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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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Aculight
Bothell

http://www.aculight.com

Researcher: Ann Mescher, UW Mechanical Engineering Dept.

Year project began: 2000

Aculight designs, develops, and manufactures solid-state lasers for new applications in industries as diverse as medicine, semiconductor processing, and telecommunications. As solid-state lasers get smaller and power output increases, cooling the laser becomes a significant challenge. In collaboration with Ann Mescher of the UW Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aculight is investigating MEMS processes at WTC's Microfab Lab to achieve a novel thermal management system that efficiently removes high heat flux from the laser's package. Aculight, one of the top 100 fastest-growing private companies in Washington, forecasts overall sales in excess of $20 million by 2004.

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Advanced Electroluminescent Sciences, LLC
Woodinville

Research Partner: Alex K.Y. Jen, University of Washington, Materials Sciences and Engineering

Project Description

The Dept of Energy (DOE) estimates that over $50 billion in electricity costs is wasted annually in the U.S. due to the low efficiency of lighting sources. Incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs are inefficient producers of light. They have also reached their physical potential threshold with respect to improvement. The solution lies in new methods of converting electricity to visible light. White light emitting diodes (LEDs) are promising alternatives. However, for white LEDs to become widely accepted in the market, they must be cost effective and realize power efficiency and lifetime requirements for general lighting applications. Currently, LEDs do achieve greater performance as measured in lumens per Watt (lm/W) than incandescent bulbs (15 lm/W and 600 hours), and are approaching the performance of fluorescent bulbs at 80 lm/W and 10,000 hours. LEDs have the capability of delivering over 180 lm/W for 10,000 hours and more. However, key obstacles remain for the broad adoption of white LEDs for general lighting. This is primarily due to a need for high performance materials to convert the electrical power efficiently to the right spectrum of light, ensure stable performance over time, and enable low-cost manufacturing. Advanced Electroluminescent Sciences (AES), a University of Washington spin-out company, is partnering with researchers in the UW's materials sciences department to develop and prototype a new class of white LEDs based on polymers rather than inorganic molecules. Polymer-based organic LEDs (OLEDs) will better meet the performance and cost requirements than inorganic LEDs, and will approach a greater standard of color accuracy, durability, energy efficiency, and cost-effectiveness than current lighting on the market. OLED devices are being introduced to the market as displays for consumer electronic devices such as digital cameras. OLED displays offer many advantages, but have not been suitable for use in general lighting. AES' efforts focus on developing OLED devices which emit much more light, so that they can serve to replace fluorescent bulbs.

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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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Applied Precision, Inc.
Issaquah (Company was located in Mercer Island for a previous WTC affiliation)

http://www.appliedprecision.com/

RTD Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Development of a fixed imaging platform and microfluidic devices for live-cell imaging"

Research Partner: Research Associate Professor Charles W. Frevert, DVM, ScD, School of Medicine, University of Washington

Phase Began: 2009

Applied Precision, Inc., an Issaquah-based manufacturer of biomedical imaging systems, is collaborating with the University of Washington's School of Medicine to commercialize a microfluidic imaging technology for biomedical applications.

UW will receive $95,215 in Phase I research and technology development funding from Washington Technology Center and $22,500 from Applied Precision for the project titled "Development of a fixed imaging platform and microfluidic devices for live-cell imaging."

Microfluidics technology has considerable potential for cell biology, but it has not yet been widely used outside of academic laboratories specializing in microfluidics.

With this project, the collaborative team of Applied Precision and UW Research Associate Professor Charles W. Frevert, DVM, ScD, plans to develop a live-cell imaging microscope that seamlessly integrates with application-specific microfluidic devices to make microfluidics readily available to scientists in the commercial life sciences industries.

"The WTC R&D; grant enables us to combine the system design and manufacturing expertise of API with world class research at the University of Washington. By joining forces we will be able to deliver on the promise of microfluidic systems. These systems will enable research into new drugs, disease mechanisms, and stem cell biology. This knowledge will benefit the citizens of Washington state with new tools for the treatment and cure of diseases while bringing new high technology jobs into the region."

Paul Goodwin, lead scientist for the project at Applied Precision.

"Applied Precision is enthusiastic for this opportunity to work with key scientists at the University of Washington to bring the promise of microfluidics towards commercial viability."

Joseph Victor, president at Applied Precision.

"The WTC R&D; grant is important to us because it will enable new technology and strengthen a number of collaborations within the University of Washington. With this project, my laboratory and those of doctors Albert Folch and Charles Murry will be able to work together to solve important biological questions about cells of the immune system and how they fight off lung infections and also about the potential for adult and embryonic stem cells to regenerate cardiac muscle. The knowledge gained with these new tools will better our understanding of a number of important human diseases. This grant also strengthens our partnership with Applied Precision as we work together to commercialize a live-cell imaging microscope that seamlessly integrates with application specific microfluidic devices. Commercialization of this integrated turn-key imaging system will move microfluidics out of academic laboratories specializing in microfluidics and make this promising technology readily available to scientists in academic, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology research laboratories."

Charles W. Frevert, DVM, ScD, School of Medicine, University of Washington

"Applied Precision has a cutting-edge imaging technology that promises to unlock new doors in cellular biology, one of today's hottest areas of medical innovation because of the great potential for preventing and curing disease. Let's face it, the demand for health care discoveries will continue to be huge worldwide."

State Sen. Cheryl Pflug (R-Maple Valley)

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ARI Technologies, Inc.
Kent

http://www.aritechnologies.com/

Researcher: Robert Holtz, UW Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Year project began: 2000

Founded in 1990, ARI Technologies has developed thermochemical treatment technology that converts hazardous wastes to a nonhazardous and benign end product. This project will evaluate the engineering properties, environmental characteristics and stability of this end product to assess its suitability for landfill and other commercial civil engineering applications.

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Artemisia BioMedical, Inc.
Newcastle

http://www.artbiomedical.com/

RTD Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Preclinical Development of Artemisinin Trioxane Dimer-Peptide Conjugates as Targeted Cancer Therapeutics"

Research Partner: Tomikazu Sasaki, Ph.D., Department of Chemistry, University of Washington

Project Began: 2007

Artemisia BioMedical, a privately-held biotechnology company based in Newcastle, Washington, has teamed with University of Washington researchers Tomikazu Sasaki, Narendra Singh and Henry Lai to develop improved therapeutic treatment options for cancer and other serious diseases. The company-researcher team received $100,000 in Research and Technology Development funding from Washington State to further develop their project titled "Preclinical Development of Artemisinin Trioxane Dimer-Peptide Conjugates as Targeted Cancer Therapeutics". Cancer is a leading cause of death around the world. Although important progress is being made in all areas of clinical cancer treatments with extending survival rates, there remain limitations on current chemotherapeutic agents. Many cancer chemotherapies indiscriminately kill cancer cells and normal cells due to poor cellular selectivity. Artemisinin, a compound isolated from sweet wormwood, is an established and potent antimalarial agent, which has been found to selectively kill cancer cells without harming normal cells. Artemisinin has also been shown to be even more effective at killing cancer cells when co-delivered with iron that serves as a catalyst to activate the artemisinin molecule to generate cytotoxic free radicals. In their research and technology development project, Artemisia BioMedical and the University of Washington research team will develop and study new synthetic therapeutic agents that deliver artemisinin and iron as one package selectively into cancer cells. The end result of their work will be the creation of more highly selective, effective and safer therapeutics for people suffering from cancer with minimal side-effects. This WTC-supported technology holds promise as a breakthrough for the treatment of many types of human cancer.

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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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CHROMiX, Inc.
Seattle

http://www.chromix.com

About CHROMiX
CHROMiX, Inc. was founded in 1998 to provide technical services and products to businesses in content-production industries. We dedicate our efforts to color management and image fidelity, and combine an excellent suite of tools, including our own popular ColorThink products, with years of industry experience. With customers, dealers and partners in over 83 countries, CHROMiX is uniquely qualified to serve the imaging industries. More information is available at www.chromix.com.

RTD Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Estimation for Color Management"

Research Partner: Maya R. Gupta, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Washington

Project Began: 2008

CHROMiX, a Seattle-based provider of color management software, is collaborating with the University of Washington Department of Electrical Engineering to improve an online color management profiling service for high-end imaging customers.

UW will receive $19,999 in Phase I Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center and $4,000 from CHROMiX for the project titled "Estimation for Color Management."

As the worldwide volume of printed material has steadily increased, customer expectations of image quality have also been rising. One major component of image quality is correct color reproduction. However, color management software is costly and often out of reach of quality-conscious consumers.

In this Phase I project, UW Assistant Professor Maya R. Gupta plans to transfer algorithmic technologies developed by her research group to CHROMiX to help the company augment their Web-based color management profiling service. The UW technologies have been shown to deliver 50 percent fewer errors over the best commercially available personal computer-based software solutions. The commercialized technology could enable CHROMiX to provide less expensive, yet more accurate, color profiling to thousands of customers worldwide.

"We are very excited to have been awarded a WTC grant, and to be working closely with the UW's exceptional Electrical Engineering Department. We have been conducting parallel research projects for quite some time, and look forward to seeing what happens when we put our heads together."

CHROMiX President Steve Upton

"This is a great opportunity to apply state-of-the-art estimation algorithms to the very practical problem of producing consistent color across devices."

UW Assistant Professor Maya Gupta

"This is great news, another illustration of Washington investing in R&D; to create new technologies, new products, new markets, and new jobs."

State Rep. Jim McIntire (D-Seattle)

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Cray, Inc.

Seattle

Researcher: Dr. Lawrence Snyder, UW Computer Science and Engineering Department

Year project began: 2004

This project will compare UW's supercomputer language ZPL to Cray's supercomputer language Chapel, with the goal of creating one parallel language that builds on the strongest assets of each program. This collaborative new language will be tested on Cray's next-generation supercomputers. Both software programs are open-source and will be used to accelerate the adoption and sale of supercomputers.

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dB Systems, Inc.

Redmond

Researcher: Jeff Bilmes, UW Dept. of Electrical Engineering

Year project began: 2001

dB Systems produces high-reliability cockpit aircraft audio-control equipment and is interested in adding voice-command capabilities to their line of avionics audio panel systems. The project will develop and test a new approach to voice recognition, to be used for controlling various avionics instruments during noisy in-flight conditions.

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DiMeMa, Inc.

Seattle

Researcher: Professor Maya Gupta, University of Washington, Electrical Engineering Department

Year project began: 2004

This project involved a software solution for optimizing compression and structuring of scanned paper documents. DiMeMa is the manufacturer of the leading software used in libraries and archives for the creation of digital collections. The company products are currently sold to over 200 libraries in 42 states and six countries. As the digital age advances, archivists are looking to a process that allows printed documents to be scanned, compressed and converted to digital images. Current software is limited with respect to maintaining the quality of newspapers, maps, engineering and architectural drawings, and other documents that don't relate well to straight binary conversion due to grayscale details. The emerging standard for image compression is JPEG 2000.Gupta's group and DiDeMa is working on technology that will enhance this existing standard with better compression and features without sacrificing standardization or interchangeability with decompression software currently on the market.

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Dot On, Inc.

Issaquah

Researcher: Suzanne Weghorst, Human Interface Technology Lab, University of Washington

Year project began: 1999

Imagine being able to move the cursor on your computer screen by turning your head or pointing your finger, instead of using a mouse. Everyday computer tasks such as word-processing and spreadsheets would become easier by not having to switch from the keyboard to the mouse. New applications would be possible once the user wasn't tethered to the computer via a mouse or joystick.

Dot On, Inc., Issaquah, has developed a new cursor-control device called the "Dot Tracker." This prototype system uses a sensor, connected to the computer, that optically tracks the position of a small dot affixed to an object, such as a wireless-pointing device, or affixed directly to the head or finger of the user. The movement of the dot directs the position of the cursor on the screen. Potential markets for "Dot Tracker" include business applications, PC games, children's programs, and applications for the disabled.

Using specialized equipment at UW's Human Interface Technology Laboratory, Suzanne Weghorst is performing an analysis of head movements exhibited by average computer users during desktop applications. The results of this Entrepreneur's Access project will determine the precise refractive optics required for the head- or eyewear-mounted version of the product.

