Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program Awards $4.1 Million to 15 Maryland Industry/Academic Teams to Develop Technology Products

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Pictured, left to right, from A&G Pharmaceutical: Jun Hayashi, co-founder and VP of research & development; Ginette Serrero, co-founder and CEO, and Michael Keefe, chief operating officer. A&G is conducting a prospective clinical study to examine the potential of the company's GP88 biomarker as a blood test for early breast cancer screening through its MIPS grant.

The Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program, an initiative of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) in the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, has approved 15 research projects worth $4.1 million to teams combining Maryland companies with state university researchers to bring technology products closer to market, program officials announce today.

A technology acceleration program, MIPS grants money—matched with company funds—to faculty engaged in each project.

For this round of funding, companies are contributing $2.8 million and MIPS $1.3 million to the jointly funded projects. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency provided additional funding.

This round of funding partners faculty with 11 startups, one medium-sized and three small companies. Four projects, the most ever for a single MIPS round, include companies from the Maryland Eastern Shore. Three involve oyster-farming technologies, eight are green technologies, and four could result in a cleaner Chesapeake Bay.

"MIPS is a great value for the State of Maryland and serves as a national model of how to leverage the intellectual power of our universities to drive innovation and the economy," said MIPS Director Joseph Naft. "The program attracts Maryland’s entrepreneurs, enabling them to multiply their R&D efforts by engaging world-class faculty and graduate students to do real-world research. Take a step back and look at the $28.1 billion in revenue generated by MIPS-supported products, add in tax revenue, and you have a return on investment of 30 to 1. More than 5,000 current jobs have resulted from MIPS projects, many of them from big-impact companies such as MedImmune, Hughes Network Systems, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. MIPS is an example of how companies, academe and government can all work together to propel our state forward."

 Winning projects, segmented by institution, include:

Frostburg State University

  • ($625,000) George Rinard, professor, department of computer science and information technologies, teams with Hagerstown-based vCalc LLC to develop the company's free on-line mathematics system, which provides a large and growing library of equations and data items that are used daily in academia, industry and society.

St. Mary's College of Maryland

  • ($114,094) Robert Paul, professor, department of biology, partners with Tall Timbers-based Shore Thing Shellfish to develop "in situ" or "on site" methods for seeding oysters without using land-based tanks.

Salisbury University

  • ($153,575) Samuel Geleta, associate professor, department of biological sciences, works with Rock Hall-based GreatGrow Maryland LLC to test the company's soil amendment, which could dramatically increase crop yields and reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, and chemical pollution in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

University of Maryland, Baltimore

  • ($203,161) Katherine Tkaczuk, professor of medicine, works with Columbia-based A&G Pharmaceutical Inc. to conduct a prospective clinical study to examine the potential of the company's GP88 biomarker as a blood test for early breast cancer screening.
  • ($158,000) Jill Whitall, professor, department of physical therapy and rehabilitation science, teams with Baltimore-based Rehabtics LLC to develop a software system for physical rehabilitation using customized, motion-controlled rehabilitation video games.

 University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

  • ($256,274) Donald Meritt, principal agent, Horn Point Laboratory, partners with Crisfield-based Metompkin Seafood Inc. to develop an automated spat-on-shell oyster production system.

University of Maryland, College Park

  • ($166,428) Allen Davis, professor, department of civil and environmental engineering, teams with Church Hill-based High Impact Environmental Inc. to provide research and development support for the company's Agricultural Stormwater Cascade System to manage and reduce runoff from agricultural field systems.
  • ($151,001) Jonathan Dinman, professor, department of cell biology and molecular genetics, partners with Towson-based Birich Technologies LLC to develop gene-silencing technology as both a research tool and potential cancer therapeutic.
  • ($1,109,320) Jungho Kim, professor, department of mechanical engineering, works with Germantown-based Earth Networks to extend the company's WeatherBug® Home residential energy efficiency product, which integrates key weather variables into home energy management and demand response programs.
  • ($162,736) Stephanie Lansing, assistant professor, department of environmental science and technology, partners with Halethorpe-based Fiberight LLC to develop a technology platform for the conversion of non-recycled, organic municipal solid waste (MSW) streams into advanced biofuels, including digester biogas.
  • ($157,330) Isaak Mayergoyz, professor, department of electrical and computer engineering, works with College Park-based CoolCAD Electronics LLC to build a novel, compact and highly efficient Silicon Carbide (SiC)-based on-board charger for the next generation of plug-in electric vehicles.
  • ($241,980) Reinhard Radermacher, professor, department of mechanical engineering, works with Annapolis-based XChanger Companies Inc. to evaluate the energy-saving potential and thermal comfort of the company's air delivery unit, which initial studies have shown yield potential HVAC operating savings of between 18-31 percent.
  • ($133,651) Srinivasa Raghavan, professor, department of chemical and biomolecular engineering, partners with College Park-based Remedium Technologies Inc. to develop a hemostatic putty for treating battlefield wounds.
  • ($134,864) Charles Schwartz, professor, department of civil and environmental engineering works with Waldorf-based Pothole Pros LLC to integrate quality assurance into the company's infrared pavement repair technology.
  • ($334,500) Yang Tao, professor, Fischell Department of Bioengineering, teams with Fishing Creek-based Hoopers Island Oyster Aquaculture Co. to develop oyster sorting and grading technologies to support and expand the oyster industry in Maryland.

Projects are subject to final contract negotiations.

This is the 53rd round of MIPS grants. The program has supported research projects with more than 500 different Maryland companies since 1987.

Commercial products benefiting from MIPS have generated more than $28.1 billion in revenue, added more than 5,000 jobs to the region, and contributed to successful products such as Martek Biosciences’ nutritional oils, Hughes Communications’ HughesNet™, MedImmune’s Synagis®, and Black & Decker’s Bullet® Speed Tip Masonry Drill Bit, WellDoc's mobile diabetes management platform, and CSA Medical's diseased-tissue ablation platform.

For information about the historical economic impact of the MIPS program, an independent study titled "An Analysis of the Impacts of MIPS Program Spending and the Commercialization of MIPS Funded Projects on the State of Maryland," by Richard Clinch, from the Jacob France Institute at the University of Baltimore, is available online.

For select project photos, visit:

Published February 25, 2014