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Washington Technology Center Clients

3TIER
Seattle

http://www.3tiergroup.com/

3TIER in the WTC news forum
RTD Award: Phase I

Research Partner: Andrew Wood, Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington

Project Phase Began: 2006

Hydropower is a multi-billion dollar worldwide industry. In Washington, 76 percent of the state's electricity is generated through hydropower. 3TIER, a Seattle-based technology company, provides forecasting and assessment products and services for weather-driven renewable energy resources (wind, hydro and solar power). Stream flow forecasting is dependent on accurate, real-time estimates of the amount of water stored in the watershed as soil moisture or snow pack. Observations of the snowpack are increasingly available; however, proven methods for assimilating this information (particularly observations from new sensors) into existing hydropower assessment systems are lacking. 3TIER is working with Dr. Andrew Wood and researchers in the UW's Civil and Environmental Engineering Department to develop accurate stream flow forecast techniques that allow more seamless integration of short record data products into assessment and prediction systems. 3TIER plans to test these techniques on two river basins in Washington: Skagit and Pend Oreille. 3TIER and UW have a strong track record in developing this type of technology, receiving a grant from WTC in 2003 to develop similar forecasting advancements for wind energy.
Researcher: Dr. Tilmann Gneiting, UW Dept. of Statistics

Project Phase Began: 2003

3TIER is a technology company that uses advanced weather and environmental forecasting techniques and computer-based modeling strategies for forecasting renewable energies. The company is researching more accurate methods of short-term forecasting for wind energy, the world's fastest-growing energy generation source. In conjunction with Dr. Gneiting, 3TIER is developing an algorithm for short-term wind forecasting using multivariate time series and geostatistical space-time techniques.

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Advanced Marine Technology

Seattle

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Allez PhysiOnix
Seattle

Researchers: Dr. Michel Kliot and Dr. Pierre Mourad, UW Dept. of Neurological Surgery (2002, 2005)

Allez PhysiOnix, in collaboration with Dr. Pierre D. Mourad, Research Associate Professor of the Department of Neurological Surgery and Principal Physicist of the Applied Physics Lab, both at the University of Washington, have developed a methodology to non-invasively determine intracranial pressure (ICP), a critical determinant of brain function. Head trauma is the major cause of death in persons under the age of 45, typically due to increased ICP. Intracranial pressure can also result from tumors, stroke, and other neurological disorders. More than 1 million patents may need their ICP monitored each year. Currently there is no non-invasive method for determining the levels of ICP. It can only be measured through highly invasive procedures requiring the participation of neurosurgeons. ICP monitoring is only conducted for 100,000 patients per year. This limited monitoring hinders the early diagnosis of many brain maladies, and reduces the chance of successful treatment of these maladies. A simple non-invasive method of monitoring ICP would allow early measurement both in and outside of a hospital setting, and should improve the medical outcome for many patients. In an initial project, the team developed an empirical method to determine ICP non-invasively based on transcranial Doppler (TCD) measurements of the brain and supporting physiological data. Currently the device requires the services of a skilled neuro-sonographer to manipulate the transducer. This project will help to evolve the technology to the point that it can be more easily deployed, without special skills, in a user-independent manner.

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Ark Interface II, Inc.

Seattle

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Asemblon, Inc.

Seattle

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BlueView Technologies

Seattle

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Carbon Nanoprobes
Malvern, Pa. (formerly Seattle)

http://cnprobes.com

Carbon Nanoprobes in the WTC news forum

RTD Award: Phase I

Research Partner: William R. Schief Jr, Ph.D., Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington

Project Began: 2007

Carbon Nanoprobes, a startup company developing high-resolution probes for atomic force microscopy, has teamed with University of Washington's William Schief, Senior Fellow in the Department of Biochemistry, to develop a scanning probe tip useful in drug discovery. The project team will evaluate the feasibility of reliably producing small-diameter single-walled nanotube probes for the atomic force microscope. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a versatile tool used to create 3D molecular images and to pinpoint electrostatic, magnetic, and physical moduli on a surface. While AFM has been a popular choice among physical scientists, it has not reached the same level of usage among the life sciences community, due particularly to the current lack of resolution. The resolution of AFM, which is achieved by dragging a sharp stylus over a surface, is limited by the diameter of the stylus probe tip. The use of carbon nanotubes as probe tips should allow for single digit angstrom resolution, a 10x or greater increase in resolution over current commercial capabilities. Using HIV vaccine design as a case study, the UW research team will demonstrate that carbon nanotube probe tips will be useful in biological applications - positioning AFM as an emerging tool in modern drug discovery.