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dTEC Systems, LLC

Seattle

http://dtecsystems.us/

RTD Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Multi-analyte Chemical Sensor Platform"

Research Partner: Samson A. Jenekhe, Ph.D., Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Washington

Project Began: 2007

Seattle-based dTEC Systems, a developer of environmental monitoring systems, has teamed with University of Washington Chemical Engineering researcher Samson A. Jenekhe to develop a novel low-cost chemical sensor technology for on-site environmental applications. The company-researcher team has received $100,000 in Research and Technology Development funding from Washington state for their project titled "Multi-analyte Chemical Sensor Platform." Many agricultural operations and wastewater treatment facilities are required to perform hundreds of chemical measurements each year - a time-consuming and expensive process involving collecting samples and sending them for analysis at specialized laboratories. Existing on-site measurement tools and kits are labor intensive. The proposed on-site sensor technology being developed by dTEC Systems will result in time and money savings for agricultural operations. The technology is based on the development of a chemoresponsive-material and micromachined-device platform that enables customizable miniature sensors for multiple analytes. The handheld chemical analyzer that will be developed as part of this project will allow customers to optimize agricultural practices and better control the environmental impact of their businesses.

"Congratulations to dTEC for its ingenuity in helping agricultural businesses save time and money with a new chemical sensing technology. These innovations will be all the stronger for having been developed in partnership with the University of Washington."

Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, (D-Seattle)

"Congratulations and thanks to these Washington firms for their creativity and leading-edge research."

Rep. Helen Sommers, (D-Seattle)

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EKOS Corporation

Bothell

http://www.ekoscorp.com

About EKOS Corporation
EKOS® Corporation pioneered the development and clinical application of microsonic technologies in medicine, introducing its first system for the treatment of vascular thrombosis in 2005. Today, interventional radiologists, cardiologists and vascular surgeons at leading institutions across the nation use EKOS MicroSonic Accelerated Thrombolysis to provide faster, safer and more complete dissolution of thrombus. In 2008, the company introduced its next generation EkoSonic Endovascular System with Rapid Pulse Modulation. The EkoSonic system is FDA cleared for controlled and selective infusion of physician-specified fluids, including thrombolytics, into the peripheral vasculature. It is currently used to treat patients with peripheral arterial occlusions (PAO) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and additional applications are being investigated. For more information visit www.EKOScorp.com.

Research & Technology Development (RTD) Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Development of an algorithm to accurately predict 'end of therapy' in ultrasound-facilitated Thrombolysis"

Research Partner: Hong Shen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering, University of Washington

Project Began: 2008

EKOS Corporation, a Bothell-based medical device company, is teamed with the University of Washington Department of Chemical Engineering to improve the company's proprietary catheter-based drug-delivery system.

UW will receive $30,000 in Phase I Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center and $6,000 from EKOS for the project titled "Development of an algorithm to accurately predict 'end of therapy' in ultrasound-facilitated Thrombolysis."

Catheter-directed thrombolysis (CDT) is a therapy for patients with vascular diseases such as deep vein thrombosis. However, current use of CDT is associated with high costs. These costs are due to technology limitations that result in doctors prescribing larger than necessary drug dosages and longer durations of therapy.

In this Phase I project, the collaborative team of EKOS and UW Assistant Professor Hong Shen plan to analyze patient data to develop an algorithm that will better predict the end of CDT therapy. Follow-on projects will involve the development and launch of the resulting software upgrade. EKOS plans to add this new technology to its current product line, potentially making CDT a more attractive and economical treatment option for doctors and patients.

"Investing in our communities and businesses through economic development really does enhance people's lives and our business climate. This research and development funding to EKOS is geared to develop ways to lower costs of essential medical treatment for those with vascular problems. To these people and their families, this work quite possibly can make a world of difference. These continued funding grants are targeted investments that help a lot of people."

State Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe (D-Bothell).

"This is great news for the research industry in the Bothell area. I'm very happy to hear about the partnership, and I hope that there are many more like it."

State Rep. Al O'Brien (D-Mountlake Terrace)

Focused Technology Initiative (FTI) Award

Research Partner: Fatih Dogan, UW Dept. of Materials Science & Engineering

Project began: 2001

Founded in 1995, EKOS is focused on developing proprietary ultrasound-based systems and devices for local drug delivery. Highly reliable piezoelectric ceramic transducers are crucial to the success of the devices developed by EKOS. This project works towards the development of such transducers by identifying the failure mechanisms of the ceramic material and developing improved material strength.
Labels: Bothell, District_1, King_County, Life_Sciences, Puget_Sound, RTD_Grant_Program, UW

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EnerG2, LLC (formerly Lygan Tech.)

Seattle

http://www.energ2.com

EnerG2 in the WTC news forum

RTD Award: Phase III

Research Partner: Guozhong Cao, Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, University of Washington

Project Phase Began: 2006

With today's rising gas prices, alternative fuel vehicles such as gas-electric hybrids and biodiesel are more in demand than ever. However, better energy storage technology is needed to bridge the gap between generation of power and consumption of power in these vehicles. Battery power has limited capacity; hydrogen power is still in its adolescence. High performance or "super" capacitors hold immediate promise as a solution. EnerG2 is a Seattle-based technology company dedicated to developing environmentally-conscious energy products. In 2004, EnerG2 partnered with Dr. Guozhong Cao, Associate Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering department at the University of Washington, to evaluate the properties and performance of the company's carbon-based material for a wide range of industrial, environmental, military and medical applications. The team received $240,000 in grant funding from WTC to conduct this research. In this third phase of R&D;, Dr. Cao and EnerG2 are working to further optimize the company's technology for super capacitors and develop a commercially-scalable manufacturing plan for introducing the product to market.

Research Partner: Dr. Guozhong Cao, Associate Professor, Department of Materials Science & Engineering, University of Washington

Founded in 2003, EnerG2 is focused on developing and applying advanced technologies in the global energy sector. The company has teamed with Dr. Guozhong Cao to develop a nanotechnology-based industrial gas storage solution. While methane, nitrogen and other specialty gases have long been used in a wide variety of industrial applications, media for their storage have not been improved for decades. EnerG2's carbon-based nanostructures offer safe, efficient storage at an affordable cost, with the goal of reducing the industry's current dependence on high pressures, low temperatures and inflexible canister form factors to store industrial gasses. Initial research conducted by EnerG2 and UW's Materials Science department demonstrated that these specially-designed carbon cryogels are effective as high-efficiency, high-density gas storage media. This follow on grant funding will be used to focus on the remaining challenges to be overcome in order to commercialize this technology. The most promising potential markets for this technology are compressed natural gas (CNG) and industrial gas storage. Eventually, the company hopes to use this technology to provide a solution for hydrogen storage for fuel cell powered vehicles.

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Enertechnix

Maple Valley

http://www.enertechnix.com

About Enertechnix
Enertechnix develops and commercializes innovative technologies for environmental monitoring and improving the efficiency, cleanliness and safety of large-scale energy conversion processes. Since its inception in 1995, Enertechnix has developed and commercialized acoustic systems for measuring gas temperatures in large-scale boilers, and mid-IR imaging systems for visual monitoring of conditions within high temperature, particle-laden environments. Enertechnix is involved in a broad program of research and development, aimed at airborne aerosol capture and classification, measuring temperatures in gasifiers, detection of IEDs, and monitoring of personal exposure to toxins and allergens.

RTD Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Improved Efficiency of Energy-Intensive Processes through Control of Build-up on Critical Heat-Transfer Surfaces"

Research Partner: Associate Professor Alexander V. Mamishev, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Washington

Phase Began: 2009

Enertechnix, a Maple Valley-based manufacturer of high-temperature imaging systems, is collaborating with the University of Washington's Department of Electrical Engineering to develop algorithms to control the cleaning of heat-transfer surfaces in industrial processes.

UW will receive $100,000 in Phase I research and technology development funding from Washington Technology Center and $20,000 from Enertechnix for the project titled "Improved Efficiency of Energy-Intensive Processes through Control of Build-up on Critical Heat-Transfer Surfaces."

Cleaning slag build-up in Kraft boilers used in the paper and pulp industries is currently an energy-intensive and inefficient process. Steam cleaners are typically operated on a timed sequence, based on historical experience with fouling in the convective systems.

With this project, the collaborative team of Enertechnix and UW Associate Professor Alexander V. Mamishev plan to develop image-processing and estimation algorithms to automatically control the cleaning of heat transfer surface build-up to maximize energy efficiency. The implementation of the proposed technology would lead to significant energy and cost savings, and reduce the emission of associated pollutants and greenhouse gases.

"We are very excited at the potential of this project to positively impact operation of power and chemical recovery boilers. We look forward to working with the UW team to develop this technology and ensure that it is available to these energy-intensive facilities throughout the world."

George Kychakoff, President of Enertechnix.

"The intent of this effort is to move as soon as possible from laboratory experiments to real industrial environments. The University of Washington's Industrial Assessment Center (UW IAC) will work with the manufacturing companies in the Pacific Northwest to conduct field trials of the thermal imaging system that we will design."

Professor Alexander Mamishev, who serves as Principal Investigator in this project and Director of UW IAC.

"Enertechnix has an imaging process that allows high-heat industries, like pulp and paper companies, to 'see' inside their furnaces and clean them at optimum intervals. This allows companies to achieve maximum energy efficiency and minimum pollution levels, and both of those outcomes command a premium price today."

State Sen. Cheryl Pflug (R-Maple Valley)

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Erudite Systems, Inc.

Everett

Researcher: Professor Les Atlas, Electrical Engineering, University of Washington

Everett-based Erudite Systems, Inc. is teamed with Professor Les Atlas to develop an acoustic monitoring system designed to increase security measures for the shipping industry. More than 6 million shipping containers enter U.S. ports each year. Yet only two percent of containers are inspected by customs officials. Large-scale inspection operations are an impractical and costly endeavor. Sensors offer a more cost-effective and non-invasive solution. ESI and UW are collaborating on the development of an acoustic monitoring system that would allow for real-time monitoring of sound and vibration signals in a container environment. The project combines ESI's Ambient Envelope Sensor (AES) technology with the UW's Modulation Spectrum technology which compresses waveforms for cost-effective storage and access. ESI hopes to incorporate this new acoustic technology into its latest products in development -- GeoLock and StrongBox -- which use vibration, temperature, GPS, and other sensors to monitor shipping container activity and increase security.

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General Dynamics Space Propulsion Systems

Redmond

http://www.rocket.com/

Researcher: Todd A. Anderson, UW Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Year project began: 2002

General Dynamics Space Propulsion Systems provides on-board propulsion for spacecraft using a range of technologies, from conventional chemical engines to advanced electric propulsion systems that accelerate electrically charged plasmas. At the heart of the latest propulsion technology, the Hall thruster, are high-performance electromagnets that accelerate ionized xenon gas to speeds up to 20 km/s. The company is teaming with Todd Anderson of the University of Washington to produce innovative, high-temperature, compact, lightweight electromagnetic assemblies. Dr. Anderson has expertise in embedded sensors, multifunctional structures and special materials. The team believes that by combining the right conductor and insulator materials with an unusual coil topology, the mass of these critical assemblies can be cut in half, while providing high reliability in severe thermal, vibration, and radiation environments.

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Greenwood Technologies (business closed)

Bellevue

http://www.GreenwoodUSA.com

About Greenwood Technologies, LLC
Greenwood Technologies is a clean-burning, renewable heating solutions company, located in the Pacific Northwest. The Greenwood Technologies high efficiency wood and biomass boilers are available through dealers and retailers across the United States and Canada. More information is available at (800) 959-9184 or www.GreenwoodUSA.com.

RTD Award: Phase III (* project canceled)

Project Title: "Fuel-Flexible Biomass Hydronic Furnaces"

Research Partner: Professor John Kramlich, Ph.D., Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington

Phase Began: 2009

Greenwood Technologies, is a renewable heating solutions company headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. Greenwood manufactures high efficiency wood and biomass boilers for residential and commercial applications. The company is collaborating with the University of Washington's Department of Mechanical Engineering to enhance the capabilities of one of the company's wood-fired hydronic furnaces.

