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Washington Technology Center Clients

Advanced Hardware Architectures, Inc.
Pullman

http://www.aha.com

Researcher: Benjamin Belzer, WSU School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Year project began: 2000
Advanced Hardware Architectures is a fabless semiconductor design firm that is expanding into the wireless data communication market. This project will develop an error control coding architecture to provide high-performance, complexity-limited error coding and modulation circuits.

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Advanced Silicon Materials, LLC
Moses Lake

http://www.asimi.com/

Researcher: David F. Bahr, WSU School of Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Year project began: 2000

Advanced Silicon Materials is a leading producer of polycrystalline silicon, the feed material used by silicon wafer manufacturers in the growth of single crystal silicon ingots. The focus of the project is to develop tests to monitor the fracture toughness of machined polysilicon rods, so that breakage during handling can be eliminated.

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American Premix Technologies
Creston

Researcher: Dr. Shulin Chen, Washington State University, Biological Systems Engineering Department

Year Project Began: 2004

This project is focused on converting biodiesel waste into an additive for a new commercial animal feed supplement. During the typical biodiesel production process, glycerin is the primary waste product. The current market for glycerin products can only absorb about 50 percent of the amount produced from biodiesel production. An alternate use for this waste presents strong market potential. APT and WSU are working on technology to optimize a process for converting biodiesel waste to algae biomass that is high in Omega 3 fatty acids. This biomass can then be used as a supplement to an organic animal feed that the company plans to develop and market. The algae act as a nutrient conductor to the animals, whose systems cannot synthesize large carbon fatty acids by themselves. This technology has the potential to create an emerging business opportunity and at the same time, convert an environmental liability into a commercial product for end-use health benefits.

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Amplicon Express
Pullman

http://www.genomex.com

Researcher: Jerry J. Reeves, WSU Dept. of Animal Sciences

Year project began: 2000

One goal of livestock management is to keep heifers in the feedlot from becoming pregnant. Dr. Reeves and Amplicon Express, a marketer of genetic and microbiological products, are collaborating on a project to develop and test a hormone fusion protein for use as a sterilization vaccine in cattle.

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Andgar Corp.
Ferndale

http://www.andgar.com/

Researcher: Dr. Shulin Chen, WSU Dept. of Biological Systems Engineering

Year project began: 2003

Livestock producers are under increasing pressure, including legal action, to manage manure and process water in a way that controls odors and protects environmental quality. Livestock and livestock products are a $1.5 billion industry in Washington. Anaerobic digesters, also known as biogas recovery systems, are one possible solution to better management of manure and process water.

Anaerobic digesters use bacteria to breakdown the manure in a chamber while capturing methane, one of the by-products that can be used to generate heat or electricity. Andgar Corporation, based in Ferndale, has expertise in fabrication of components and construction of digesters. Andgar is collaborating with Dr. Shulin Chen to refine development of an enzymatic pretreatment to enable smaller, more efficient reaction chambers that put anaerobic digestion within financial reach of more livestock producers.

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Arcadia Biosciences, Inc.
Seattle

http://www.arcadiabio.com

RTD Award: Phase II

Research Partner: Diter von Wettstein, Ph.D., Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Washington State University

Project Began: 2007

Arcadia Biosciences, Seattle, has teamed with Dr. Diter von Wettstein from Washington State University to accelerate the development of new wheat cultivars for Washington crops. The partners are working to create new strains of wheat that reduce the allergens linked to Celiac disease. This gluten sensitivity affects approximately 3 million Americans. This phase two project is a continuation of research to develop and commercialize wheat which lacks the gliadin epitopes that cause Celiac disease. New technologies for developing wheat are needed since the dietary quality of grain protein cannot be improved by conventional breeding. Washington is the third highest wheat producing state in the U.S. and its wheat industry is a $450 million business. However, the state faces increasing competition from foreign markets. Finding ways to quickly grow and harvest higher-quality wheat will close this gap, reduce costs to farmers, open up new revenue for the state's wheat industry, and improve the lives of those affected by Celiac disease.

"Investment in the technologies and industries of the future is critical to the economic vitality of our state. Companies such as Arcadia Biosciences are not only commercializing technologies that protect our health, they are providing the residents of our state with living-wage jobs."

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


RTD Award: Phase I

Research Partner: Diter von Wettstein, Ph.D., Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Washington State University

Project Began: 2006

Arcadia Biosciences, Seattle, has teamed with Dr. Diter von Wettstein from Washington State University to accelerate the development of new wheat cultivars for Washington crops. Incorporating Arcadia's Nitrogen Use Efficiency gene into the wheat may result in reduced fertilizer costs for farmers, improved wheat quality and limit environmental damage of excess nitrogen leaching into groundwater. The partners are also working to create new strains of wheat that reduce the allergens linked to celiac disease. This gluten sensitivity affects approximately 3 million Americans. Washington is the third highest wheat producing state in the U.S. and its wheat industry is a $450 million business. However, the state faces increasing competition from foreign markets. Finding ways to quickly grow and harvest higher-quality wheat will close this gap, reduce costs to farmers, and open up new revenue for the state's wheat industry.

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ATL Ultrasound (now Philips)
Bothell

Researcher: Amit Bandyopadhyay, WSU School of Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Year project began: 2000

ATL is a worldwide leader in the manufacturing, distribution, and service of diagnostic medical ultrasound systems. The project will design and develop high element count, high frequency micro-machined medical ultrasound transducers for skin, eye, and heart imaging.

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ATS
Silverdale

http://www.atsid.com

About ATS
ATS is an innovative engineering company that provides information exploitation and naval logistics services and technologies to agencies and departments within the U.S. Intelligence Community, Department of Defense, and various government/civilian organizations. ATS also provides mission-critical IT support services to both government and commercial customers. Founded in 1980, ATS is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) with offices in Silverdale, WA, Norfolk, VA and Washington, D.C. More information about ATS services and technology is available online at http://www.atsid.com.

RTD Award: Phase II

Project Title: "Schema mapping for a flexible graphical data mining platform"

Research Partner: Associate Professor Krishnamoorthy Sivakumar, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Washington State University

Phase Began: 2009

ATS, a Silverdale-based provider of intelligent search software and services, is working with Washington State University's School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science to develop data merging algorithms.

WSU will receive $50,000 in Phase II research and technology development funding from Washington Technology Center and $17,500 from ATS for the project titled "Schema mapping for a flexible graphical data mining platform."

ATS and WSU Associate Professor Krishnamoorthy Sivakumar will continue a working collaboration in this Phase II project. The team plans to develop algorithms for recognizing similar or duplicate nodes or objects in a single database, or two related databases, and suitably merging them. These new data mining algorithms will aid in the discovery of information vital to many fields including Homeland Security and law enforcement.

"The power exists to generate, gather, share, and store vast amounts of information. The problem, however, is easily fusing this data so relationships and patterns are revealed and can be explored. A barrier to fusing data in any kind of cost or time effective manner is the issue of schema mapping. Without schema mapping, multiple data sources quickly become a digital version of the Tower of Babel and useless for providing timely information. Schema mapping is currently a time-consuming manual process and many data fusion initiatives have met their end due to the time and costs associated with schema mapping. This project with WSU holds the potential to significantly speed up the mapping process and position the State of Washington as a leader in the deep mining of the Internet and other large data sources."

ATS President David Wachter

"This project will build upon our earlier work on mining data objects represented graphically as nodes and links between them. Similarity between nodes based on their attributes and links to other nodes will be used to identify and combine similar objects."