"I am thrilled to see the state of Washington positioning itself as a leader in the new economy. By helping companies such as Carbon Nanoprobes to succeed, we have the potential not only to make dramatic advances in health care, but also to provide jobs for the next generation."

State Rep. Jamie Pedersen (D-Seattle)

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CellVitro Technologies, Inc.
Seattle

Researcher: Dr. Albert Folch, University of Washington, Bioengineering Department

Year project began: 2004

The team is working to create a unique nanoscale "lab-on-a-chip" device to assist with drug discovery process. Cystic fibrosis, epilepsy, migraine, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other debilitating conditions have been linked to malfunctioning ion channels - specialized proteins present in human cells that regulate the flow of ions including sodium, potassium, calcium and chloride in and out of the cell. Currently, screening new drug candidates for ion-channel-targeting properties is challenging. Development of a high-throughput screening technology with better data quality is needed to accelerate drug discovery processes. The proposed CellChip screening system combines automated, parallel analysis of drug compounds on living cells with high-throughput screening capabilities at earlier stages of drug discovery. This advanced screening technology will allow pharmaceutical companies to develop safer, more effective drugs and potentially shorten their to-market delivery cycle.

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Hyperion Innovations, Inc.

Seattle

Researchers: Wei Li and Ashley F. Emery, UW Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

Year project began: 2001

Every year, 20 million soldering irons are sold in the United States; most of these plug into an AC electrical outlet. Conventional soldering tools pass electricity through a heating element to generate heat that is conducted to the tip. This process is slow and inefficient, since only 2 percent of the generated heat is actually delivered to the solder.

Hyperion Innovations, a start-up company developing cordless heating tools and appliances, is designing a pocket-size soldering iron that promises to overcome these limitations with its proprietary Cold Heat technology. Hyperion's soldering iron omits the heating element and uses the solder itself to complete the electrical circuit, making the soldering iron compact and more efficient.

In traditional soldering irons, power output is controlled by the properties of the heating element and the iron. In Hyperion's iron, because electrical resistance changes as the tip gets hotter and the solder melts, power output is controlled by how easily electricity flows through the tip and the solder. As a result, heating is tailored to each job.

Working with Professors Wei Li and Ashley F. Emery of the University of Washington's Department of Mechanical Engineering, Hyperion is investigating the heating mechanism of its soldering iron and optimizing the size and shape of the tips in order to extend battery life. Hyperion is also testing a circuit that will regulate the power output of the soldering iron and make accurate output ratings possible.

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Insilicos

Seattle

http://www.insilicos.com

Insilicos in the WTC news forum

RTD Award: Phase II

Project Title: "Novel Diagnostic Test for Heart Disease (Phase II)"

Research Partner: Research Assistant Professor Tomas Vaisar, Department of Medicine, University of Washington

Project Began: 2008

Insilicos, a Seattle-based developer of life science software, is working with Dr. Tomas Vaisar, Research Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington, to develop a novel diagnostic test for heart disease. UW received $100,000 in Phase II Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center for the project.

An accurate way to predict cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk is urgently needed. CVD is the leading cause of death in the United States. However, current tests for heart disease identify only one third of individuals at risk and thus myocardial infarction or sudden death are often the first indicators of the disease.

Insilicos has used mass spectrometry in conjunction with their proprietary pattern recognition software to analyze high density lipoprotein (HDL) and distinguish healthy subjects and subjects with CVD with high sensitivity and specificity.

In this Phase II project, Insilicos and Dr. Vaisar will extend their observations to large cohorts of subjects. The overall aim of these studies is to provide definitive evidence that analysis of HDL using mass spectrometry and pattern recognition analysis can identify subjects at risk for CVD. If successful, this discovery could lead to the development of a cost-effective, better-predictive diagnostic test for heart disease.