UW will receive $76,536 in Phase III research and technology development funding from Washington Technology Center and $27,383 from Greenwood Technologies for the project titled "Fuel-Flexible Biomass Hydronic Furnaces."

Firewood is a highly desirable alternative fuel as it is renewable, domestically produced, low cost and abundantly available in many areas of the country. With the rapid increase of conventional home-heating fuel prices, a growing number of people are turning to alternative fuels such as wood to reduce their reliance on high-priced fuels.

Greenwood Technologies and UW Professor John Kramlich will continue a working collaboration in this Phase III project. The team plans to develop systems to provide fuel flexibility, low emissions, and high efficiency in wood-fired hydronic furnaces. Greenwood plans to reconfigure their next generation product line to take advantage of this new technology development.

Professor Kramlich says that the joint Washington Technology Center and Greenwood Technologies project has been one of the most rewarding he has worked on at the UW. The close coordination between the design and modeling work at the UW and the testing at Greenwood Technologies has moved the technology forward faster than would have been possible for either party alone. These efforts have propelled Greenwood Technologies designs into the select group of those furnaces that meet the Phase I EPA emissions criteria.

"The biomass heating category is exploding in potential and partnerships like this one with the UW will ensure that the technology thrives. Innovation is the key to our success."

Tom Eckmann, CEO of Greenwood Technologies

RTD Award: Phase II

Project Title: "Low Emission Wood-Burning Hydronic Furnace"

Research Partner: Professor John Kramlich, Ph.D., Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington

Phase Began: 2008

Greenwood Technologies, a Bellevue company that manufactures a clean-burning wood furnace, is working with John Kramlich, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Washington, to develop a low-emission combustion system that meets strict environmental standards.

UW received $72,988 in Phase II Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center for the project titled "Low Emission Wood-Burning Hydronic Furnace."

Whole wood is a highly desirable alternative fuel as it is renewable, domestically produced, low cost and abundantly available in many areas of the country. With the rapid increase of conventional home-heating fuel prices, a growing number of people are turning to alternative fuels such as wood to reduce their reliance on high-priced fuels.

In this Phase II project, Greenwood Technologies and Dr. Kramlich will perform fluid dynamic calculations that will lead to the development of a new high-efficiency wood-fired Greenwood furnace design. As a direct result of their previous Phase I project, emissions from the Greenwood furnace are well below the standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for cordwood fuels. With additional work in Phase II, the furnace should be able to meet stricter emission and performance standards, including those set by Northeast states that will take effect in 2010.

"As a strong supporter of environmental protection, I was proud to support a bill passed in 2007 encouraging the use of biofuels and reducing our fossil fuel consumption. It is companies like Greenwood who make Washington a leader in the fight against global warming."

State Sen. Rodney Tom, (D-Medina)

"I'm pleased that Greenwood Technologies was able to win a competitive grant from the Washington Technology Center, enabling them to continue to invest in clean-burning wood furnaces. This kind of research helps improve the environment for all of us, and keeps attracting smart people to live and work on the Eastside."

State Rep. Ross Hunter (D-Medina)

RTD Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Low Emission Wood-Burning Hydronic Furnace"

Research Partner: Professor John Kramlich, Ph.D., Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington

Phase Began: 2007

Greenwood Technologies, a Bellevue company that manufactures a clean-burning, wood-fired furnace for energy-efficient home heating, has teamed with University of Washington's John Kramlich, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Associate Chair for Academics, to develop a low-emission combustion system for a wood-burning hydronic furnace. The goal of the collaboration is to modify the Greenwood Model 100 hydronic furnace design to meet or surpass Washington state's clean air wood burning standards.

The UW team will focus on the development of an advanced fluid dynamic model of the afterburning portion of the furnace, including a particle burnout model. Using the present furnace as a benchmark, the model will be used and calibrated in collaboration with testing by the Greenwood Technologies team. Whole wood is a highly desirable alternative fuel as it is renewable, domestically produced, low cost and abundantly available in many areas of the country. With the rapid increase of conventional home heating fuel prices, a growing number of people are turning to alternative fuels such as wood to reduce their reliance on high-priced fuels. By meeting Washington state's clean air wood burning standards through reducing particulate emissions from its furnace, Greenwood Technologies will open the door to a significantly broader market.

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Harmonics, Inc.

Seattle

Researcher: Dr. Thomas Stoebe, UW Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering

Year project began: 2004

Ceramic coatings are potentially superior to conventional thick film and wire heating elements for many applications. These materials could fill a demand for compact, high-watt density, high-temperature resistive heating elements.

Harmonics, Inc. develops and commercializes innovative materials for energy conversion applications and pollution control. The company has invented, and partially developed, a proprietary electroconductive (EC) ceramic material that will be used, among other process applications, for heating elements. A key feature of Harmonics' materials is its proprietary processing capability centered on the casting of ceramic tapes ("tapecasting") and the engineering of multilayered composite ceramic structures.

This project pairs Harmonics' staff with Professor Stoebe to develop a screenprinting process for depositing EC material onto ceramic substrates that, after firing, will be suitable for use as high-temperature heating elements. These heating elements promise to deliver more heat per unit area, heat up more rapidly, and last longer than conventional metallic or thick film heating elements. Part of the research will be conducted in WTC's Microfabrication Lab.

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Healionics Corporation

Redmond

http://www.healionics.com

Healionics in the WTC news forum

About Healionics Corporation
Healionics is a privately held biomaterials company founded on technology developed by Dr. Buddy Ratner and Dr. Andrew Marshall at the University of Washington Engineered Biomaterials center and licensed from UW. Our mission is to be the leading provider of tissue regeneration and device bio-integration solutions to healthcare manufacturers. The flagship STAR - Sphere Templated Angiogenic Regeneration - biomaterial scaffold is a paradigm shift in biocompatibility. Healionics Corporation is headquartered in Redmond, Washington. For more information, please visit http://www.healionics.com.

Research & Technology Development (RTD) Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Spherically Templated Angiogenic Regenerative (STAR) Materials for Reduced Infection and Improved Function of Percutaneous Devices"

Research Partner: Dr. Philip Fleckman, Professor of Medicine (Dermatology), Department of Medicine, University of Washington

Project Began: 2008

Healionics Corporation, a start-up biomaterials company in Redmond, is partnered with the University of Washington Department of Medicine to commercialize technology that will reduce infection from skin-breaching devices such as catheters.

UW will receive $82,500 in Phase I Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center and $16,500 from Healionics for the project titled "Spherically Templated Angiogenic Regenerative (STAR) Materials for Reduced Infection and Improved Function of Percutaneous Devices."

Medical devices that breach the skin play an essential role in patient care. They deliver drugs and fluids to the body and have a variety of other uses. However, because the body's natural barrier to disease is broken by these devices, patients are predisposed to bacterial infection. For example, infections from central venous catheters are attributed to more than 30,000 deaths per year in the U.S. alone. Despite the risks, the medical use of these devices is expected to grow.

In this Phase I project, UW Professor of Medicine Philip Fleckman plans to evaluate healing responses and bacterial reduction attained with a prototype catheter technology developed by Healionics. The prototype's use of precisely-engineered biomaterials could help to maximize skin healing and thus reduce the risk of infection. Additional studies should help Healionics bring this promising medical technology to market.

"We are very pleased WTC recognized the potential of our next generation STAR biomaterial scaffold technology to advance patient care and improve quality of life. We look forward to expanding our strong relationship with Dr. Fleckman and his team at the UW."

Max Maginness, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer, Healionics

"We are excited about the opportunity to extend our studies of the biology of the interface of the skin with STAR materials and continue our collaboration with Healionics. The possibility of evolving this technology to a product that will help people by reducing morbidity while building the Washington state economy makes this a win-win project."

Dr. Philip Fleckman, Professor of Medicine, University of Washington

"I am so pleased with the quality of these research and development partnerships. The funds are clearly encouraging work with enormous potential to provide good jobs. Hospital-based infections are a growing problem, so this grant could have wide public benefit, too."

State Rep. Deb Eddy (D-Kirkland)

"I congratulate Healionics Corporation and the University of Washington research team for their technology to improve patient care. This kind of innovation not only helps Washington lead in global health, it helps to keep our local economy diversified and strong."

State Rep. Ross Hunter (D-Medina)

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HEATCON Composite Systems

Seattle

http://www.heatcon.com

About HEATCON® Composite Systems
HEATCON® Composite Systems, an ISO 9001:2000 company, has been involved in the support of advanced composite repairs since 1981. We are committed to continuous product improvement and development and our products set industry standards. We also strive to maintain the highest levels of quality and customer service. HEATCON® Composite Systems' customer base includes more major airlines, repair stations and military users than any other competitor. Most of our customers find it convenient and cost effective to obtain support of composite repairs from a single source. To meet this need our T. E. A. M. concept was developed. The very best in Training, Equipment, Accessories, and Materials are all available from HEATCON® Composite Systems. Visit www.heatcon.com, or call 206-575-1333, for more information.

RTD Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Pre-Repair Thermal Mapping and Leak Detection"

Research Partner: Professor Ashley Emery, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington

Phase Began: 2009

HEATCON® Composite Systems, a Seattle-based composite repair equipment supplier, and The Boeing Company's Research & Technology group are collaborating with the University of Washington's Mechanical Engineering Department to improve the efficiency of composite-structural repairs.

UW will receive $75,190 in Phase I research and technology development funding from Washington Technology Center and $20,000 from The Boeing Company for the project titled "Pre-Repair Thermal Mapping and Leak Detection."

The composite aircraft industry will be increasingly reliant on hot-bond composite repairs to keep its aircraft in service. In this project, the collaborative team of HEATCON®, Boeing and UW Professor Ashley Emery, will create a Pre-Repair Mapping System that assesses the thermal anomalies and vacuum leaks often associated with the repair of composite structures. Phase I will validate the viability of the system, while future phases will commercialize the system.

"We look forward to working with the University of Washington and HEATCON® in this important research, which we think will meet a key Boeing objective, which is to improve the maintainability of composite aircraft. One byproduct of this that we hope to achieve is a standardized process or method for pre-repair thermal mapping and leak detection. As well, this will provide a good opportunity for us to build on the strong relationship that we have with the UW and HEATCON®."

Megan Watson, Boeing Research & Technology lead engineer on the project

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Hummingbird Scientific

Lacey

http://www.hummingbirdscientific.com

Research & Technology Development (RTD) Award: Phase III

Project Title: "Development of an integrated microfluidics chamber for the transmission electron microscope"

Research Partner: Karl F. Böhringer, Ph.D., Professor, Electrical Engineering, University of Washington

Project Began: 2008

Hummingbird Scientific, a developer of microscopy products located in Lacey, Washington, is partnered with the University of Washington Department of Electrical Engineering to develop a system for nanoscale imaging of materials in fluid environments.

UW will receive $100,000 in Phase III Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center and $20,000 from Hummingbird Scientific for the project titled "Development of an integrated microfluidics chamber for the transmission electron microscope."

Research into the internal structure of evolving materials is leading to important advances in the fields of nanoscience, bioscience and materials chemistry. While current imaging technology enables nanoscale research of materials evolving under controlled temperatures, no imagery technique exists for materials evolving in fluid environments. A method for observing material changes in liquids could prove to be a core technology for a range of scientific advances, from developing efficient solar cells to targeting cancer cells.

Hummingbird Scientific and UW Professor Karl Böhringer will continue a working collaboration in this Phase III project. Using the resources of University of Washington and Washington Technology Center, the team plans to develop an imaging system for materials in liquid or gaseous environments evolving under precise temperature controls. This work should extend the team's previous developments for imaging technology that Hummingbird Scientific expects to bring to market in 2008.

"Congratulations to Hummingbird Scientific on their worthy project and on receiving this grant. The Legislature is always looking to invest in increasing Washington's commercialization capacity. Hummingbird Scientific's microscopy project represents great scientific innovation and great economic potential. It's a perfect example of research and industry working together in the Puget Sound to generate new high-tech ideas, get those ideas to market, and create 21st century jobs."