Associate Professor Krishnamoorthy Sivakumar, Washington State University

"State grants which bring together local companies and research institutions will empower innovative ideas to become practical solutions and drive job creation and business opportunities. I am proud of the Silverdale-based company, ATS, which is a good example of a local company working with a state university."

State Sen. Phil Rockefeller (D-Kitsap County)

RTD Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Graphical Data Mining platform for Social Analysis and Network Discovery"

Research Partner: Associate Professor Krishnamoorthy Sivakumar, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Washington State University

Phase Began: 2008

ATS Intelligent Discovery, a Silverdale-based provider of intelligent search software and services, is working with Associate Professor Krishnamoorthy Sivakumar of Washington State University's School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science to develop a graphical database mining platform for improved data analysis and discovery.

WSU received $43,368 in Phase I Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center for the project titled "Graphical Data Mining platform for Social Analysis and Network Discovery."

Ten years ago, data storage was expensive, computer processing power was limited and databases were designed to optimize this precious processing and storage resource. Today processing power and costs have improved, but much data is still stored in a format that optimizes processing and storage over analysis and discovery.

In this Phase I project, ATS Intelligent Discovery and Dr. Sivakumar will develop and demonstrate powerful data mining algorithms and applications facilitated by ATS's patent pending REGGAE multidimensional data analysis engine. These new data mining algorithms will aid in the discovery of information vital to many fields including Homeland Security and law enforcement.

"Research innovation and ideas are shaping up to form the cornerstone of our 21st century economy. Public-private partnerships in our high-tech industry will play a big role in driving that economy forward. A great example of this is ATS Intelligent Discovery's work with WSU on its data mining project. I'm pleased that Kitsap County is the home base of this dynamic company."

State Sen. Phil Rockefeller, (D-Kitsap County)

"ATS Intelligent Discovery's ability to secure this grant is testament to the quality of work they're doing. High tech continues to drive our state's economy and it's great to see Silverdale on the edge of this job-producing industry. ATS's success and innovation will draw jobs to our community, and that's good news for everyone."

State Rep. Sherry Appleton (D-Poulsbo)

"Advances in research and development are key to our state's continued economic strength. This award shows how important Kitsap County's businesses are to the state network of research institutions and cutting-edge computer sciences."

State Rep. Christine Rolfes (D-Bainbridge Island)

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Avista Utilities
Spokane

http://www.avistautilities.com/

Researcher: Gustavo V. Barbosa-Canovas, WSU Dept. of Biological Systems Engineering

Year project began: 2001

Dr. Barbosa-Canovas is collaborating with Avista, a natural gas and electricity utility, and Inland Northwest Dairies to develop an augmented milk pasteurization process, using pulsed electric fields to obtain a product of better quality and longer shelf life. Energy requirements are expected to be significantly less than the requirements of competing processes.

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B&G; Farms
Royal City

Researcher: Dr. Steven Verhey, Central Washington University and Dr. Lynne Carpenter-Boggs, Washington State University

Year Project Began: 2004

This project is aimed at studing the commercial potential of mint-based compost. B&G; Farms is a diversified agricultural company that produces both organic and conventionally-grown produce. It is the largest organic producer in Washington and sells most of its product to Pacific Rim companies. Washington state mint crop is worth $50 million annually. Disposal of mint waste is costly to growers and a source of ongoing environmental challenge. In a previous Phase 1 study, the research team developed a patented process for converting mint waste into high-quality compost. The compost has value as a fertilizer, soil-enhancer and disease suppression and can be used in conventional and organic agriculture and landscaping, viticulture, turf, and horticulture. In this Phase 2 grant, the company and researchers will continue to evolve the process and carry out field trials on several target crops in summer 2005 using the compost produced from the 2004 mint crop.

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Barlean's Organic Oils
Ferndale

http://barleans.com/

Researcher: Norman Lewis, WSU Institute of Biological Chemistry

Year project began: 2000

Numerous scientific studies suggest that there is a connection between cultures that ingest a diet high in plant lignans (phyto-estrogens) and a lower incidence of estrogen-related cancers, including breast, colon, and prostate cancers. Flaxseed and flaxseed meal contain high levels of plant lignans, and have been marketed as health food products for many years.

Barlean's Organic Oils, a leading U.S. manufacturer of health food supplements, has teamed with WSU's Institute of Biological Chemistry to commercialize a proprietary method of extracting plant lignans from flaxseed with a consistent high level of potency. The company intends to market the resulting product as a nutriceutical.

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Bio-OriGyn, LLC
Valleyford

http://www.bioorigyn.com/

Researcher: C. Harold Mielke, WSU Health Research and Education Center

Year project began: 2001

To meet medical blood transfusion demands, there is a critical need for a continuous supply of fresh human blood platelets. However, because of inferior storage methods, much of the nation's supply of platelets is discarded every year -- at a loss to the industry of nearly $300 million. Since 1994, OriGyn Technologies has specialized in cell storage and in vitro handling systems, discovering a proprietary plant sugar currently used in their infertility products. These sugars, by reducing cellular oxidative stress during handling, can be used to improve the storage of blood products. In the FTI project funded by WTC, Bio-OriGyn is working with Dr. Mielke to develop a novel liquid storage system for banking fresh human platelets that not only prolongs platelet viability, but also improves functional capacity following collection and storage. Dr. Mielke is an expert on blood platelets and is the founder and editor emeritus of the Journal of Clinical Apheresis, a journal specializing in blood banking, blood cell separations, and blood cell storage.

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Cadwell Laboratories, Inc.
Kennewick

RTD Award: Phase I

Research Partner: James Wise, Ph.D., Washington State University - Tri-Cities

Project Phase Began: 2006

Psychiatric medications are among the most frequently prescribed substances in the U.S. Until recently, prescription methodology relied heavily on trial-and-error due to lack of clinical tools to match medications to patients' physiology. Two Tri-Cities companies, Cadwell Laboratories and CNS Response, co-developed a patented referenced electroencephalography (rEEG) analysis tool for the treatment of neuropsychiatric illnesses. The rEEG combines Cadwell's state-of-the-art hardware with CNS Response's data analysis software to predict which agent or combination of agents are the most therapeutically beneficial. Studies have shown this method to be 70 to 80 percent effective in treating ADD/ADHD, depression, head injury, eating disorders and substance abuse problems. However, currently no analytic tool exists to help with drug diagnosis and treatment of psychotic illnesses, such as schizophrenia. For this grant project, Cadwell and CNS have teamed with Dr. James Wise, expert research analyst and psychology professor at Washington State University in Tri-Cities, to develop an rEEG analysis database for antipsychotic medications and test its effectiveness in clinical trials. Dr. Wise will also work with Dr. Robert Drury of CNS Response Advanced Data Analysis Laboratory of Richland, Washington to apply state-of-the-art nonlinear data analysis techniques to enhancing rEEG's efficacy.

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Caldus Semiconductor
Richland

Researchers: M. Grant Norton and Hussein M. Zbib, WSU School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Year project began: 2002

Caldus Semiconductor develops silicon-carbide-based semiconductor packages for high-temperature sensors that can be used in harsh environments, such as those found in fuel cells and the catalytic reformer. The recent move of fuel cells into the mainstream of energy generation provides huge opportunities and requirements for the company's robust sensor technology. They will collaborate with M. Grant Norton and Hussein M. Zbib of WSU to study interface structures formed during processing, as well as develop a model of the package design that will be used as a predictive tool for package performance and to shorten development time. Dr. Norton has extensive experience in the use of electron microscopy for interface characterization. Dr. Zbib's expertise is in the areas of solid mechanics, plasticity, dislocations, and applications to manufacturing processes.

