for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Exploitation.

The project advances unmanned aerial vehicle technology by supporting the targeted development and commercialization of integrated communications, controls, power, and sensors for applications for multiple national security and response applications.

Helping healthcare

The Ohio State University was awarded $3 million to advance radionuclide-based imaging for healthcare and research.

Single photon emission computed tomography imaging increases patient access to advanced medical imaging. The technology is an important healthcare asset that assesses cardiovascular, oncologic. and other diseases in patients and is a key enabling technology for personalized healthcare.

Case Western Reserve University was awarded $3 million to provide a platform for the development of wind power supply chain products.

The project will establish a wind energy research center to integrate new wind turbine facilities at Case Western with research and development and industrial expertise for the commercialization of products and systems for the wind industry.

Heart treatment

The Cleveland Clinic Foundation was awarded $3 million to develop and commercialize products made from nitinol, a nickel titanium alloy with extraordinary shape memory and super-elastic properties.

The project supports smart materials for heart treatment, and will commercialize such medical devices as an adjustable tube for heart assist devices, adaptive pedicle screws for spine repair, a suture clip to replace time-consuming hand stitches, and an ankle foot orthosis to help drop-foot patients regain their ability to walk.

The Ohio State University was awarded $3 million for essential research and commercialization activities focusing on bio-based reinforcement materials in plastic composites.

The project’s natural fiber-based fillers and reinforcements will provide for stronger, lighter, and less expensive products in the building and construction, industrial, and consumer markets.

The University of Cincinnati was awarded $3 million to develop and commercialize laser shock peening (LSP) technology for biomedical components in the shorter-term and a broader range of industries in the longer-term.

The LSP surface treatment process leads to improvements in fatigue strength, life, and resistance to cracks in different materials.

A key component to this project, titanium alloy rods are being treated with the LSP process for stronger, longer-lasting spinal implant devices.

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