State Sen. Karen Fraser (D-Thurston County)

"The Washington Technology Center's recognition of Hummingbird Scientific's pioneering nanoscience is a wonderful example of a great partnership. This is the partnership of our private and public sectors cooperating toward advances in a wide range of scientific realms."

State Rep. Sam Hunt (D-Olympia), Chair of the House State Government & Tribal Affairs Committee

"I'm delighted to see the state and Hummingbird Scientific partner in shaping our state's economy of the future."

State Rep. Brendan Williams (D-Olympia).

RTD Award: Phase II

Project Title: "Development of a MEMS based Ultra High Temperature Heating Element for the TEM"

Research Partner: Karl Böhringer, Ph.D., Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Washington

Project Began: 2007

Hummingbird Scientific, a Lacey, Washington-based developer of microscopy solutions, has teamed with University of Washington electrical engineering researcher Karl Böhringer to develop an improved high temperature heating element for use in the transmission electron microscope - a development that will lead to scientific advancements across a range of scientific fields. The company-researcher team has received $100,000 in Research and Technology Development funding from Washington state for their project titled "Development of a MEMS-based Ultra-high Temperature Heating Element for the TEM." The most common dynamic microscopy experiments revolve around the relatively simple act of heating a sample, as temperature is often the primary thermodynamic driving force for microstructural change in materials processing. The current state of the art in heating and cooling holder design for transmission electron microscopy relies on substantially out-dated technologies, yielding significant problems in temperature control and expensive and time consuming maintenance. The development of a compact, efficient, low cost, ultra high temperature heating element is core to the advancement of high temperature materials science. Hummingbird Scientific and Karl Böhringer will take advantage of the unique resources at the University of Washington to develop an advanced heating holder technology - a technology that will add important research and development tools to the material science, bioscience and nanotechnology fields.

RTD Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Development of a MEMS based Ultra High Temperature Heating Element for the TEM"

Research Partner: Karl Böhringer, Ph.D., Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Washington

Project Began: 2006

Transmission electron microscopes (TEM) are one of the primary experimental tools used in nanotechnology and materials sciences. In order to effectively evaluate the performance of materials at the nano-scale in high temperature environments, it is necessary to observe samples at in-use temperatures. This project will be critical to achieving unprecedented high temperatures with superior resolution in the TEM. Hummingbird Scientific, a south Puget Sound company that supplies custom, cutting-edge equipment and services for electron and ion microscope applications, is working with Dr. Karl Böhringer, research professor in the University of Washington's electrical engineering department, to develop a high performance heating element for TEM experimentation. The development of new designs and manufacturing processes will strive to achieve a combination of competitive advantages including the ability to withstand ultra-high temperatures and a more efficient design conducive to cost-effective replacement and repair.

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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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HyperLynx

Redmond

http://www.mentor.com/highspeed/products/hyperlynx/index.cfm?flow=vap

Researcher: Leung Tsang, UW Dept. of Electrical Engineering
Year project began: 2000

HyperLynx is a leading supplier of high-speed signal integrity, electromagnetic compatibility and crosstalk simulation products that are used by companies designing digital systems operating at frequencies above 1 GHz. This project proposes to develop advanced computational methods for predicting the effects of integrated-circuit packages on high-speed digital signals. The goal is to decrease system failure and improve performance in signal quality.

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IDmicro, Inc.

Tacoma

http://www.idmicro.com/

Researchers: Denise Wilson, UW Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Doug St. John, UW Precision Forestry Cooperative

Year project began: 2001

Already successful with radio frequency identification (RFID) applications, IDMicro is working with the University of Washington to develop an application to be used in the forest products industry. In today's timber industry, tracking logs keep the high-value logs from being incorrectly categorized and shunted into a lower-value product stream. The UW team will develop an "injection gun" for inserting tags into trees, as well as investigate the feasibility of using electric and electromagnetic information for additional sensing and measurement.

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Impulse Accelerated Technologies

Kirkland

http://www.ImpulseAccelerated.com

About Impulse Accelerated Technologies, Inc.
Impulse Accelerated Technologies specializes in software-to-hardware compilation and verification tools. The Impulse CoDeveloper tools include C-to-FPGA optimization and hardware generation capabilities that are fully compatible with standard C development environments, and with widely-used FPGA design tools. Impulse products are used worldwide for applications that include embedded systems, video and image processing, digital signal processing, security, communications and high performance, FPGA-accelerated computing. For more information about Impulse and its products and services, visit www.ImpulseAccelerated.com or call 425-605-9543.

Research & Technology Development (RTD) Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Application and Benchmarking of Impulse C Technology to Medical Imaging Tasks"

Research Partner: Scott Hauck, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Washington

Project Began: 2008

Impulse Accelerated Technologies, Inc., a Kirkland-based developer of software-to-hardware tools, is working with the University of Washington Department of Electrical Engineering to create a research and development tool for the medical image processing community.

UW will receive $100,000 in Phase I Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center and $20,000 from Impulse for the project titled "Application and Benchmarking of Impulse C Technology to Medical Imaging Tasks."

Medical image processing is an important part of modern healthcare for analyzing internal anatomy and physiology. Imaging technology can help doctors diagnose diseases, optimize therapies and reduce the need for surgeries. Because it requires a great deal of computing resources to generate three-dimensional images from multiple scanning sources, medical imaging represents a significant computing challenge.

In this Phase I project, UW Associate Professor Scott Hauck and Impulse plan to extend and customize the company's CoDeveloper C-to-FPGA technology in support of medical imaging applications. The resulting software-to-hardware development system could make it easier for scientists and engineers to deploy high-performance medical image processing systems. These technical advancements to the Impulse tools could ultimately make medical imaging a faster and more accurate technology.

"We are excited to be working with Professor Hauck and his team to improve future healthcare. Hardware acceleration is a proven way to increase the processing throughput for medical imaging, and our combined research efforts will allow researchers to more quickly develop and deploy hardware-accelerated imaging systems."

David Pellerin, Co-founder and CEO, Impulse

"I am pleased with the quality of these research and development partnerships. These funds are clearly encouraging work with enormous potential to provide good jobs. Long-term, medical imaging could result in much better patient outcomes, substituting for expensive and risky surgery."

State Rep. Deb Eddy (D-Kirkland)

"Congratulations to Impulse Accelerated Technologies on winning a competitive grant with the University of Washington. Their joint technology development maximizes the state's investment in our research institutions and has potential for significant impact and job creation in Washington."

State Rep. Ross Hunter (D-Medina)

Research & Technology Development (RTD) Award: Phase I

Research Partner: Carl Ebeling, Ph.D., Department of Computer Science & Engineering, University of Washington

Project Began: 2004

This project will focus on developing key applications and creating additional hardware and software interfaces for a new set of design tools, specifically compilers, optimizers, and debuggers that allow software applications expressed in high-level languages to be compiled to Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA). The commercial availability of these tools will benefit applications used in imaging, biomedical research, data communication, geophysics, data encryption, and signal processing.

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Infometrix, Inc.

Bothell

http://www.infometrix.com

RTD Award: Phase II

Project Title: "Robust Process Gas Chromatography"

Research Partners: Professor James B. Callis, Department of Chemistry, University of Washington; Mel Koch, Director, Center for Process Analytical Chemistry, University of Washington

Project Began: 2008

Infometrix, a Bothell-based developer of scientific software, is teamed with Professor James Callis of the University of Washington Department of Chemistry to develop software for improved process monitoring technology.

UW received $100,000 in Phase II Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center for the project titled "Robust Process Gas Chromatography."

Current use of Gas Chromatography (GC) as a process monitoring technology suffers from problems of cost, maintenance and deployment. By taking advantage of recent developments in instrumentation, data treatments and sampling systems, the utility of GC could be extended across a diverse cross section of industries.

In this Phase II project, Infometrix and Dr. Callis will extend their development of the base technologies by focusing on both practical deployment issues and implementation of real-time processing of GC data. By making gas chromatographers easier to deploy and maintain, Infometrix's work will lead to increased applications in sectors such as petroleum and biofuels, agriculture, biotechnology and the life sciences.

"I congratulate Infometrix on their project. It has seemingly limitless applications for areas in public policy and its work will lead to increased applications in sectors like petroleum and biofuels, agriculture, and biotechnology. State funding enables partnerships between companies and non-profit research institutions on technology projects with potential for commercializing and creating new jobs. It's also a great illustration of the public and private sectors teaming together for the next big breakthrough."

State Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, (D-Bothell)

"Congratulations. I am very happy that state funding has been awarded to Infometrix, a Bothell company. Combined with the biotech cluster of businesses and institutions located in Seattle, Bothell has helped to make Washington State one of the top 5 or 6 biotech centers in the nation."

State Rep. Al O'Brien (D-Mountlake Terrace)

RTD Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Robust Process Gas Chromatography"

Research Partners: Jaromir Ruzicka, Ph.D. and Mel Koch, Ph.D., Center for Process Analytical Chemistry, University of Washington

Project Began: 2006

Process analytical instrumentation is a major business, generating $5 billion in corporate revenue annually. The chemical industry is clamoring for better performance for process analyzers - asking for smaller, modular, more technically-advanced components that can handle high volumes of data. Infometrix, a Bothell-based company, has teamed with Drs. Jaromir Ruzicka and Mel Koch with the University of Washington's Center for Process Analytical Chemistry (CPAC), to advance and improve the handling of data for sensors and other multivariate instrument systems. Gas chromatographs (GC) are the most common instruments used in monitoring and control. Infometrix and CPAC are looking to develop a robust GC that can be more easily integrated into the analysis process. This type of instrument is highly in demand in both laboratory analysis and for the commercial monitoring and control market. Infometrix has already received endorsement for this technology from several industry leaders including ExxonMobil, Chevron, Dow Chemical and Honeywell. Grant funding will be used to develop and build a prototype for commercial use by chemical and petroleum companies.

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Information Systems Laboratories

Seattle

Researcher: Denise Wilson, Associate Professor, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, University of Washington

Project Year(s): 2005

Information Systems Laboratories, a science and engineering innovator in the fields of sensors, communications, and signal processing, is collaborating with Professor Wilson to develop a "tool kit" (hardware, simulation platform and design architecture) to enhance the simulation capability and performance quality of high-end sonar/acoustic processing systems. Despite extraordinary increases in digital signal processing speed and computing power over the last decade, the ability to interpret the complex characteristics of acoustic signals remains a challenge, especially in an underwater environment. The ISL/UW model seeks to exploit biological signal processing principles, in particular, the echolocation and functionality of one of the top underwater sonar communicators - the dolphin. The new toolkit is initially aimed at improving U.S. Navy sonar systems, which are currently designed to operate in the open ocean environment and are less accurate in underwater environments. However, the ISL solution will be designed to accommodate a broader market of acoustic signal processing systems.

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InnovaTek, Inc.

Richland

http://www.tekkie.com

RTD Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Development of Computer Models and Control Schemes for Biofuel-based Fuel Cell Systems"

Research Partner: Patrick Pedrow, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Washington State University, Pullman

Project Began: 2008

InnovaTek, a Richland-based developer of patented technologies for sustainable power and environmental safety, is teamed with Washington State University to improve InnovaTek's hydrogen fuel processor technology.

WSU received $64,275 in Phase I Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center and an additional $12,812 from InnovaTek for the project titled "Development of Computer Models and Control Schemes for Biofuel-based Fuel Cell Systems."

Hydrogen fuel cells are an alternative energy source that converts the chemical energy stored in hydrogen to electrical energy without greenhouse gas emissions. However, the transport and storage of hydrogen is expensive and difficult due to its low volumetric energy density. Therefore, the use of energy dense liquid fuels, such as biodiesel for the production of hydrogen at the place of use, will allow fuel cells to be employed for the production of electricity using the existing fuel distribution network.

In this Phase I project, InnovaTek and Patrick Pedrow, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Washington State University, will develop a microchip-based control system that integrates InnovaTek's InnovaGen fuel processor with commercially available fuel cells. A well-defined and developed control system should not only ensure smooth and safe operation at steady-state conditions, but also provide fast and consistent performance.