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Cascade Quality Molding, Inc.
Yakima

http://www.cascadequalitymolding.com

Research Partner: Jinwen Zhang, PhD, Washington State University, Wood Materials & Engineering

Project Description:
The disposal of plastic food packaging is become a major environmental concern. Billions of cups, utensils and plates are used in the U.S. each year; more than half of these are made of petrochemical plastics, which make them a waste hazard. Biodegradable plastic food service and packaging products present a more environment-friendly alternative. However, performance and price continue to be a challenge, keeping them from being widely introduced into the commercial market. The challenges lie in materials that are water-resistant and can withstand high heat. Cascade Quality Molding is partnering with Dr. Zhang at Washington State University to develop a technology for manufacturing biodegradable and compostable disposal food service cutlery. The product will utilize wood fiber and PHA composites (thermoplastics derived from corn starch or sugar). This combination provides a highly heat-resistant, strong product with readily available base products for low production costs. Cascade's goal is to produce the cutlery at 50 percent less cost than similar products on the market and scale production to meet commercial demand.

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Columbia PhytoTechnology, LLC

Carson

http://www.columbiaphytotechnology.com

RTD Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Radiant Zone Drying: Energy Efficient, Economical, and High Quality Liquid Drying Technology for Nutraceutical and Food Ingredients"

Research Partner: Kerry Ringer, Ph.D., Assistant Food Scientist, Washington State University

Project Began: 2008

Columbia PhytoTechnology, an innovator in the field of nutritional ingredients located in Carson, Wash., is working with researcher Dr. Kerry Ringer of the Washington State University, Prosser Irrigated Agricultural Research and Extension Center to develop an innovative dehydration technology for nutraceutical and food ingredients.

WSU received $45,334 in Phase I Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center for the project titled "Radiant Zone Drying: Energy Efficient, Economical, and High Quality Liquid Drying Technology for Nutraceutical and Food Ingredients."

Powders made from fruits, vegetables and plant extracts are a rapidly growing market as consumers become more health conscious and focused on the actual nutrients they ingest. However, the food and nutrition industries and, hence, consumers, have very few choices in either high-quality, economical powders or dehydration technologies. In order to provide these types of products to the industry, an advance in drying technology is required.

In this Phase I project, Columbia PhytoTechnology and Dr. Ringer will optimize the use of Columbia's Radiant Zone Drying technology for commercial production. This patented technology uses radiant heat, modulated through various heat zones to remove water from fruit, vegetable and plant juices, purees and extracts. The ability to control temperature through the various zones ensures the retention of product nutrients. This innovation seeks to provide affordable, nutrient rich products through an efficient and economical commercial scale process.

"The Radiant Zone Drying Technology is just one of the many innovations developed by Columbia PhytoTechnology since it was founded in 2000. I am proud to see such cutting-edge research and development taking place in the 15th Legislative District."

State Sen. Jim Honeyford, (R-Sunnyside)

"This is an exciting example of the growing economic potential of the Columbia Gorge. It's applied research that's actually going to help meet a rapidly emerging consumer demand. I'm glad the state can play a part in making this technology successful."

State Rep. Bruce Chandler, (R-Granger)

"It's great to see a local business benefit through this opportunity. It allows Columbia PhytoTechnology to grow as a company, which will contribute to our local and state economy. This will provide economic benefit to our region's agricultural industry. The grant will also provide options for health-conscious consumers seeking quality food ingredients."

State Rep. Dan Newhouse, (R-Sunnyside)

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D & A Instrument Company

Port Townsend

http://www.d-a-instruments.com/

Researcher: Thanos Papanicolaou, WSU Dept. of Civil Engineering

Year project began: 2000

D & A Instrument is currently developing an instrument that can monitor the movement of gravel in streambeds. That's good news for salmon, which require gravel for spawning, and for state and local governments, which are largely responsible for preserving or restoring salmon habitat under the Endangered Species Act.

The technology, called the Gravel Transport Sensor (GTS), is an acoustic device that detects and counts gravel particles moving downstream as they impact a steel pipe (recorded as number of "pings"). Thanos Papanicolaou, of WSU's Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is working with D & A to develop and test algorithms to calculate the rate of flow of gravel based on the collected data. These algorithms will serve as the basis for embedded software in the product. Currently the monitoring of gravel movement is highly labor-intensive, requiring individuals to go physically into the streams and collect samples of gravel. Decision-makers in several government agencies have already expressed an interest in the product, according to John Downing, president of D & A. These include the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington State Department of Ecology, and state and federal highway departments. GTS can also be used to monitor the movement of gravel as a result of logging and increased urbanization, and to determine the effect of scour on bridge supports in gravel bed streams.

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Decagon Devices

Pullman


http://www.decagon.com

Research Partner: Dr. Markus Flury, WSU Dept. of Crop and Soil Sciences

Project Began: 1999

Food processors are interested in water activity, an important property that can be used to predict stability and safety of foods. The water activity of a food describes the energy status of water in a food, and hence its availability to act as a solvent and participate in chemical or biochemical reactions. Water activity, not water content, determines the lower limit of available water for microbial growth. Water activity also plays a role in the appearance, texture, and smell of a food.
Currently, the instruments used to measure water activity, differential scanning calorimeters and dynamic mechanical thermal analysis, are expensive and require technical expertise to operate. Decagon Devices, located in Pullman and known for their high-quality biophysical instruments for food quality testing and environmental research, has developed a prototype instrument that will be easier to use and produce results more quickly at lower cost. Dr. Markus Flury of WSU's Department of Crop and Soil Sciences was awarded funding for a two-year project, beginning in July 1999, to further develop and test Decagon's thermodielectric analyzer prototype, which will measure the freezing characteristics (the relationship between unfrozen water content and temperature) of hydrated foods, soils and other materials, and will relate the freezing characteristic to the moisture characteristic (relationship between water content and water potential) for these materials.

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Efficere Technologies, Inc.

Vancouver

http://www.efficere.com

RTD Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Design Automation for High-speed Electronic Systems"

Research Partner: Xiaolin (Linda) Chen, Ph.D., School of Engineering and Computer Science, Washington State University Vancouver

Project Began: 2008

Efficere Technologies, a creator of patented technology for high-performance electronics located in Vancouver, Wash., has teamed with researcher Xiaolin (Linda) Chen of Washington State University Vancouver's School of Engineering and Computer Science to develop a software toolset that improves the electronic systems design process.

WSU Vancouver received $24,788 in Phase I Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center for the project titled "Design Automation for High-speed Electronic Systems."

Technology trends toward higher speed and higher density devices have pushed high-performance electronic system design to its limits. In order to design high-performance systems with fast time-to-market, it is essential to be able to analyze a whole system or part of one at a fundamentally deeper level of physics. An automated circuit/electromagnetic (EM) analysis and simulation solution is critically important in improving design efficiency of high-speed systems.

In this Phase I project, Efficere Technologies and Dr. Chen will evaluate the feasibility and develop process integration tools that will provide seamless interoperability across a range of software tools such as electronics design automation layout editors, CAD geometry modelers and EM Solvers. The developed software toolset will streamline communication across these stand-alone tools, and provide an important missing link to the current design process of high-performance electronic systems.

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Enerdyne Solutions

North Bend

Researchers: Dr. George LaRue, Dr. Mohamed Osman, WSU Electrical Engineering Department

Year project began: 2004

This project will focus on developing a Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) Radio Frequency (RF) amplifier, for use in wireless communications and radar applications, that has two- to three-times higher thermal performance over existing designs. This has the potential to increase power and reliability without compromising battery life or adding to the cost, size, or weight of the device.