RTD Award: Phase I

Research Partner: Tomas Vaisar, Ph.D., University of Washington, School of Medicine

Project Began: 2006

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the United States. Nearly one-quarter of all Americans has some form of CVD and six million patients are admitted to the hospital for treatment annually. High cholesterol is one of the well-known risk factors. Current diagnostic tests measure the ratio of different forms of cholesterol to determine individuals at risk for heart disease. However, these tests incorrectly diagnose about 70% of people at risk for the disease. Insilicos has developed software to more accurately analyze data obtained from analysis of plasma. The company is partnering with Dr. Vaisar at the University of Washington to develop a faster, more affordable diagnostic test using the company's software. Through this grant, the new tool will be tested in the clinical setting. Insilicos is also exploring the application of this novel diagnostic tool for use by physicians to diagnose and treat other medical issues, including diabetes.

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Intelligent Ion, Inc.

Seattle

http://www.intelligention.com/

Researcher: Dr. R. Bruce Darling, UW Dept. of Electrical Engineering

Year project began: 2003

Intelligent Ion, Inc. develops products that improve the speed and usability of biological and chemical information. The company is building a new miniature mass spectrometer that will be 75 percent smaller (to fit on a large PC card) and significantly less expensive than existing systems. Under the direction of Professor Darling at the University of Washington, this project will research, design, and build the spectrometer's precise, ultra-small focusing system (electronic and physical optics). This new small, low-priced portable instrument will be usable across a broad range of applications that require immediate, accurate compositional analyses--including national security, law enforcement, and environmental monitoring.

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Isotron Corp.

Redmond

http://www.isotron.net/

Researcher: Dr. Buddy Ratner, UW Engineered Biomaterials Center

Year project began: 2002

This team is developing a technology to provide semi-permeable reactive fabric coatings that can protect field troops, industrial workers, and healthcare workers in case of exposure to hazardous biological agents. This technology can also be applied to decontaminate drinking water systems. These industrial coatings are based on nanoparticle technology. Specifically, the company is working with Dr. Ratner to develop a new nanoparticle species that is capable of capturing and holding oxidant reactive species in a bioavailable state.

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LizardTech

Seattle

http://www.lizardtech.com

Researcher: Eve Riskin, UW Dept. of Electrical Engineering
Year project began: 2000

LizardTech is a developer of image-compression software that gives users the ability to reduce the file size of large images by as much as 40-to-1, with no loss of resolution. This compression utility, called MrSID, allows image managers the flexibility to store and distribute images through a variety of channels, including local computer networks or over the Internet. Current markets for the product are geospatial imagery, such as maps and aerial photography, publishing, and health care imagery.

WTC is funding an FTI project between LizardTech and Eve Riskin, UW Electrical Engineering Dept., to conduct research that would enable the software to transmit digital images over wireless networks. With this added functionality, users could view images on wireless hand-held devices such as Palm Pilots, cell phones, and other wireless communications products. Currently, because the rates of wireless data transmission are so much slower than wired links, graphics can't be transmitted to wireless devices.

"The forward error correction technique we apply aims to maximize the expected signal-to-noise ratio of the image under a model of packet loss on the communication channel," says Eve Riskin. "The goal is that the first few passes of the image are received quickly, even in the event of extreme data loss. This will enable a useful image to be reconstructed right away and will prevent stalling."

This project is part of LizardTech's overall plan to enter the e-commerce and consumer markets. LizardTech, a 70-person company, estimates that 20 new jobs will be created as a result of the project.

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Mimic Technologies

Seattle

http://www.mimic.ws/

Researcher: George M. Turkiyyah, UW Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Year project began: 2002

Mimic Technologies is developing computer simulation hardware and software that will allow medical personnel to practice their surgical skills before trying them on people. This new technology provides feedback on internal stress and strain as simulated tissue is manipulated, which allows surgical tasks to be performed and evaluated in real time. Mimic has teamed with George Turkiyyah of the UW and the UW Human Interface Technology (HIT) Laboratory to develop a realistic, real-time suturing simulator. A central feature of this technology is its ability to allow the doctor-in-training to feel the procedure and see surgical tools interacting with simulated tissue via a new breed of human-computer interaction hardware that brings the sense of touch to the desktop experience. Dr. Turkiyyah is an expert in finite element modeling, scientific computing, and geometric modeling.