Commercial development of InnovaTek's technology will create a power production technology that can utilize current gasoline, diesel and biodiesel distribution infrastructures to provide a clean, quiet and energy-efficient electrical energy generating system.

"InnovaTek is a jewel in the crown of our district. The Tri-Cities is fortunate to be rich in technological innovation. InnovaTek's work on alternative energy will likely be a major force in powering-up Washington in the coming decades. I'm delighted to see the talented people at InnovaTek receive this award. I'm eager to see its research transform the use of fuel processing technology and hydrogen-generated energy in our lifetime."

State Sen. Jerome Delvin, (R-Richland)

"I am excited to see the results of this collaborative effort toward cleaner, alternative energy. Washington, like all states, wants to reduce its dependency on oil, especially foreign oil. I am pleased WSU and InnovaTek are helping lead the way."

State Rep. Larry Haler, (R-Richland)

Research Partner: Dr. Patrick Pedrow, WSU School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

Project Began: 2003

One of InnovaTek's projects includes developing a diesel-based fuel processor to supply hydrogen for electrical generation by fuel cells. Using a plasma-enhanced metal organic chemical vapor deposition system available at WSU, research collaboration with Dr. Pedrow will help InnovaTek test the process of placing metal coatings directly onto microchannel surfaces - a technology it expects will greatly enhance its processor efficiency and reduce manufacturing costs.

Research Partner: Philip C. Malte, UW Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

Project Began: 2001

InnovaTek is an early-stage, technology-based company that creates innovative solutions for health, safety, and energy applications. Working with Dr. Malte, the company is developing and testing a fuel-injection component for a diesel and natural-gas-based fuel processor to supply hydrogen for electrical generation - creating a power production technology that can use the nation's current fuel distribution infrastructure to provide a clean, quiet, and energy-efficient electrical-energy-generating system.

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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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Insitu

Bingen

http://www.insitu.com/

Insitu in the WTC News Forum

RTD Award: Phase III

Research Partner: Rolf Rysdyk, Ph.D., Aeronautics & Astronautics, University of Washington

Project Phase Began: 2006

Insitu makes ScanEagle and other unmanned aerial systems (UASs) in Bingen, Washington for military and commercial customers. A UAS includes aircraft, sensors, communications, ground support, and software tools; it collects, processes, and disseminates intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and remote sensing information gleaned by the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the system. UASs offer multiple advantages over manned vehicles for long endurance surveillance missions in military, civil government, and commercial applications. Insitu includes robotic capabilities and behaviors in all of its aircraft, so in addition to being unmanned they are autonomous, handling flying tasks and emergency procedures on their own. Insitu and the University of Washington Aeronautics and Astronautics department have collaborated since the company was founded in the early 1990s. Insitu engineers and scientists and UW researchers have jointly developed software to make it easier to remotely manage multiple UAVs flying together in the system. Some of these technologies and experiences are reflected in the SeaScan commercial sea reconnaissance system developed and marketed by Insitu, and the ScanEagle UAS developed by Insitu and marketed by Boeing for military and homeland security operations. For this project, UW professor Dr. Rolf Rysdyk will test his group's latest real-time flight software in the GeoRanger, a geophysical survey UAV that Insitu developed and makes exclusively for Fugro Airborne Surveys, a leading airborne sensing and geological mapping company. The software will be developed and tested in an in situ hardware-in-the-loop system on the ground at UW laboratories to bring it to flight readiness.

Research Partner: Dr. Rolf Rysdyk, UW Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Project year began: 2003

The Insitu Group manufactures miniature robotic aircrafts (also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles-UAVs) for commercial and military applications. They aim to offer economical, autonomous, miniature aerial platforms for long-endurance surveillance missions through the innovative use of advanced technologies.

Concurrent operation of multiple vehicles is limited by the large number of operators required and operator workload. It would be more efficient to move from one operator per plane to one operator controlling multiple planes.

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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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IntelliSense Inc. (ISI)

Indianola

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

The collaboration between ISI and the University of Washington will develop a new type of ion source for an ultra-miniature mass spectrometer. For use initially in providing real-time chemical analysis of air quality and process gas composition, this breakthrough instrument will be the smallest, lowest-cost, lowest-power consumption, fully functional instrument of its type on the market.

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IsoRay, Inc.

Richland

http://www.isoray.com

IsoRay in the WTC news forum

Researcher: Dr. Leroy Korb, UW Radiation Oncology Department

Year project began: 2004

This project will document the anticipated clinical and economic benefits of the company's new brachytherapy seed isotope, the Cs131seed, for the treatment of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in men, and IsoRay has the only FDA-approved Cesium-131 brachytherapy seed that conforms to the AAPM Task Force 43 guidelines for clinical use. The results of the research will allow the company to gain a stronger foothold in the worldwide brachytherapy seed treatment market.

Researcher: Dr. Mark Phillips, UW Medical Center's Cancer Center

Year project began: 2002

IsoRay was formed to develop radioactive "seeds" used to treat confined prostate cancer and other solid tumors. IsoRay is using a new radioisotrope with a shorter half-life and higher dose rate than isotopes currently being used. The goal is to provide a seed that is better able to kill all cancer cells while minimizing side effects. The company has partnered with Dr. Phillips to evaluate the radiological properties and radiobiological characteristics of IsoRay's seeds, as well as prepare a treatment-planning computer program.

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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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Kronos Air Technologies, Inc.

Redmond

http://www.kronosati.com/

RTD Award: Phase III

Project Title: "Heat Transfer Technology for Microelectronics and MEMS, Phase III"

Research Partner: Alexander V. Mamishev, Ph.D., Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Washington

Project Began: 2007

Kronos Air Technologies, a Redmond-based developer of air movement and purification products, has teamed with University of Washington electrical engineering researcher Alexander V. Mamishev to develop a novel, energy-efficient electrostatic air pump that addresses the problem of thermal management in microelectronics. The company-researcher team has received $100,000 in Phase III Research and Technology Development funding from Washington state for their project titled "Heat Transfer Technology for Microelectronics and MEMS, Phase III." The problem of thermal management in microelectronics is at the center of attention for academia, government agencies and industry worldwide. The decreasing size of microelectronic components and the increasing thermal output density requires a dramatic increase of thermal exchange surface. Existing cooling devices are no longer efficient in terms of energy consumption and heat removal. The Electrostatic Fluid Acceleration (EFA) is an emerging technology that employs an electric field to exert force on ionized gas. Kronos Air Technologies has developed an improved version of EFA that makes it commercially viable as a solution to heat transfer. In Phase III, Kronos Air Technologies and Alexander V. Mamishev will focus on system integration, long-term testing and performance optimization of a micro-EFA heat exchanger. Ultimately, micro-EFA will become a natural inseparable part of any microelectronic device where heat transfer and withdrawal are necessary.

RTD Award: Phase II

Research Partner: Alexander V. Mamishev, Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, University of Washington

Project Began: 2006

As microelectronics evolve - getting smaller and more powerful - thermal management is becoming an ever more challenging issue. Cooling systems are pressured to keep pace with technology and meet increasing needs for better energy consumption and heat dissipation. Kronos Air Technologies, a Redmond-based subsidiary, is partnering with Dr. Alexander Mamishev and graduate students Nels Jewell-Larsen and Chi-Peng Hsu from the University of Washington's Electrical Engineering department to develop more advanced heat transfer technology for microelectronics. In previous research, Kronos and Mamishev developed a microchip-based air handling system with compact size, high speed airflow, and more targeted delivery of cooling to areas of highest heat. In this next phase, the team is looking to develop prototypes and define a fabrication process that optimizes mass production of the devices for the commercial market.

Researcher: Alexander Mamishev, University of Washington, Electrical Engineering Department

Project Began: 2004

Kronos Air Technologies, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kronos Advanced Technologies, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: KNOS). For this project, the company is teamed with Alexander Mamishev from the University of Washington's Electrical Engineering Department to develop a novel heat transfer technology for microelectronics. Thermal management for microelectronics and MEMS systems is a challenge. Existing cooling devices aren't meeting increasing needs for energy consumption and heat dissipation of this rapidly growing and evolving market. Kronos' air movement system is an emerging technology that uses an electric field to exert force on ionized gas. Kronos is looking to develop an improved air handling system that is smaller in size, has high speed airflow, allows more targeted delivery of cooling to areas of highest heat and is compatible with current processes. This new microchip system will help the semiconductor industry meet the demands of the next generation of microelectronics devices.

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LAB/COR, Inc.

Seattle

http://www.labcor.net/

Researcher: Thomas Stoebe, UW Dept. of Material Sciences & Engineering

Year project began: 2001

Founded in 1992, LAB/COR provides sophisticated particulate characterization and analyses for environmental remediation and industrial process development and control. The company is interested in developing particulate filters not currently available on the market. This project explores the use of tape-casting and SHS-derived SiC ceramic compounds, materials with great promise for high-temperature applications, for improved hot-gas particulate filters and traps.

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Leak Indicator Paint Systems (LIPS), Inc.

Tacoma

Researcher: Dr. Gamal Khalil, UW Dept. of Chemistry

Year project began: 2002

LIPS, Inc. is developing a microporous material that can remove arsenic in drinking water. The company believes this low-cost product will help small drinking water systems meet the new federal arsenic standard. This research collaboration is gathering data on surface areas, micropore structure, and loading capacity of a new microporous absorbent.

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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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Lygan Technologies

Seattle

Researcher: Dr. Guozhong Cao, UW Department of Materials Science & Engineering Research

Year project began: 2004

This project will focus on developing and evaluating carbon-based nanostructures for use in industrial gas storage systems. These systems have the near-term potential to improve the safety, usability, and cost-effectiveness of storing such gases as nitrogen and methane. A longer-term goal would be to apply this technology to hydrogen, a desirable power source currently limited in use due to inability to store this gas effectively.

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Magic Wheels, Inc.

Seattle

http://www.magicwheels.net

RTD Award: Phase III

Project Title: "Testing and Optimization for Low Cost Composite 2-Gear Wheelchair Wheels"

Research Partner: Brian Flinn, Ph.D., Department of Materials Science & Engineering, University of Washington

Project Began: 2007

Magic Wheels Inc., a Seattle-based maker of a patented, two-gear manual wheelchair wheel, has teamed with University of Washington Materials Science and Engineering researcher Brian Flinn to provide mechanical, endurance and environmental testing for a cost-effective wheel manufacturing process that will benefit wheelchair users.

The company-researcher team has received $99,938 in Phase III Research and Technology Development funding from the State of Washington to further develop their project titled "Testing and Optimization for Low Cost Composite 2-Gear Wheelchair Wheels."

Users of manual wheelchairs suffer limited mobility on inclines and uneven surfaces. The physical exertion needed to overcome these obstacles takes a significant toll on the users - 20-80% experience shoulder pain and 30-70% experience wrist pain. MagicWheels has created a two-gear manual wheelchair wheel that enables users to navigate challenging surfaces with less physical strain. While the carbon composite wheels used by MagicWheels have proven to be as strong, flexible and durable as traditional spoke wheels, the cost of the current wheel manufacturing process is high.

For their project, Magic Wheels and Dr. Flinn will conduct mechanical, endurance and environmental testing and analysis required to optimize the design of a lower-cost wheel using compression molding technology. The cost savings associated with the manufacturing of this innovative wheelchair component will make this strain-reducing technology available to more users.

"Kudos to Magic Wheels Inc., for its groundbreaking partnership with the University of Washington. Through their joint work, wheelchair users will benefit from a model that requires less exertion. Collaborative efforts such as this one also have the benefit of sharing resources and minds as they create innovative solutions."

Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, (D-Seattle)

"Congratulations and thanks to these Washington firms for their creativity and leading-edge research."

Rep. Helen Sommers, (D-Seattle)

Project Began: 2004

In this Phase II RTD project, Dr. Flinn will continue testing the endurance, reliability, and environmental resistance of Magic Wheels' new two-speed manual wheelchair wheels. This two-speed drive contains composite wheels and provides multiple benefits to the manual wheelchair user, including easier navigation on uneven terrain and possible reduction of arm pain.