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Flat Spin Media, LLC

Spokane

Researcher: Michael Hendryx, WSU-Spokane, Health Policy and Administration

Year project began: 2001

Flat Spin Media, an information-technology-based hardware and software development company, is developing an electronic touchscreen notebook device for data collection. The company is collaborating with Dr. Hendryx to design a mental health survey application for their device. This technology can help health care system providers survey clients rapidly, efficiently, and confidentially, thus enhancing their clinical management and accountability.

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Forest Concepts LLC

Auburn (located in Federal Way during a WTC affiliation)

http://www.forestconcepts.com

Researcher: Joan Q. Wu, Associate Professor, Biological Engineering Systems, Washington State University

Project date: 2005

Founded in 1998, Forest Concepts develops and commercializes innovative wood products. The company is teamed with Dr. Wu and the Soil and Water Engineering Research Work Unit, part of the Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station in Moscow, Idaho, to develop engineering data that will enable design of a wood-strand material for wind erosion control and air quality protection. Forest Concepts' WoodStraw erosion control material is a natural wood product made from the by-products of forest thinning and veneer manufacturing. Wind and water erosion are major ecological problems. Airborne dust from construction sites, wildfire aftermath, and farmland can be hazardous to human health and the environment. Wind erosion poses a particular challenge since the engineering science is not sufficient to enable disciplined design of control methods. Existing control techniques either are not cost effective or not environmentally sustainable. WoodStraw material offers a possible solution. The wood strands are environmentally friendly, decomposing into organic matter without introducing non-native weeds or chemical materials into the soil. They are more wind resistant than current products on the market, allowing for better and longer protection until natural vegetation develops. Forest Concepts and Dr. Wu plan to test the properties of WoodStraw strands to optimize performance in controlling wind erosion.

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FungusAmongUs

Snohomish

http://www.fungusamongus.com

RTD Award: Phase I

Research Partner: Dr. Juming Tang and researchers in Biological Systems Engineering, Washington State University

Project Began: 2007

FungusAmongUs, a Snohomish-based supplier of non-perishable mushroom-based products, has teamed with Dr. Juming Tang from Washington State University to develop processes for producing shelf-stable ready-to-serve soup in flexible, heat-sealable containers called retortable pouches. The WSU research team will conduct the design and development of thermal sterilization processes and products. FungusAmongUs will provide the guidelines and raw materials for soup formulation. FungusAmongUs has an established presence in the gourmet and natural market as a producer of organic mushroom-based soups with products sold through national and local outlets such as Whole Foods, QFC and Fred Meyer. Washington state is the fourth largest producer of mushrooms in the U.S. with a $15 million share of the $889 million annual U.S. mushroom market. Over the past 10 years as consumers have become familiar with more exotic varieties, demand for medicinal and culinary uses of mushrooms has steadily increased. High in nutrition, mushrooms are now regarded as a beneficial food in modern diets. As eating habits have changed, today's consumers expect quick but healthy foods. Recent consumer surveys indicate strong interest in ready-made soup, with the organic soup category showing 40% growth in 2005. Development of process protocols for shelf-stable ready-to-serve mushroom soups will widen the product range available to FungusAmongUs and, in turn, lead to higher sales volumes and generation of more employment opportunities.

"This program helps to create more high-tech, high wage jobs in Snohomish County. The ripple effect from these jobs will benefit the entire region."

State Sen. Steve Hobbs (D-Lake Stevens)

"This is the perfect kind of targeted help from the state that builds jobs. New jobs are in new markets and this is a perfect example."

State Rep. Hans Dunshee, (D-Snohomish)

"Our economy used to be based on horsepower - and now it runs on brainpower. The research we're doing, and the scientific barriers we're breaking, will make our economy strong here in Washington state and improve the health and lives of people around the world.

State Rep. John Lovick (D-Mill Creek)

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Galaxy Compound Semiconductor

Spokane

Researcher: Dr. Matthew McCluskey, WSU Department of Physics Research

Year project began: 2004

Dr. McCluskey will focus on characterizing a new infrared detector material that will have a wider spectral range than conventional detectors. An indium-antimonide(InSb)-based material that operates in the far infrared region would be a strong competitor for mercury-cadmium-telluride (MCT) semiconductors in this market. To achieve this, Galaxy proposes adding Bismuth (Bi) to the alloy to extend the wavelength. Prototypes of the new detector will be tested, opening up new markets for Galaxy and increasing interest in InSbBi semiconductor materials.

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GenPrime, Inc.

Spokane

http://www.genprime.com/

Researcher: Jim Fleming, EWU Dept. of Biology

Year project began: 2001

GenPrime, a biotech company, has developed and is selling test kits for determining microbe concentrations in the cultured dairy and brewing industries. Funds will support generating a new rapid test for raw milk, which will alert farmers to contaminated milk within minutes - rather than after the milk has gone to the dairy processor.

Researcher: Dong-Hyun Kang, WSU Dept. of Food Sciences and Human Nutrition

Year project began: 2002

Dong-Hyun Kang of WSU is also collaborating with GenPrime to develop a method to test for coliforms, or bacteria that make humans sick, in half the time of current methods for a fraction of the cost. Dr. Kang is a food safety specialist with expertise in detection of food-borne pathogens.

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GeoMonkey, Inc.

Vancouver

http://www.mapwith.us

About GeoMonkey, Inc.
GeoMonkey, Inc. (dba MapWith.Us) was founded in 2006 based on patented technology developed at Washington State University by Dr. Orest Pilskalns and a small team of developers. MapWith.Us is a provider of innovative web-based mapping solutions for desktop and mobile devices. We aim to make custom map creation simple and fast, providing valuable solutions for both business and consumer use. Our mobile phone applications make it possible to instantly upload mobile content from your phone to our online maps. We are partnering with businesses in a variety of industries, from newspaper and publishing companies, to travel and tourism, providing online mapping tools and real-time mobile apps. For more information, visit www.mapwith.us or email business@mapwith.us.

RTD Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Creating an Extensible Framework around Real-time Geo-Spatial Data Acquisition"

Research Partner: Assistant Professor Orest Pilskalns, School of Engineering and Computer Science, WSU Vancouver

Phase Began: 2009

GeoMonkey, a Vancouver-based developer of mapping software, is collaborating with WSU Vancouver's School of Engineering and Computer Science to develop a framework for publishing geo-spatial data generated from consumer mobile communication devices.

WSU Vancouver will receive $35,582 in Phase I research and technology development funding from Washington Technology Center and $8,092 from GeoMonkey for the project titled "Creating an Extensible Framework around Real-time Geo-Spatial Data Acquisition."

Real-time GPS tracking devices are currently used in logistics management for tracking commercial goods and vehicles in transit. However, applications of this technology to consumer mobile communication devices and markets have not yet been fully developed and commercialized.

With this project, the collaborative team of GeoMonkey and WSU Vancouver Assistant Professor Orest Pilskalns plan to develop a framework to record, process and publish continual geo-spatial data generated from consumer mobile communications devices such as smart phones. Target markets for this technology include journaling, security, people management, and games.

"We are excited to partner with WSU and WTC on this project. As a small but growing startup, this is a great opportunity for us to build our company and advance our technology, in collaboration with the research expertise found within the university. The technology to be developed will benefit our current and future customers, enabling more advanced mobile applications."

Juli Morse, VP of Business Development for GeoMonkey, Inc.

"This project has potential to transform the way mobile devices are utilized, creating useful, real-time data feeds. The collaboration with MapWith.Us will provide our students with valuable experience interacting with industry partners and creating solutions to applied problems."