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Modumetal
Seattle

http://www.modumetal.com

About Modumetal, Inc.
Modumetal was co-founded in 2006 in Seattle, WA to realize the commercial potential of a unique class of advanced materials. Modumetal is creating revolutionary nanolaminated and functionally-graded materials that will change design and manufacturing forever by dramatically improving the structural, corrosion and high temperature performance of coatings, bulk materials and parts. Modumetal represents a whole new way of producing parts and is leveraging nanotechnology to achieve this unprecedented performance. Modumetal is made by a "green" electrochemical manufacturing approach, which reduces the carbon footprint of conventional metals manufacturing at the same time that it redefines materials performance.

Entrepreneur's Access award

Project Title: "Functionally-Graded Preceramic Polymer Coating for Corrosion Resistant Commercial Sulfuric Acid Pipelines"

Research Partner: Professor Rajendra Bordia, Ph.D., Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Washington

Award Began: 2009

Modumetal, Inc., a Seattle-based developer of nanostructured materials, is collaborating with the University of Washington's Department of Materials Science and Engineering on a project titled "Functionally-Graded Preceramic Polymer Coating for Corrosion Resistant Commercial Sulfuric Acid Pipelines."

"We are excited about this opportunity to partner with the exceptional researchers at the University of Washington to create this cutting-edge material for new commercial anti-corrosion application," says Leslie Warren, Modumetal's Project Manager and senior engineer in this effort. Christina Lomasney, the company's CEO confirms that "with support from partners like the WTC and University of Washington, Modumetal is poised to create a new technology that will have broad industrial application and will result in new jobs and economic growth in our region."

Sulfuric acid is a highly corrosive substance used extensively in industrial processes. Typical anti-corrosion coatings have a weakness -- if breached, they leave the metal surface underneath the coating vulnerable to acid attack. Modumetal has a unique production method that eliminates this surface weakness by allowing anti-corrosion materials to be functionally combined with metal.

With this project, the team of Modumetal and UW Professor Rajendra Bordia, Ph.D., plans to modify a preceramic polymer system developed at the University to merge with a functionally graded materials system developed by Modumetal for corrosion protection of commercial sulfuric acid production pipelines for ConocoPhillips.

"This project combines the research that has been done at the University of Washington and at Modumetal to develop a novel solution for a significant problem in the area of corrosion," said Dr. Bordia. "The short term EA funding from WTC gives us a chance to initiate this joint development and prepares us for long term collaboration with Modumetal. The need for corrosion resistant coatings is widespread and the proposed solution that we will be exploring with Modumetal has the potential to impact a broad range of industries."

Modumetal expects that successful application of this technology will lead to many opportunities in the $300 million corrosion-prevention market.

The $5,000 award for this project comes from an Entrepreneur's Access grant from Washington Technology Center (WTC). WTC competitively awards around $1 million in state funding annually for research and technology development projects. State funding enables collaboration between companies and non-profit research institutions on technology projects that show strong potential for commercializing products and creating jobs. Since 1996, the state has funded 330 research and technology development projects.

"This grant is a great example of state government at its best," said Washington State Representative Jamie Pedersen (D-Seattle). "The seed money from WTC, combined with world-class research facilities at the University of Washington and the innovative entrepreneurs at Modumetal, will create jobs and help the state maintain its lead in technology."


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Numinous Technologies

Seattle

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Omeros Corporation

Seattle

http://www.omeros.com

Omeros in the WTC news forum

RTD Award: Phase II

Project Title: "Polymeric Micelles for Noninvasive Molecular Imaging of Cancer and Delivery of Therapeutic Anticancer Agents"

Research Partners: Assistant Professor Suzie H. Pun, Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington; Associate Professor Xingde Li, Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington.