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

Project Began: 2003

Wheelchair users have long sought to transport themselves more efficiently to increase their mobility and independence and to reduce the strain on their arm joints. Current wheelchairs allow limited mobility on inclines and uneven terrains. Magic Wheels, Inc. has developed a simple, cost-effective mechanism in a two-speed geared drive wheel that enables wheelchair users to negotiate obstacles such as slopes and challenging surfaces with less strain.

Magic Wheels (also the product) incorporates a patent-pending two-speed gear drive in quick-release wheels that can be easily installed on existing wheelchairs. In addition to the extra climbing power provided by the gears, it also offers an advanced hill-holding feature (with pushrim override) and a pushrim-operated downhill assisted braking feature (for fingertip braking -- no more burned hands), without relying on complex electronics or cumbersome motors and batteries. Dr. Brian Flinn is working with the company to test the structural strength of this new manual wheelchair wheel, which contains a carbon-fiber composite wheel core.

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MesoSystems Technology, Inc.

Richland

http://www.mesosystems.com/

Researcher: Buddy Ratner, UW Bioengineered Materials Program

Year project began: 1999

A Richland biotechnology company has teamed with Buddy Ratner of the UW Bioengineered Materials Program to develop thermally responsive "smart" coatings for an air sampler that collects airborne pathogens, such as anthrax, for rapid detection. WTC established the research partnership and is funding the project through its MEMS Initiative.

MesoSystems, Inc. released the device, Realtime BioCapture, on the market a few months ago. When used with Mesosystems' companion product, RealTime BioSensor, the system is capable of detecting the presence of disease-causing microbes in minutes.

Originally created for the military, BioCapture equips emergency responders such as police, firefighters, and medical personnel to respond to biological terrorist attacks. "Current methods for detecting airborne pathogens take at least 24 hours because the air samples need to be incubated," says Chuck Call, president of MesoSystems. "BioCapture is an important new product for emergency responders because it reduces the amount of time personnel spend inside the hot zone." The device is currently being field-tested by fire departments in major metropolitan areas, including the City of Seattle. Other uses for the product include monitoring for airborne infections in hospitals and microbiological hazards in meatpacking facilities.

New coatings being developed will enhance the air sampler's efficiency in collecting, concentrating, and isolating pathogens. At room temperature, pathogens stick to the coatings, like flies to fly paper. When heated, the pathogens separate from the coating for analysis. Established in 1998, Mesosystems has grown from two to 24 people, and predicts 100 percent revenue growth this year. Their primary markets are military and civilian defense, medical and public health markets.

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MicroConnex

Snoqualmie

Researcher: Dr. Scott Dunham, UW Dept. of Electrical Engineering

Project years: 2004, 2005

MicroConnex has teamed with Professor Dunham to develop a new process for manufacturing large arrays of high performance thin film transistors on flexible substrates. High frequency operation, light weight, and flexibility are critical factors for many existing and emerging semiconductor and electronics markets including radar, telecommunications, signal processing, and flexible displays. Consequently there is a growing demand for high performance devices that are thin and flexible. In a phase one project, MicroConnex and the UW collaborated on the development of a new flexible thin film transistor technology. In this phase two project, the team will work on optimizing the device structure and processing to combine high performance with high yield as well as improving cost-efficiency and scalability for rapid prototyping and manufacturing. The new process is expected to overcome the challenges facing wafer-based and PECVD processes, and the new products will have both military and commercial applications.

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MicroEnergy Technologies, Inc.

Vancouver

Researcher: Dr. Fred Forster, UW Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

Year project began: 2003

There is a need, both immediate and long-term, for extremely high-heat, high-temperature, high-reliability, and low-cost cooling systems that currently are not available for conventional semiconductor device cooling. Wide Band-Gap semiconductor devices have significant advantages in high-temperature and high-power applications such as power converters, hybrid electric vehicles, power plants, and radar systems.

MicroEnergy Technologies, Inc. (MicroET) was launched in 2000 to develop new technologies and products in the areas of thermal engineering and aerosol handling. The company currently is devising an ultra-high heat flux, active cooling module for distributed cooling. Using a piezoelectric micro-pump developed by Dr. Fred Forster of the University of Washington's Department of Mechanical Engineering, MicroET is developing a new fluid transport subsystem that uses microchannels and nanoparticle suspensions as the fluid to maximize the efficiency of coolants.

The company's cooling modules offer key benefits, such as greater heat removal capacity, easy alteration with minimum impact on the system, uniform surface temperatures, and an inexpensive manufacturing process in mass quantities.

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MicroGREEN Polymers, Inc.

Arlington (located in Stanwood during a WTC affilation)

http://www.microgreeninc.com

RTD Award: Phase I

Research Partner: Vipin Kumar, Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington

Project Began: 2006

Disposable food packaging is an $11 billion market. MicroGREEN Polymers, in partnership with Dr. Vipin Kumar and researchers at the University of Washington's Microcellular Plastics Lab, developed a patented technology used to create and manufacture environmentally-friendly plastic disposable food packaging made from recycled PET. The team received $211,000 in funding from WTC in 2003-2005 for feasibility testing and to develop prototypes. The success of this project led the company to expand its employment base and secure $2.5 million in private funding. In addition to food packaging, MicroGREEN's 100-percent recycled PET foam can be used as packing material for medical devices, electronic parts and other products. The research team is applying this new grant towards developing solid state process parameters for making biodegradable poly lactic acid (PLA) foam. PLA is a renewable, natural starch-based material, which is receiving highly-favorable response from the food packaging industry. Currently, PLA is used to package cold foods. MicroGREEN plans to apply its solid-state microcellular process expertise towards developing heat-resistant PLA products to complement its existing line of environmentally-friendly packaging.

Researcher: Dr. Vipin Kumar, UW Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

Project Began: 2003

Disposable food packaging made from plastics and paper is an $11 billion market. While paper food packaging costs considerably more than conventional plastic foam, it is favored due to environmental and health concerns regarding traditional polystyrene foam.

Conventional foaming processes use fluorocarbon or hydrocarbon fuels. Both have a negative impact on the environment: fluorocarbons deplete the ozone, while hydrocarbons create smog. Out of the 25 worst-polluting plants in the U.S. named by the Sierra Club, 12 are foam plants. Widespread foaming processes also chemically change plastic, thereby rendering it commercially nonrecyclable.

MicroGREEN Polymers is a start-up company commercializing microcellular plastics technology developed with Dr. Kumar at the University of Washington's Microcellular Plastics Lab. The company is developing and testing production of environmentally friendly plastic disposable food packaging, such as cups and trays. MicroGREEN's foamed materials use recycled CO2 gas and 100-percent recycled plastic, and are tougher and stronger than traditional foam plastic. Their foaming process will reduce plastic usage by at least 75 percent, compared with solid plastic packaging.

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Micronics, Inc.

Redmond

http://www.micronics.net/

Researcher: Albert Folch, UW Dept. of Bioengineering

Year project began: 2001

Micronics has become a leading developer of microfluidics-based solutions for application in life science (genomics), in vitro medical diagnostics, and analytical chemistry markets. Their proprietary technologies enable companies to perform chemical analyses faster, less expensively, and with less complexity. Dr. Albert Folch collaborated with Micronics to develop a unique microfluidic device that generates a large number of different mixtures by combining a few input compounds.

Researcher: Paul Yager, UW Dept. of Bioengineering

Year project began: 2000

Paul Yager assisted Micronics in the development of an inexpensive, disposable microfluidic cartridge. The cartridge, about the size of a credit card, is used to perform blood tests and other diagnostics requiring body fluids. The microfluidic system provides results at the "point of care," such as in the doctor's office, instead of being sent to a laboratory. Just one of these "lab-on-chip" devices can potentially perform up to 20 different medical diagnostic tests using the same sample. The microfluidic technologies behind these advances were originally developed at the University of Washington, using the same microfabrication techniques established in the semiconductor manufacturing industry. The research team is using WTC's Microfabrication Lab to create the prototype and optimize MEMS-based manufacturing methods.

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Microvision, Inc.

Redmond (Located in Bothell for a previous WTC affiliation)

http://www.microvision.com

Microvision in the WTC news forum
Research Partner: Dr. Kannan M. Krishnan, UW Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Project Began: 2004

Micro-electro-mechanical-system(MEMS)-based scanners are a natural choice for the scanning mirror requirements of scanned beam displays (SBDs). SBDs offer unique advantages for near-to-eye applications, such as head-worn displays for DVD players, or image-capture applications, including bar code scanners and endoscopes.
Current MEMS technologies offer scanners that are small and relatively low-cost to manufacture. However, many consumer market applications require lower cost, smaller packaging, and lower battery drain. Achieving these goals will open up numerous high-volume consumer product opportunities, as no other display technology, such as LCDs, can compete in the area of performance. Improving the MEMS actuation means (controlling the motion of a MEMS scanner) is one way to achieve these goals.

Microvision has teamed with Professor Krishnan to investigate the development of materials and processes for fabrication of hard micromagnets for actuation of MEMS devices. These new materials can reduce size, power, and costs, opening up the growing consumer market.

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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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Northstar Neuroscience

(Business Closed)

Seattle

http://www.northstarneuro.com

About Northstar Neuroscience, Inc.
Northstar Neuroscience (NASDAQ:NSTR) is a medical device company focused on developing neuromodulation therapies to treat neurological injury, disorder and disease. Northstar's proprietary Renova Cortical Stimulation System* is an investigational device that delivers targeted electrical stimulation to the outer surface of the brain - the cerebral cortex. The Renova system is currently under investigation for several indications. For more information, visit www.northstarneuro.com.

*CAUTION: Investigational Device. Limited by Federal Law (U.S.) to investigational use.

Research & Technology Development (RTD) Award: Phase I (* project canceled)

Project Title: "Implantable recurrent brain-computer interface for activity-dependent brain stimulation"

Research Partner: Eberhard Fetz, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Physiology & Biophysics, University of Washington

Project Began: 2008

In partnership with Northstar Neuroscience, the UW Department of Physiology & Biophysics plans to further research and develop cortical stimulation as a form of therapy for stroke survivors. Cortical stimulation refers to the process of stimulating the cerebral cortex, or the outermost layer of the brain with low levels of electricity to promote neuroplasticity, which may lead to an improvement of motor function.

UW will receive $79,992 in Phase I Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center and $16,000 from Northstar Neuroscience for the project titled "Implantable recurrent brain-computer interface for activity-dependent brain stimulation." In this Phase I project, UW Professor Eberhard Fetz and Northstar Neuroscience will leverage the resources of the University of Washington and Washington Technology Center to develop technology that will use neural and muscular activity to control electrical brain stimulation during stroke rehabilitation. The technology may ultimately be integrated with Northstar's Renova Cortical Stimulation System with the goal of improving the lives of stroke patients.

Each year, more than 700,000 people in the U.S. suffer a stroke. Physical therapy is the most frequently prescribed post-acute treatment for stroke survivors; however, this therapy is often offered for only a brief time post-stroke and is rarely continued long-term due to the misconception that brain function is beyond repair a certain period after the initial stroke. Recent studies have shown that repetitive, targeted cortical stimulation of the brain during physical therapy may increase recovery of speech and motor function in stroke patients.

"With the ground-breaking research taking place in Seattle, this grant helps ensure that Washington state will remain at the forefront of the biotechnology industry."

State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle).

"The partnership between the University of Washington and Northstar Neuroscience Inc. holds great promise for jobs and even more importantly for stroke victims. This is exactly the kind of collaboration that can keep Seattle at the forefront of high tech job creation."

State Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson (D-Seattle)

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Northwest Marine Technology

Anacortes

http://www.nmt.us

Research Partner: Gael Kurath, PhD, U.S. Geological Survey and University of Washington, Pathobiology

Project Description:
Disease in fish can devastate hatchery and aquaculture production causing billions of dollars in financial losses annually. Scientific studies show that the ability to vaccinate fish against disease makes a monumental difference in protecting against these financial losses. Oral vaccines, which are less invasive and require little handling, have exhibited weak results. New DNA-based vaccines have proven highly effective in protecting fish against viral pathogens, especially those delivered by intramuscular injection. However, fisheries resources managers don't have a way to deliver these vaccines in a large-scale, economically-viable manner. Currently, the worldwide aquaculture industry hand vaccinates approximately 1 billion fish per year. This hands-on process is expensive, estimated to cost $300 million a year. It is also labor intensive and requires human handling and anesthetizing the fish. Northwest Marine Technology is working with Dr. Kurath of the U.S.G.S. Western Fisheries Research Center and University of Washington to develop an experimental vaccine delivery device to inoculate fish with DNA-based vaccines that is fully-automated, safe, cost-efficient and effective in preventing disease. The project will involve development and testing of the innovative vaccine delivery device on a laboratory population of rainbow trout at the Western Fisheries Research Center.

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Northwind Marine

Seattle

http://www.northwindmarine.com

RTD Award: Phase II

Research partner: Juris Vagners, Ph.D., Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, University of Washington

Project Phase Began: 2007

Northwind Marine, a Seattle-based watercraft manufacturer, is teamed with Dr. Juris Vagners from the University of Washington's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics to develop an automated, realtime navigation and communications system for Unmanned Surface Vessels (USVs), small boats used to monitor and protect maritime industries. Maritime Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are a threat to naval and civilian assets such as ships, port facilities, oil terminals and platforms. Current interdiction to detect and deter IEDs requires manned teams, exposing them to potential harm. Autonomous robotic systems comprised of cooperating teams of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs) offer an attractive solution and provide 24/7 real time coverage of sensitive areas. Advances in miniaturized electronics and sensors coupled with sophisticated navigation systems have enabled the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for a large range of Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) missions operating for extended periods of time over large geographical areas. Similar technology is now being applied to USV technology demonstrations. In a phase one project, Northwind Marine and the UW collaborated to adapt algorithms created through UW research for UAVs to Northwind's Sea Fox USVs. In this phase two project, the team will extend the algorithms to multiple USVs operating concurrently and demonstrate capabilities on one Sea Fox in sea tests. The immediate market for remote controlled or autonomous boats is dominated by security and surveillance applications for the military and for port security. Developing markets include research, surveying, and commercial fishing.

"It's very rewarding as the Chair of Ways and Means Committee to see such a rich return on the funds we have invested in Research and Technology. Even more so when it's in my own 11th District! These recipients will profoundly improve our quality of life for years to come."

State Sen. Margarita Prentice, (D-Renton)

"I'm proud to represent the 11th District which is filled with innovative companies such as Northwind Marine, a 2007 recipient of the Washington Technology Center's Research and Technology Development grant. For twenty five years their cutting-edge boat designs have kept our waterways safe, from Puget Sound to the Persian Gulf. And this partnership with the University of Washington's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics will provide an invaluable service to maritime safety for years to come."

State Rep. Zack Hudgins, (D-Tukwila)

"The Research and Technology Development awards can make a big difference for small companies, such as Northwind Marine, that are looking to grow. The success of small companies is critical to job creation and sustainable economic development."

State Rep. Bob Hasegawa (D-Seattle)

RTD Award: Phase I

Research partner: Juris Vagners, Ph.D., Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, University of Washington

Project Phase Began: 2005

Northwind Marine, a Seattle-based watercraft manufacturer, is teamed with Dr. Vagners to develop an automated, real-time navigation and communications system for Unmanned Surface Vessels (USVs), small boats used to monitor and protect maritime industries. Maritime Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are a threat to naval and civilian assets such as ships, port facilities, oil terminals and platforms. Current interdiction to detect and deter IEDs requires manned teams, exposing them to potential harm. Autonomous robotic systems comprised of cooperating teams of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs) offer an attractive solution and provide 24/7 real time coverage of sensitive areas. Advances in miniaturized electronics and sensors coupled with sophisticated navigation systems have enabled the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for a large range of Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) missions operating for extended periods of time over large geographical areas. The same technology has not yet been applied to USVs. This project will adapt algorithms created through UW research for UAVs to Northwind's Sea Fox USVs and enable cooperative operation with the Scan Eagle UAV (built by The Insitu Group). The immediate market for remote controlled or autonomous boats is dominated by security and surveillance applications for the military and for port security. Developing markets include research, surveying, and commercial fishing.

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Nu Element, Inc.

Tacoma

Researcher: Fatih Dogan, UW Dept. of Materials Science & Engineering

Year project began: 2000

An alternative energy company founded in 1998, Nu Element is targeting the commercialization of reliable, cost-effective power sources for households and businesses. Currently, the company is concentrating on patent-pending technology of proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells, and developing new materials for low-operating-temperature solid oxide fuel cells -- the focus of this project.

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OMAX Corporation

Kent

http://www.omax.com/

Researcher: Dr. Mamidala Ramulu, UW Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

Year project began: 2003

OMAX is a supplier of waterjet equipment to the machining market. Their competitive advantage lies in their software and patented control technology. The company is building a remote and unattended version of their JetMachining® Center (JMC). They are teaming with Dr. Ramulu to develop a proof-of-concept prototype consisting of a software algorithm and associated hardware. The company's goal is to improve productivity and ease of use for its customers' machining operations.

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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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Pro-Tech Services, Inc.

Mukilteo

http://www.pro-techservices.com/

Researcher: Dr. Vishesh Kapur, Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine Specialist, University of Washington Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center

Year project began: 2004

This collaborative team is working to develop a new device that measures changes in autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity during sleep as a means to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is a disorder present in 3 percent of middle-age adults that causes disruption of sleep and changes in ANS activity during sleep. OSA can lead to fatigue, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. The sleep diagnostic sensor market is roughly $13 million a year. Pro-Tech is the market leader in the worldwide sleep sensor market. In this project, the team is working to create a sensor that measures ANS activity more accurately, easily and economically than is currently available. Commercial systems on the market now have a number of drawbacks including the inability to normalize for patient body and hand movements, high equipment and labor costs, and limited availability. The initial project involves developing prototype software for integration with existing systems. A second phase is planned to develop a wireless wrist-worn device with features for data transfer for post-test analysis as well as real-time analysis over the Internet.

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RationalDiagnostics, LLC

Seattle

Researcher: Daniel E. Sabath, University of Washington Dept. of Laboratory Medicine

Year project began: 2001

RationalDiagnostics is a start-up clinical genomics company whose goal is to develop novel diagnostic tools based on the discovery of disease-specific genes. The company is currently focusing on identifying genes whose patterns of expression distinguish different types of B-cell lymphomas, and developing a highly sensitive lymphoma diagnostic tool. Better diagnostic tools are expected to improve the management of lymphoma patients and may yield molecular targets useful for developing new drug treatments.

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RealNetworks, Inc.

Seattle

http://www.realnetworks.com/

Researcher: Eve A. Riskin, University of Washington Dept. of Electrical Engineering

Year project began: 2000

RealNetworks is a leader in streaming media -- a way to make information such as audio and video available in real-time over the Internet. This project will implement code that improves performance of RealNetworks' streaming video over the World Wide Web and in wireless networks, by minimizing image loss during periods of network congestion.

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Recycled Plastics Marketing

Redmond

Researcher: Vipin Kumar, University of Washington Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

Year project began: 2002

Once thought of as waste, recycled milk and orange juice jugs have found a new use as environmentally friendly plastic lumber. Recycled Plastics Marketing(RPM) manufactures plastic lumber products in its Tacoma production plant from 100-percent recycled High-Density Polyethylene plastic, the same material used for many beverage containers. RPM has teamed with Vipin Kumar of the UW to increase its production rate with more efficient heat extraction and a reduction in batch-to-batch variation. Dr. Kumar's research interests include polymer processing and manufacturing, with extensive work in microcellular plastics technology.

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Sienna Technologies

Woodinville

http://www.siennatech.com/

Researcher: Yasuo Kuga, University of Washinton Dept. of Electrical Engineering

Year project began: 2002

Sienna Technologies manufactures high-performance aluminum nitride components for demanding thermal management in electronics and microwave communications applications. Sienna Technologies and Yasuo Kuga of the University of Washington are researching a new family of microwave communications lens materials, Functionally Graded Artificial Dielectrics (FGAD) materials and meta-materials. FGADs allow microwave lenses to be much smaller and lighter than traditional lenses by bending microwave energy throughout the entire lens, rather than just at the lens surface like traditional lenses. Dr. Kuga will analytically and numerically model FGAD materials using his expertise in electromagnetics. Sienna Technologies will then fabricate FGAD samples as modeled for evaluation and testing. Dr. Kuga has expertise in electromagnetics and remote sensing.

Researcher: Mehmet Sarikaya, University of Washington Dept. of Materials Science & Engineering

Year project began: 2001

Occasionally, components for high-power electronics and microwave communications industries will contain visual defects that, while not affecting performance, require the parts be reprocessed. The goal of this project was to identify, analyze, and eliminate the source of this cosmetic defect in Sienna's aluminum nitride products.

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Söliv

Seattle

http://www.soliv.com/

Consulting can be key to helping small companies gain competitive edge

Söliv is a small Seattle skin care company with a breakthrough product line founded on marine biotechnology. Armed with a patented proprietary material and R&D; to back it up, the company was ready to hit the ground running. But an economic downturn threatened to cripple the company's progress. The slowdown in the financial markets motivated the company to turn its attention inward, to fine-tune its market strategy and hold tight until investment opportunities looked more promising. A consulting contract with WTC's Small Business Counseling proved to be a smart move for Söliv and provided the company with an action plan for moving forward.

Company Profile

Söliv develops, processes, and markets bio-active, anti-aging skin and body care products. It is the first company in the Northwest to develop marine-based biotechnology products. In 2001, the company completed its initial research phase through WTC's Research Grant Program, in partnership with the University of Washington's Department of Botany, to develop an advanced aquaculture system for cultivating a specific seaweed strain used in Söliv's proprietary skin and body care products. The goal was to develop a technologically feasible method for assuring that large-scale supplies of this raw material would be available for product development and sales.

The Research Project

The WTC grant, in combination with support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), allowed Söliv to develop a successful platform for refining its aquaculture methods along with natural selection and propagation of new strains, each with different properties for skin care products. The result was a raw material base to support an $80 million to $100 million retail business with 25 products.

Business Situation

With its product line well established, Söliv turned its attention toward financing, marketing, sales, and manufacturing. The economic slowdown experienced over the past three years had made access to capital difficult, if not seemingly impossible, for small start-up businesses. Without a strong climate for going after investors, Söliv decided to focus on its internal operations and use the downtime from seeking funding to evaluate its positioning strategy for entering the market.

"This time proved valuable for us," notes Diane Boratyn, president and CEO of Söliv. "We got extremely efficient at doing what we do. We were ready to enter the market yet needed a game plan for transitioning the findings and test market maneuvers into a marketing and investment strategy. We had the elements in place, but saw the benefits of having a seasoned professional help shape our strategy for getting the 'edge' on securing funding."

Enter WTC's Manager of Small Business Counseling, Elaine Kong. In late 2003, WTC launched a new branch of its regional and technical services line, specifically targeted to assist small- and medium-sized technology companies with financing and strategic planning.

Having worked with WTC through its R&D; grant program, Söliv was familiar with WTC's services and was introduced to Kong as a resource to assist them with their business strategy.

Kong has a great deal of experience nationally and internationally in developing business and investment strategies for companies in the growth stages. Her background includes venture capital, start-up consulting, and strategic business planning.

For Söliv, the team focused on strategic planning, capitalization planning, due diligence package preparation, stock option research and compensation planning, investor advisory and sales strategies implementation.

"One of our primary objectives for Söliv was to develop a solid marketing and sales strategy," Kong explains. "For a company in their stage of growth, this is key to attracting investors. They are acutely interested in knowing how the company is preparing to move the product to market and generate revenue."