Dr. Orest Pilskalns, Assistant Professor at WSU.

"The economic development potential of the full collaboration between WTC and WSU Vancouver is dramatic! This is just one example of the kinds of things we can expect to see in the future with continued legislative collaboration."
State Sen. Craig Pridemore (D-Vancouver)

"This is an outstanding example of how effective partnerships between business and higher education create jobs while promoting excellence in research and development. The WTC's award to GeoMonkey and WSU Vancouver will benefit the entire community, and is great news as we begin the New Year."

State Rep. Bill Fromhold (D-Vancouver)

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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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Inova, Inc.

Richland

Researcher: Benjamin Belzer, WSU Dept. of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

Year project began: 2001

Inova develops, markets, and manufactures innovative human-to-computer interfaces, including the Magi IT network management system. The company is designing a wireless KVMS switch for network server monitoring systems, which it hopes will compete with and ultimately replace existing wired monitoring systems.

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La Haye Laboratories, Inc.

Redmond

Researcher: Boon P. Chew, WSU Dept. of Animal Sciences

Year project began: 2001

La Haye Labs is a developer, manufacturer, and marketer of natural pharmaceutical, nutritional, or dietary supplement products intended primarily for humans. Their latest product is astaZANTHIN, an all-natural antioxidant that has shown promise in many areas, including cardiovascular diseases, dermatology, and cancer. Antioxidants are thought to prevent certain types of cell damage associated with artery disease and aging, but their usefulness has not been proved. Project funds will help support studies of the product's possible immune-enhancing activity, a step that is necessary for the product to be accepted as a nutritional or dietary supplement.

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LumenIQ, Inc.

Bellingham

http://www.lumeniq.com/

Researcher: Dr. David Field, WSU School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Year project began: 2004

In order to evaluate the integrity of industrial structures like pipelines and storage tanks, engineers rely on Non-Destructive Examination (NDE), which allows testing without destroying the structure. A significant number of NDE processes use radiography (imaging from penetrating radiation).

Historically, radiographic NDE has been performed by hand measurement of physical X-ray film and is limited by a human's ability to read the image. LumenIQ has developed software tools that "see" grayscale data that the human eye cannot discern, thus enabling better interpretation.

In conjunction with Professor Field, the company is testing its software to evaluate corrosion, determine wall thickness, and locate weld deformities using steel and iron. The result will be a series of mathematical calculations that form the foundation for the addition of a material-thickness measurement feature to LumenIQ's core imaging product. The company anticipates that the addition of this NDE-specific feature will result in an inspection product that will be sold to both NDE equipment manufacturers and smaller NDE consultants.

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MCD Technologies

Tacoma

http://www.mcdtechnologiesinc.com/

Researchers: Dr. Juming Tang and Dr. Caleb Nindo, Food Engineering & Food Processing Technology, Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Washington State University

Project year(s): 2002, 2005

MCD Technologies, a developer and manufacturer of food drying and evaporation systems, is partnered with Dr. Juming Tang and Dr. Caleb Nindo, Professors of Food Engineering & Food Processing Technology for the Department of Biological Systems Engineering at Washington State University, to conduct further research on the company's Refractance Window® systems. MCD Technologies' market edge comes from the ease of use and cost-effectiveness of its drying system when compared to freeze-drying and vacuum evaporators. Earlier studies conducted by the research team proved that Refractance Window® drying can produce fruits and vegetables with excellent color and nutrient retention. The system also produces foods and human nutritional supplements that meet strict manufacturing standards for kosher and organic certified products. This next phase of research will investigate the feasibility of using the evaporator in tandem with the dryer to produce products with high nutrient retention over time and long-life shelf stability. Proof of performance in these areas will be used to secure future equipment sales and continue to increase the company's customer base.

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McFarland Cascade

Tacoma

http://www.ldm.com/

Researchers: Michael P. Wolcott (2001) and Dr. Karl Englund (2005), Wood Materials & Engineering Laboratory, Washington State University

Project year(s): 2001, 2005

McFarland Cascade, Washington's largest producer of specialty products for outdoor construction of decks and fences, is collaborating with Dr. Karl Englund to study the potential of using chemically-treated wood flours in Wood-Plastic Composites (WPCs) as a means of improving the quality and marketability of these increasingly popular building materials. WPCs have become a substantial part of the decking industry and are finding their position in other traditional building materials markets including siding and molding. Outdoor building products are a $3 billion dollar industry. The composite building materials industry has grown from negligible sales in the early 1990s to a more than $1 billion dollar U.S. market today. Consumer acceptance of this material has been positive, however, improvements in the durability and density of the product have the potential to increase their commercial value. In earlier research, the team evaluated the wood flours for their physical and mechanical performance in WPCs. The results showed that the modified wood fibers imparted a substantial increase in water resistance, which adds to the material's durability. In addition, the chemical treatment provides a method for foaming the product which reduced its weight. This project will address the impact that these additives have on the processing characteristics, formulation design and final product properties of commercial-scaled composites.

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MEIER Enterprises, Inc.

Kennewick

Researcher: Shung Shin, Assistant Professor, Department of Management and Operations, WSU Tri-Cities

Project Year: 2005

Founded in 1982, MEIER Enterprises, Inc. (MEIER) is an engineering and architectural firm located in Kennewick, Washington. The company is partnered with Professor Shung Shin to develop and test a 3-D computer modeling technology for emergency response training. Currently, emergency response and preparedness training methods rely on the decades-old model of "hands-on" training in physical facilities. This provides an element of realism, but is also expensive, inflexible, and limited in application. MEIER plans to use 3-D technology to create virtual training components for various emergency scenarios and combine them with "hands-on" training. Virtual/simulation computer-based training used in conjunction with field scenarios offers a cost-effective and flexible training process. The inclusion of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology allows for electronic tracking of trainees during an exercise in real-time and records the exercise for review and critique in the computer. This means exercises can be reviewed multiple times with 100% accuracy. MEIER will use live training as a test-bed for its simulation tool.

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Molecular Kinetics, Inc.

Pullman

http://www.molecularkinetics.com/
Researcher: A. Keith Dunker, WSU School of Molecular Biosciences

Year project began: 2001

Molecular Kinetics is a biotech company that markets equipment used for experiments aimed at understanding protein structure and function. With the recent completion of the DNA sequencing of the Human Genome Project, researchers are now looking to ascertain functions for the 35,000+ proteins in the human genome -- opening avenues to improve all areas of human life. This project will focus on developing software tools for prediction and identification of regions of order and disorder in proteins.

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Multiform Harvest, Inc

Seattle

Researcher: Dr. Joseph Harrison, Department of Animal Sciences, WSU Puyallup

Year project began: 2004

The effectiveness of a fluidized-bed crystallizer to remove phosphorus from dairy waste to prevent environmental degradation of surface water will be trialed at a dairy farm in Snohomish. Dairy production is one of the top-ranked agricultural industries in Washington. An estimated one-third of all dairy farms in Washington use flush/irrigation systems to create liquid fertilizer from the cattle waste. EPA regulations are calling for a reduction in build-up of phosphorus in soil. Solutions currently available are costly and cumbersome for dairy farmers to implement.

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nLIGHT Photonics

Vancouver

http://www.nlight.net

nLIGHT in the WTC news forum

RTD Award: Phase II

Project Title: "Experimental Design of a Microchannel Electronics Cooler for High-Power Semiconductor Diode Laser Applications"

Research Partner: Assistant Professor Amir Jokar, Ph.D., School of Engineering and Computer Science, Washington State University Vancouver

Project Phase Began: 2008

nLight Photonics, a manufacturer of high-power laser diode-based products located in Vancouver, Wash., is teamed with WSU Vancouver's School of Engineering and Computer Science to improve the cooling of their products.