Phase Began: 2009

Omeros Corporation, a Seattle-based biopharmaceutical company, is working with the University of Washington's Department of Bioengineering to develop a new drug delivery platform for applications in medical imaging and cancer therapy.

UW will receive $99,274 in Phase II research and technology development funding from Washington Technology Center and $34,746 from Omeros Corporation for the project titled "Polymeric Micelles for Noninvasive Molecular Imaging of Cancer and Delivery of Therapeutic Anticancer Agents."

The pharmaceutical industry is facing several difficulties in bringing new drugs to market. These include escalating R&D; costs, increasing regulatory commitments and increasing consumer demand for better, more convenient and lower-cost medicines. To overcome these difficulties, the industry is launching older molecules in new delivery platforms. Polymeric micelles have gained attention recently as a versatile nanotechnology platform that can significantly improve drug efficacy.

Omeros and UW researchers Drs. Suzie Pun and Xingde Li will continue a working collaboration in this Phase II project. The team plans to expand on the in vivo imaging studies of the polymeric micelles. In addition the team plans to formulate and evaluate polymeric micelles containing anticancer therapeutics. The ultimate results of their work could provide many benefits to patients including convenience, safety, lower cost, and improved targeting to specific sites such as tumors.

RTD Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Near-infrared Fluorescent Polymeric Micelles for Noninvasive Molecular Imaging of Cancer"

Research Partners: Assistant Professor Suzie H. Pun, Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington; Associate Professor Xingde Li, Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington.

Phase Began: 2008

Omeros Corporation, a Seattle-based biopharmaceutical company, is working with Drs. Suzie Pun and Xingde Li, researchers in the University of Washington's Department of Bioengineering, to develop a new drug delivery platform for applications in cancer imaging.

The UW received $100,000 in Phase I Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center for the project titled "Near-infrared Fluorescent Polymeric Micelles for Noninvasive Molecular Imaging of Cancer."

The pharmaceutical industry is facing several difficulties in bringing new drugs to market. These include escalating R&D; costs, increasing regulatory commitments and increasing consumer demand for better, more convenient and lower-cost medicines. To overcome these difficulties, the industry is launching older molecules in new delivery platforms. Polymeric micelles have gained attention recently as a versatile nanotechnology platform that can significantly improve drug efficacy.

In this Phase I project, Omeros and Drs. Pun and Li will develop Omeros' micellar delivery vehicle, believed to offer enhanced stability, for applications in cancer imaging using the UW's imaging technology and, potentially, in cancer therapy. The results of their work could provide many benefits to patients including convenience, safety, lower cost, and improved targeting to specific sites such as tumors.

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Rhizogenics

Seattle

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Stratos

Seattle

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Survival, Inc.

Seattle

http://www.survivalinc.com/

Researcher: Dr. Brian Flinn, University of Washington Dept. of Materials Science & Engineering

Year project began: 2003

Survival provides chemical defense and ballistic protection technologies to military and homeland defense personnel. While current fiber or composite-wrapped ceramic plates offer limited multi-hit protection, they are too heavy to be used for full-body protection. The company is researching lightweight, multi-hit protective systems that do not impair mobility, cause distracting discomfort, or induce fatigue. Survival has teamed with Dr. Brian Flinn to develop a concept for a multi-material, multilayer solution that will leverage new uses for existing materials, new textile technology, and manufacturing processes to put a superior, affordable armor on the market.

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Theo Chocolate, Inc.

Seattle

http://www.theochocolate.com

Theo Chocolate in the WTC news forum
RTD Award: Phase I

Project Title: "'Magic Bean' - A point detection analysis system for predicting the quality of Cocoa beans in finished product"

Research Partner: Professor Robert Synovec, Department of Chemistry, University of Washington

Phase Began: 2009

Theo Chocolate, Inc., a Seattle-based manufacturer of artisan chocolates and confections, is collaborating with the University of Washington's Department of Chemistry to develop food-safety and quality-analysis technology. UW will receive $30,000 in Phase I research and technology development funding from Washington Technology Center and $6,000 from Theo Chocolate for the project.

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Zymogenetics, Inc.

Seattle

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