The Future

Since completing their consulting contract with WTC, Söliv has a solid sales and marketing plan in place, complete with short- and long-term goals for broadening their customer base, penetrating their target markets, and increasing sales of their product. To date, this includes adding four new full-time staff and five independent sales representatives. The sales force throughout Washington is projected to increase threefold by May 2004. The company plans to use recent capital raised to roll out its sales plan, expand its production facility, and increase manufacturing operations.

"To put it simply, WTC's Small Business Counseling services helped us overcome the 'financial paralysis' stage that a company may face when funding is tight," Boratyn says. "Elaine helped position the company to capture its strengths and accomplishments in financial terms and develop the tools needed to attract the most sophisticated groups of investors. Now we're prepared to deliver a high-quality, attractive presentation to investors, supported by a solid growth plan."

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Sonotech, Inc.

Bellingham

http://www.sonotech-inc.com/

Researcher: Buddy Ratner, University of Washington Dept. of Engineered Biomaterials

Year project began: 2001

Founded in 1986, Sonotech is a major supplier of medical and industrial ultrasound couplants in the U.S. The project will develop acoustic couplant materials in gel or thickened liquid form, for use with medical ultrasound imaging probes in surgical and transcutaneous puncture procedures where in vivo biocompatibility and biodegradability are essential to patient health and safety.

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SpringStar Inc.

Woodinville

http://www.springstar.net

RTD Award: Phase I

Research Partner: R. Bruce Darling, Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, University of Washington

Project Phase Began: 2006

Demand for pest control methods which do not rely on toxic or persistent chemicals is increasing as human and environmental concerns continue to grow. One such environmentally-friendly technology relies on natural chemicals, such as pheromones, instead of conventional toxic pesticides to control pests through mating disruption or trapping. However, the effectiveness of this method has been limited by the ability to capture and mimic the entire repertoire of communication patterns insects during courtship and mating. New research indicates that insect communication is more complex that previously believed. It has been discovered that some insects use a combination of message-bearing compounds and acoustic (vibration) signals to communicate. Integration of audio attractants with pheromone attractants into a comprehensive pest control system could greatly enhance the effectiveness of this biotechnology to control pests without toxicants. However, field-ready electronic equipment for researchers to capture and reproduce these faint and complex signals is scarce and costly. SpringStar Inc., a manufacturer of pheromone-based pest control products for homes and gardens, has teamed with Dr. R. Bruce Darling with the University of Washington's Electrical Engineering department to develop a system that can reproduce and integrate leading-edge entomology "song" data into an affordable, portable device for field analysis. This device will be integral to the development of new audio/chemical pest control methods for residential and commercial use with a goal of effectively and economically controlling key pests without pesticides.

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StressWave, Inc.

Kent

http://www.stress-wave.com/

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

Year project began: 2000

Over 60 percent of aircraft component failures are caused by metal fatigue problems, particularly cracking around drilled fastener holes in the fuselage. Aircraft are particularly sensitive to fatigue because of their thin, highly stressed structures. Current manufacturing methods to prevent in-service fatigue damage are both labor- and tooling-intensive and are not amenable to automation. WTC funding has supported UW researcher Brian Flinn's collaboration with Stresswave to optimize the company's new automated process, which makes the fastener holes more resistant to fatigue in a variety of metals.

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SuperTel Technologies, Inc.

Redmond

Researcher: Ming-Ting Sun, University of Washington Dept. of Electrical Engineering

Year project began: 2001

SuperTel designs and develops wireless voice and data communications products for commercial and business applications. They are teaming with UW researchers to investigate and implement Wireless Local Loop (WLL), a technology that uses fixed or mobile radio transceivers to provide telephone services. WLL is an alternative to telephone lines or cellular services, which are costly and sometimes difficult to install and maintain.

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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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Syntrix Biosystems

Redmond

http://www.syntrixbio.com/

Researcher: William M. Atkins, University of Washington Dept. of Medicinal Chemistry

Year project began: 2002

Syntrix Biosystems has developed a microchip platform for drug discovery that avoids the coding and decoding constraints of other chips. Syntrix is collaborating with William Atkins of UW to validate the ability of Syntrix's Combi-Chip to screen and identify drug candidates. The project aims to use the microchip platform to identify promising cancer therapeutics by allowing large combinatorial libraries to be synthesized and screened. Dr. Atkins is an expert in the enzymology of glutathione-S-transferases, the promising cancer therapeutic targets that are the focus of the project.

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Systematix Controls

Tukwila

Researcher: Richard R. Gustafson, University of Washington College of Forest Resources

Year project began: 2002

Systematix Controls manufactures pulp and paper-process control systems. The company is collaborating with Richard Gustafson, UW professor of Paper Science and Engineering, to further develop an optical sensor for measuring lignin content of individual wood fibers. Lignin is the natural glue that holds cellulose fibers together in wood and must be removed when making paper and pulp products. The sensor, originally developed with support from UW's Center for Process Analytical Chemistry, the U.S. Dept. of Energy, and pulp and paper companies, will allow paper and pulp mills to produce a more uniform product. Dr. Gustafson's expertise is in the area of sensors and control of pulp and paper systems, recently focusing on single-fiber analysis techniques.

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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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Thermionics

Port Townsend

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Therus Corporation

Seattle

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Todd Pacific Shipyards Corporation

Seattle

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TraceDetect

Seattle

http://www.tracedetect.com/

Researcher: Karl F. Böhringer, UW Dept. of Electrical Engineering

Year project began: 2004

TraceDetect develops electrochemical sensors for water analysis, and switching and sensing technologies. This project will research, design, and build a prototype fiber-optic routing switch for telecommunications system applications that is compact, low-power, and significantly faster than current products.

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TriPath

Redmond

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Ultreo (formerly Second Act Partners, Inc.)
(Business Closed)

Redmond (located in Sammamish at the time of the WTC grant)

Researcher: Dr. Pierre Mourad, UW Applied Physics Laboratory

Year project began: 2003

Power toothbrushes have proven to offer clear clinical advantages over manual brushing. Some models have bristles that move at a sonic speed--i.e., a frequency that can be heard. Dr. Mourad and his investigators are working to develop a power brush using a technology that they believe will improve the ability to clean the teeth and gums. Their research will test a prototype using various combinations of bristle motions. Second Act Partners, a start-up company, will draw upon their considerable experience to define the technical requirements of the product for market success.

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Vanson

Redmond

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VentriPoint, Inc.

Seattle

http://www.ventripoint.com

RTD Award: Phase I

Research Partner: Florence Sheehan, M.D., University of Washington Medical Center

Project Phase Began: 2006

Surgical advancements have greatly increased survival rates for babies born with congenital heart disease (CHD). However, anomalies in the heart persist that can cause complications years or even decades following surgery. Most patients require continued monitoring and imaging of the right ventricle to see if it is enlarging and developing heart failure. However measuring the right ventricle's function is difficult and costly due to its complex shape. The difficulty is amplified for CHD patients with abnormally shaped hearts. Current imaging systems on the market have serious limitations: echo techniques are inaccurate, MRIs are expensive, and CTs expose the patient to high doses of radiation. The best technique available is Knowledge-based Reconstruction (KBR), which generates a three-dimensional reconstruction of the patient's right ventricle to assist cardiologists in evaluating its volume, function, and shape. However this tool has yet to be fully developed and tested for CHD. VentriPoint is working with Dr. Florence Sheehan, director of the UW Medical Center's Cardiovascular Research and Training Center, to develop a KBR model for the right ventricle that will enable volume measurement over the full range of congenital anomalies, and to test the new model's accuracy and reproducibility for wide-spread clinical use.

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Virtual DSP

Everett

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VirtuSphere, Inc.

Sammamish

Researcher: Suzanne Weghorst, Senior Research Scientist, Human Interface Technology Laboratory, University of Washington

Project Year: 2005

VirtuSphere, Inc. has teamed with Dr. Weghorst with the UW's Human Interface Technology (HIT) Laboratory, a leading Virtual Reality academic research facility, to explore new market opportunities for the company's patented VirtuSphere product. This platform enables lifelike movements in virtual reality and delivers an innovative interface via the most natural form of navigation (i.e. walking). Virtual reality (VR) simulation was valued in 2003 at $42 billion worldwide. Revenues are projected to reach $78 billion by 2008. VR technology holds significant promise and potential for a host of applications including education and training, rehabilitation, recreation, and data visualization. One of the key barriers for VR has been the lack of devices which allow users to move freely and navigate naturally in virtual environments (VEs). The VirtuSphere omni-directional locomotion device provides a highly effective and robust solution to this problem, allowing lifelike movements with full-range of motion. VirtuSphere's primary market is military training and simulation. Through this project, the team will explore application of this technology to new commercial markets including interactive education, rehabilitation, and movement-based gaming.

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VisionGate

Gig Harbor

http://www.visiongate3d.com

VisionGate in the WTC news forum

RTD Award: Phase II

Research Partner: Eric J. Seibel, Ph.D., Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington

Research Phase Began: 2007

VisionGate, a Gig Harbor headquartered company working in the field of cancer diagnostics, is collaborating with University of Washington's Eric J. Seibel, Research Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering, Adjunct in Bioengineering and Assistant Director for Technology Development in the Human Interface Technology Laboratory (HIT Lab), to co-develop a 3D cell nucleus diffraction analysis instrument for pharmaceutical drug discovery and cell biology research. This phase two project is a continuation of work to develop high-throughput 3D diffraction analysis of cells. The instrument being developed will provide accurate, detailed information about a cell's macromolecular structure, as might result from changes in gene or protein expression due to mutation, disease processes or drug activity. The ability to analyze cell nuclei in 3D has the potential to advance cell biology research and make drug discovery more cost-effective. One area where this technology has high potential is rare event detection, where large numbers of cells are examined to discover the few that may contain genetic alterations, making them good candidates for use in drug discovery. Another promising field is drug therapy research where cellular and nuclear textures are often good indicators of basic cell response to active compounds. VisionGate's commercial instrument is expected to break new ground with its patented 3D diffraction analysis and, as such, will provide a uniquely powerful capability in the search for new drug opportunities.

"I am thrilled to see VisonGate receive this prestigious research grant. Alan Nelson and his staff are to be commended for their efforts and I am looking forward to the fruits of his, and Mr. Seibel's, research."

State Rep. Patricia Lantz, (D- Gig Harbor).

Research Partner: Eric J. Seibel, Research Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering and Adjunct in Bioengineering and Assistant Director for Technology Development in the Human Interface Technology Laboratory (HIT Lab)

Project Years: 2002, 2005

VisionGate, a Gig Harbor headquartered company working in the field of cancer diagnostics, is collaborating with Dr. Seibel to co-develop a 3D cell nucleus diffraction analysis instrument for pharmaceutical drug discovery and cell biology research. This instrument will provide accurate, detailed information about a cell's macromolecular structure, as might result from changes in gene or protein expression due to mutation, disease processes or drug activity. The ability to analyze cell nuclei in 3D has the potential to advance cell biology research and make drug discovery more cost-effective. One area where this technology has high potential is rare event detection, where large numbers of cells are examined to discover the few that may contain genetic alterations, making them good candidates for use in drug discovery. Another promising field is drug therapy research where cellular and nuclear textures are often good indicators of basic cell response to active compounds. VisionGate's commercial instrument is expected to break new ground with its patented 3D diffraction analysis, and as such, will provide a uniquely powerful capability in the search for new drug opportunities.

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VizX Labs

Seattle

http://www.vizxlabs.com/

Researcher: Dr. Daniel Sabath, UW Dept. of Laboratory Medicine

Year project began: 2003

VizX Labs is a life science technology company delivering knowledge discovery systems that enhance researchers' understanding of genetic mechanisms of disease. The diagnosis, treatment, and prediction of outcome from treatment of diseases such as cancer would substantially improve if tests were available to characterize various forms of the disease more precisely. VizX and Dr. Sabath are developing laboratory and software methodology to simultaneously measure the expression of multiple genes using DNA microarrays, to determine which genes are active in a blood or tissue sample. DNA microarrays will allow doctors to provide customized therapies by understanding the basis of disease at a molecular level.

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Wacom Technology Corporation

Vancouver

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Zess Technologies

Vancouver

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Zymogenetics, Inc.

Seattle

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