WSU Vancouver received $42,500 in Phase II Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center for the project titled "Experimental Design of a Microchannel Electronics Cooler for High-Power Semiconductor Diode Laser Applications."

High-power laser diodes are used widely throughout industry. As diode laser devices are operated, a portion of the electric power used is converted to waste thermal energy. Improving the cooling of these diodes will allow greater power levels and open up opportunities for numerous new applications.

In this Phase II project, nLight and the thermal/fluid team of WSU Vancouver, including Dr. Amir Jokar, Dr. Stephen Solovitz and research assistant Joseph Dix, will optimize and experimentally validate an electronics cooling subsystem previously studied by computational techniques. nLight plans to incorporate improved cooling subsystems in products for its defense, industrial, medical, and graphic arts markets.

"Even if you don't understand the science involved in this project, it's easy to understand the economic potential. The state is always looking to invest in increasing Washington's commercialization capacity. nLight Photonics is one more example of research and industry's potential to work together in Southwest Washington not just to generate new high-tech ideas, but to get those ideas to market as usable, sellable products. I congratulate them on their worthy project and on receiving this grant."

State Sen. Craig Pridemore, (D-Vancouver)

"This partnership between a cutting edge company like nLight and WSU Vancouver underscores the world wide significance of research in commercial technology applications in South West Washington."

State Rep. Bill Fromhold (D-Vancouver)

RTD Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Experimental Design of a Microchannel Electronics Cooler for High-Power Semiconductor Diode Laser Applications"

Research Partner: Assistant Professor Amir Jokar, Ph.D., School of Engineering and Computer Science, Washington State University Vancouver

Project Phase Began: 2007

Through this RTD grant award, nLight Photonics, a Vancouver-based manufacturer of laser diode-based solutions, has teamed with Dr. Amir Jokar of WSU Vancouver's School of Engineering and Computer Science to analyze and improve the heat transfer of nLight diode laser products. High-power laser diodes are used widely throughout industry. As diode laser devices are operated, a portion of the electric power used is converted to waste thermal energy. Improving the cooling of these diodes will allow greater power levels and open up opportunities for numerous new applications. Beginning with analysis of the heat transfer and fluid flow through nLight's existing single-phase cooling subsystem, nLight and Dr. Jokar plan to create a more optimal cooling subsystem design using an alternative working fluid and/or a two-phase flow. Dr. Jokar and a research assistant will conduct comprehensive numerical modeling using computational thermal and fluid dynamics techniques. nLight plans to incorporate improved cooling subsystems in products for its defense, industrial, medical, and graphic arts markets.

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Pacific Research Laboratories, Inc.

Vashon

Researcher: Susmita Bose, WSU School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Year project began: 2000

Pacific Research Laboratories, Inc. is a leading producer of artificial bones, Sawbones®, designed to simulate the bone architecture as well as the bone's physical properties. These training models allow demonstration and practice of different procedures that can enhance medical research and treatment. Therefore, having true-to-life models is crucial.

In July 2000, WTC funded a project teaming Pacific Research with Dr. Susmita Bose of Washington State University's School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, to develop the first artificial open-celled cancellous bone model. WTC's participation helped Pacific Research speed up development and lower the company's financial risk in ultimately bringing a beneficial new product to market.

Using Sawbones provided by Pacific Research, Dr. Bose and her colleagues have been experimenting with various materials and processes, trying to achieve the natural strength and architecture of cancellous bone. Materials used to make these bone models are polyurethane-based polymers, ceramic powders, and organic solvents. In the last year and a half, the team of researchers has developed some models attaining the proper architecture and is working to perfect the strength properties of real bone.

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Paine Electronics

Wenatchee

Researcher: Dr. David Bahr, WSU School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Year project began: 2004

Research efforts will produce two prototype strain sensors for Paine's pressure gauges, which will increase the products' sensitivity while maintaining the robust mechanical reliability of the devices. Paine's pressure transducers and pressure transmitters are used in aerospace, defense, oil and gas, marine, and other industries.

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Plant Care Technologies Corporation

Pullman

Research & Technology Development (RTD) Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Smart Bark Technology, a value-added opportunity for bark as a specialty plant care product"

Research Partners: Assistant Professor Vikram Yadama, Ph.D., and Associate Professor Rita Hummel, Ph.D., Wood Materials and Engineering Laboratory, Washington State University, Pullman

Project Began: 2008

Plant Care Technologies Corporation, a start-up nursery bioproducts company located in Pullman, is partnered with the Wood Materials and Engineering Laboratory at Washington State University to study the commercial feasibility of using heat-treated waste-wood products as an alternative to traditional plant-growing media.

WSU will receive $99,778 in Phase I Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center and $19,956 from Plant Care Technologies Corporation for the project titled "Smart Bark Technology, a value-added opportunity for bark as a specialty plant care product."

Washington's sawmill industry produces 1.3 million tons of bark residues annually. Some of this forest industry byproduct is either converted to a lesser-value material or used as fuel to produce steam or heat. Most is discarded as waste, creating both disposal costs and potential environmental issues.

In this Phase I project, WSU's Assistant Professor Vikram Yadama and Associate Professor Rita Hummel plan to help Plant Care Technologies Corporation determine the feasibility of turning this bark waste material into a nutrient-supplying horticultural growing media. The team plans to conduct a thorough analysis of the effects of thermal treatment on bark's absorption, retention and controlled release of nutrients, herbicides and pesticides. This project is a first step in turning wood waste into a valuable commercial product for the plant materials and horticultural industries.

"This award from the Washington Technology Center underscores the pride we have in WSU and its well-earned reputation for innovative research. The concepts and discoveries emerging from the partnership between the Wood Materials and Engineering Lab and Plant Care Technologies have great potential for economic development and environmental benefit."

State Rep. Joe Schmick (R-Colfax)

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PriTest, Inc.

Redmond

http://www.pritest.com/

Researcher: Dr. William Davis, WSU Dept. of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology

Year project began: 2004

Bovine tuberculosis is a serious disease of cattle that can also affect humans, domestic animals, and wildlife. Millions of cattle today are tested regularly for Mycobacterium bovis (Mbv) to reduce the risk of disease spread to other cattle and other types of animals, and protect public health.

Control of Mbv has been impeded by the lack of diagnostic analyses for early diagnosis of diseased animals and the lack of effective vaccines. Although progress is being made, it will be some time before vaccines are developed and commercially available. Therefore, diagnosing and separating infected animals from herds are the main methods of controlling the spread of disease.

PriTest provides products such as easy-to-use pathogen and bioanalytical detection systems for the food-safety-screening and life-science markets. The company is working with Professor Davis to complete the development of a new rapid diagnostic test kit, using the PriTest biodetection platform to significantly improve the diagnosis of Mbv in cattle. The test market for this product is Washington State's $100+ million cattle industry.

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RS Medical

Vancouver

http://www.rsmedical.com

Researcher: Steven A. Martinez, Washington State University Dept. of Veterinary Clinical Sciences

Year project began: 2001

In the U.S., approximately 250,000 lumbar spinal fusions are performed every year. Of these procedures, many require additional treatment due to unsuccessful fusion. Bone growth stimulation (BGS) devices are widely accepted in the orthopedic market to promote healing following spinal surgeries, increasing the success of the fusion. However, most of the existing devices are unable to focus on an exact area. This project will analyze the effect of two of RS Medical's bone growth stimulation devices that can target a specific bone area, as well as provide stimulation to larger areas.

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Saint-Gobain Crystals & Detectors

Washougal

http://www.bicron.com/

Researcher: Albert E. Segall, Washington State University Dept. of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering

Year project began: 2001

Saint-Gobain is a leading supplier of sapphire substrates, a favored material used as a substrate for blue light emitting diodes (LEDs) and lasers. Their project will develop a process to optimize production of high-quality sapphire wafers, reducing manufacturing time while meeting tightened quality requirements.

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Sentel Technologies

Pullman

Researcher: Mark Kuzyk, Washington State University Physics Dept.

Year project began: 1999

The burgeoning demand for high-speed, high-bandwidth telecommunications service is outstripping the capabilities of conventional hardwired systems. The transition to higher-capacity fiber optics networks will require a new generation of switching and interface devices that can be mass-produced at low cost. Sentel Technologies, Pullman, is poised to capitalize on the market opportunities that are emerging in this high-growth field.

Formed in 1995, Sentel has focused on custom optical and electro-optic fiber components. Under WTC sponsorship, Prof. Mark Kuzyk, WSU Physics Department, is working with the company to develop and commercialize an electro-optic modulator capable of rerouting an optical signal by using an applied voltage. Because it is based on polymer materials instead of conventional -- and pricey -- lithium niobate (LNB), it can be manufactured at a fraction of the cost of currently available modulators. In addition, the polymer electro-optic modulator can be directly spliced into fibers, reducing the connection costs of the pigtailed LNB devices. The market for modulators is about $100 million per year, and the implementation of dense wavelength division multiplexed (DWDM) systems is fueling an accelerating demand for these components. Sentel hopes to capture as much as 40 percent of the market in five years, which would increase the company's size to almost 100 employees.

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Shoreline Industries LLC

Sedro Woolley

Researcher: Dr. Karl Englund, Washington State University Wood Materials and Engineering Lab

Year project began: 2003

Wood plastic composites (WPCs) continue to be an attractive alternative to chemically treated wood and plastic lumber due to their dimensional stability and resistance to biodeterioration. However, current WPCs are heavy, which has prompted the development of hollow-foamed composites to reduce the weight. Dr. Englund and his colleagues at WSU's Wood Materials and Engineering Lab (WMEL) have worked to develop such structural and foamed WPC products. Shoreline Industries, a manufacturer of vinyl-based composite lumber, is using WMEL's resources to develop and test new composites and extrusion methods for PVC/wood flour foamed composites, specifically for the residential decking industry.

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SoilSoup, Inc.

Seattle

Researcher: Dr. Lynne Carpenter-Boggs, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Washington State University

Year project began: 2004

The team is working on biotechnology solutions for increasing the life of liquid compost (Compost Tea). SoilSoup currently has patented aerobic compost tea brewing equipment that makes a fresh liquid compost tea and is selling in the market today under the brand name of SoilSoup. In this project, the company hopes to develop other versions of its existing products which will increase market share. In 2003, U.S. consumers spent $69 billion on do-it-yourself law and garden activities and professional services. In the past year, 110 million U.S. households purchased outdoor fertilizers or soil amendments. SoilSoup's products are gaining brand awareness as a leading chemical-free solution for lawn and garden care. The company currently sells it brewing kits direct to consumers, retailers, garden centers, schools, and commercial farmers. Liquid compost helps to decrease fertilizer use and restore natural balance to the soil ecosystem. SoilSoup's customers can now buy a home brewing unit or purchase the product by the gallon in select locations across the country. By adding new biological products, the company will increase its distribution and workforce within Washington State.

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Sonus Pharmaceuticals

Bothell

http://www.sonuspharma.com/

Researchers: Marc Fariss and Jin-Gang Zhang, Washington State University Dept. of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Year project began: 2002

Sonus Pharmaceuticals develops therapeutic drugs using its drug delivery technology platform, which features a vitamin-E-based oil-in-water emulsion to promote the solubility of lipophilic (fat-soluble, non-water soluble) drugs that require novel drug delivery formulations for effective delivery into the body. Encapsulating injectable cancer-killing drugs in a vitamin E emulsion may lower the toxicity of the formulation, which could lead to a product that can be administered more easily to patients with fewer side effects and better efficacy. Dr. Marc Fariss of WSU has discovered a class of vitamin E derivatives that have the ability to selectively kill human tumor cells while protecting normal tissue. This project teams Drs. Fariss and Zhang of WSU with Sonus to investigate the ability of Sonus' platform, as well as its vitamin E components, to selectively enhance the antitumor activity of chemotherapeutic agents. Dr. Zhang has expertise in the mechanisms of vitamin-E-derivative-mediated cytoprotection and antitumor activity.

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Spectra Lux Corporation

Kirkland

http://www.spectralux.com/

Researcher: Mark Kuzyk, Washington State University Dept. of Physics

Year project began: 2000

Spectra Lux Corporation is a manufacturer of aircraft lightplates and lighted cockpit keyboards. Mark Kuzyk, of the WSU Physics Department, will conduct research to reduce the amount of energy required to illuminate a given area, making the company's products more efficient and less expensive to manufacture. The scope of the two-year project includes the development of a prototype and transfer of the manufacturing process to Spectra Lux. In addition to becoming more competitive in existing markets, the company plans to expand into untapped markets that use illuminated displays, such as the automobile, industrial, and medical equipment industries.

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Sterling International

Veradale

http://www.rescue.com

Researcher: Donald S. Matteson, Washington State University Dept. of Chemistry

Year project began: 2000

Museum collections -- plants, animals, books, mummies, etc. -- are susceptible to attack from Stegobium paniceum and Lasioderma serricorne, two species of beetles. Sterling International, manufacturer of non-toxic pest control products, is teaming up with Dr. Donald Matteson to develop pilot-scale synthesis of pheromones that will attract these beetles into traps.

Researcher: Dr. Prashanta Dutta, Washington State University School of Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Year project began: 2003

Sterling International manufactures RESCUE® pest control products, which use pheromones to attract the insects. This WTC project teams the company with Dr. Prashanta Dutta to develop a precision micro-pump capable of controlling the dispensing rate of pheromones in insect traps, which eventually will be capable of responding to environmental conditions, such as turning on or off at night. This system will be both inexpensive and use little power. With no moving parts, it is an ideal solution for battery-operated traps with a long operating life.

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Tree Top, Inc.

Selah

http://www.treetop.com/

Research Partner: Dr. Carter Clary, WSU Dept. of Biological Systems Engineering

Year project began: 2004

Project Description
The domestic and international market for ready-to-eat cereal is a large and rapidly-growing market estimated in the billions of dollars. Adding dried fruit to cereals has become a widely accepted practice. To dry fruit without degradation of shape, color and flavor, the trend has been to use vacuum- or freeze-drying equipment. These methods are labor intensive, expensive and produce small quantities of useable product. Microwave vacuum drying is an attractive alternative, producing high-quality, well-preserved fruit at a lower cost. Tree Top, a Central Washington-based grower-owned cooperative that produces apple products, partnered with Dr. Clary from Washington State University to prototype various fruits and berries using microwave vacuum drying that met standards for inclusion in RTE cereals. In a follow-on study, the company concentrated on exclusively drying apples infused with high fructose corn syrup. The partners are continuing their partnership in this third phase project with studies to test various sugar additives to achieve maximum product taste and texture. The project will also look at the feasibility of producing the drying equipment for commercial sale to fruit processors.

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UNIBEST International Corporation

Pasco

http://www.unibestinc.com/

Researcher: Joan R. Davenport, WSU Dept. of Crop and Soil Sciences

Year project began: 2000

Farmers use soil testing and, in recent years, plant tissue testing to determine if and how much fertilizer to apply to crops. Applying too much fertilizer can cost farmers both in the cost of the fertilizer and in reduced yield. UNIBEST has developed an ion exchange resin pellet that measures only those nutrients that are bioavailable to the plant and at a lower cost. Dr. Davenport is doing commercial field studies as well as research plot studies to develop protocols for the placement and use of the pellets.

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Vaagen Brothers Lumber, Inc.

Colville

http://www.vaagenbros.com

Research Partners:
Drs. Vikram Yadama, Karl Englund, and Robert Tichy
Washington State University, Wood Materials and Engineering

Year Project Began: 2004

Project Description:

Vaagen Brothers is an industry leader in lumber manufacturing, processing between 2500 and 3000 tons of logs every day. The result is a significant volume of wood residue. In its raw form, this residue (shavings, sawdust, wood chips and bark) has a low profit margin. The ability to convert this waste into a new source of revenue as a staple in wood-plastic composites (WPCs) would greatly diversify and strengthen the lumber business. The U.S. market for residential decking is estimated at $3.5 billion annually. WPCs currently capture only 15 percent of the total building materials business. However, their popularity in commercial and residential decking products is growing. In 2005, 30 companies manufactured WPC products for sales of almost $1 billion - a 200 percent growth since 2000. To capture a greater share of the market, WPCs need to gain wider acceptance by meeting standards for improved performance, appearance, low chemical use, and cost effectiveness. Vaagen Brothers and WSU researchers tested the feasibility of using sawmill waste to manufacture WPCs in a 2004 study with excellent results. The funding from this follow-on, second phase grant project will go towards perfecting the formula for producing WPCs that are ideal for use in commercial decking and gaining building code acceptance for the use of these materials in this market.

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Vista Engineering Technologies

Kennewick

Researcher: Dr. Kelvin Lynn, WSU Center for Materials Research

Year project began: 2004

Research will center around the development of noninvasive gaseous tracers for use with Vista's patented Pipeline Characterization Using Tracers (PCUT) method for detecting, locating, and quantifying contamination within pipelines and ductwork. PCUT technology is advantageous and preferred over conventional inspection techniques, as it can be used on any pipe diameter or configuration, has no moving parts, requires no equipment decontamination, and inspects all the interior pipeline surfaces. The PCUT technique has already been proven with other contaminants such as petroleum products and solvents. The current work with WSU will extend the use of the technology to pipelines and ductwork with heavy metal contamination such as mercury.

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VWP, Inc

Bellevue

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Washington Farms

Tacoma

Researchers: Barry Swanson and Dong-Hyun Kang, WSU Dept. of Food Science and Human Nutrition

Year project began: 2003

Washington Farms produces 100-percent fruit pies sold in the Seattle area. The company's ability to market their products outside the state will be made possible by using ultra-high-pressure technology that pasteurizes fruit products to extend shelf life and maintain a desirable "fresh-like" flavor. In this project, the company will work with Drs. Barry Swanson and Dong-Hyun Kang at WSU's Dept of Food Science and Human Nutrition to develop fruit processing that will inactivate harmful bacteria such as E. coli, inactivate enzymes that "brown" fruit, and maintain "fresh-like" appearance, flavor and texture.

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YK Products

Everett company paves the way for a new standard in road repair

YK Products thought it had a product that could revolutionize road repairs throughout the United States. A research grant through WTC proved it to be true and paved the way for this small Everett company to create a new standard in cold asphalt application.

Company Profile
Building off a patented technology, YK Products has secured exclusive rights to manufacture and distribute its proprietary cold-mixed asphalt concrete product in North and South America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and China. The product is currently sold in North America under the name U.S. Cold Patch®.

U.S. Cold Patch® is a fast, permanent, easy-to-use repair material for asphalt and concrete surfaces. What sets U.S. Cold Patch® apart from the competition is that is uses recycled asphalt concrete as its main ingredient, combined with small amounts of binding material. It is also an easy-to-apply permanent solution for road repair, and has very low levels of emissions.

Customer Base
U.S. Cold Patch's® target market includes state and federal transportation agencies, airports, military organizations, municipal and county public works departments, and private companies such as parking lot maintenance firms.

Business Situation
YK Products had been laying the foundation for a successful venture. The company had inroads into its target markets, and production facilities up and running in Puyallup, Washington and Orange, California. YK Products had conducted preliminary testing on their material, but the company was looking for a more comprehensive, objective verification process for their materials -- to build a stronger case for their product's performance claims and accelerate their growth into these markets.

A meeting with the City of Seattle's Solid Waste Division pushed YK Products into action and led them to seek grant money from WTC for their research efforts. The level of volatiles in current cold-mix asphalt was causing concern from an environmental and waste management perspective. The City of Seattle approached YK products with an interest in U.S. Cold Patch®, and King County was willing to contribute funding for materials testing to evaluate its effectiveness and compliance with environmental regulations.

Research Project
YK Products and Washington State University were awarded a research grant through WTC's RTD program to gather independent performance data on its product, compared to other products currently in use. Environmental and engineering standards assessments were performed by Washington State University's Center for Asphalt Technology, a partnership program among Washington State Department of Transportation, the Washington Asphalt Paving Association, and Washington State University.

Professors Tom Papagiannakis and Frank Loge with WSU's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering headed up the research project, which was conducted using Superpave® testing methods, the highest-caliber processes for testing this type of material and only available in a few select facilities in the country. Testing of this level had never been done on a cold asphalt product; it was generally reserved for hot asphalt treatments, which were believed to be the only methods suitable for permanent paving repairs, and therefore the only type to hold up to this level of scrutiny.

Dr. Papagiannakis says he was attracted to the project for two reasons: first, the company was a small emerging venture, and, second, the green nature of the product. "Here appeared to be a paving product that was made from recycled material, didn't require solvents, and was benign to the environment," Papagiannakis says.

The project, completed in February 2004, confirmed that U.S. Cold Patch® outperformed other cold asphalt products on the market overall, by both engineering and environmental standards, proving to be a robust product with negligible emissions.

Applications & Benefits
For YK Products, the research proved to be a critical factor, especially with reference to establishing performance benchmarks in a comparative/side-by-side test of U.S. Cold Patch® with its competition.

"The credibility factor from this type of research has had tremendous impact on our company's growth potential," notes John Ackerman, general manager for YK Products. "This wasn't just a small company-funded test. This is legitimate, third-party evaluation at a facility with excellent stature and reputation in this industry."

"The independent test clearly demonstrated the superiority of YK's products and identified it as the strongest and best-performing cold asphalt on the market, as well as being environmentally friendly," Ackerman explains.

The Future
Based on the research results, YK Products is releasing a report to current and potential customers outlining the findings from the study, which the company anticipates will be received favorably and result in increased sales.

The crux of the research has the potential to significantly impact the bulk market, which is the direction that YK Products plans to take. For a bulk market to be viable, a dedicated system needs to be in place to provide YK Products with greater access to the recycled asphalt, which makes up 75 percent of its product base, in multiple locations. The findings in the research report led to increased inroads into this partnership. YK Products is working with municipalities and the Washington State Department of Transportation to make this happen.

Results from the grant research also featured prominently in the company's strategic planning efforts, the basis of which is being used to attract key personnel, develop a quality control program (to accompany the company's plans to double its current production capacity by adding two new production facilities in Illinois and New York), and expand its distribution throughout North America.

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