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EnerG2's Chris Wheaton with advice for building a materials science company

COO/CFO Chris Wheaton of EnerG2, a Seattle-based startup in the energy storage market, offers practical advice for anyone starting a materials science company in an article he wrote appearing in Greentech Media. Wheaton compares science-based innovation to information technology/software development and notes the very real differences among the variables of time, cost and product features.

Related external links (will open a new window):

  • What It Takes: Building a Materials Science Company for the 21st Century
    Greentech Media - Cambridge, Mass. - December 15, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • EnerG2 is a WTC client
  • EnerG2 awarded $21.3M in energy stimulus funding for facility in Oregon
    Posted 8/05/2009
  • EnerG2 raises $2.5 million in equity and options
    Posted 6/03/2009
  • EnerG2 raises $8.5 M in financing round
    Posted 11/18/2008

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    IsoRay announces a distribution agreement in Canada and another with GE subsidiary Oncura

    IsoRay, Inc., a Richland-based developer of therapies for prostate and other cancers, has announced two new distribution agreements. Inter V Medical of Montreal, Quebec, Canada will have exclusive rights to sell Cesium-131 Brachytherapy seeds in Canada. GE Subsidary, Oncura will distribute the I-125 brachytherapy seed, OncoSeed™.

    In a press release, Dwight Babcock, Chairman and CEO stated, "By adding I-125 seeds to our prostate product offering we can now be a full service provider to our customers. OncoSeed brings with it a substantial and well documented track record of efficacy. While we believe that Cesium-131 adds an important new dimension to brachytherapy for a variety of anatomic sites including prostate, we see strategic value in supporting our customers that have not yet converted all their practice to Cesium-131."

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • IsoRay, Inc. Announces Iodine Distribution Agreement with GE Subsidary, Oncura
    IsoRay - Richland, Wash. - December 3, 2009
  • IsoRay, Inc. Announces Distribution Agreement in Canada
    IsoRay - Richland, Wash. - November 18, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • IsoRay is a WTC client
  • IsoRay announces world's first Cesium-131 lung implants
    Posted 11/05/2009
  • IsoRay announces first head and neck cancer treated with Cesium-131
    Posted 8/07/2009
  • IsoRay receives approval to market cancer therapy in Canada
    Posted 5/12/2009
  • IsoRay signs distribution agreement for prostate brachytherapy product
    Posted 2/19/2009

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    Microvision's pico projector launched by Vodafone Spain

    Microvision, a Redmond-based developer of light-scanning technologies, has announced that Vodafone Spain is now offering Microvision’s SHOWWX Laser Pico Projector at a price of 289 € (approximately $430 U.S.). Vodafone Spain is also marketing the projector along with the Mini Nokia N97 smartphone.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Vodafone Spain Launches Microvision’s SHOWWX Laser Pico Projector
    Microvision blog - Redmond, Wash. - December 1, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • Microvision is a WTC client
  • Microvision nets $30.8M from stock sales
    Posted 12/07/2009
  • Microvision announces first sales of world's first laser pico projector
    Posted 10/09/2009
  • Microvision CEO says pico projector to retail for $400-$600 at introduction
    Posted 8/03/2009
  • Microvision secures $1M contract from Lockheed Martin
    Posted 7/08/2009
  • Microvision receives $15 million equity investment
    Posted 6/22/2009

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    Microvision nets $30.8M from stock sales

    Microvision, a Redmond-based developer of light-scanning technologies, has netted approximately $30.8 million from two recent stock sales. According to its press releases, Microvision intends to use the net proceeds of the offering for general corporate purposes, including, but not limited to, working capital and capital expenditures.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Microvision Announces Closing of Public Offering of Common Stock
    Microvision press release - Redmond, Wash. - December 2, 2009
  • Microvision Announces Closing of Public Offering of Common Stock
    Microvision press release - Redmond, Wash. - November 24, 2009


    Related WTC links:

  • Microvision is a WTC client
  • Microvision announces first sales of world's first laser pico projector
    Posted 10/09/2009
  • Microvision CEO says pico projector to retail for $400-$600 at introduction
    Posted 8/03/2009
  • Microvision secures $1M contract from Lockheed Martin
    Posted 7/08/2009
  • Microvision receives $15 million equity investment
    Posted 6/22/2009

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    3TIER, UW and WSU are part of $178M smart grid project

    3TIER, a Seattle-based provider of renewable energy assessment and power forecasting services, and the University of Washington and Washington State University are among 12 Northwest utilities and several companies taking part in a smart grid demonstration project which received $89 million in stimulus funding from the U.S. Department of Energy. The Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project, led by Battelle Memorial Institute in Richland, Wash., spans five states and will involve 60,000 consumers in a project that will validate new technologies and approaches for energy efficiency. Of the approximately $178 million total project cost, half will be cost-shared by the participants.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project
    Battelle - Richland, Wash.
  • DOE Selects the Northwest and 3TIER for $178M Smart Grid Demo
    3TIER press release - Seattle - November 24, 2009
  • Secretary Chu Announces $620 Million for Smart Grid Demonstration and Energy Storage Projects
  • Pacific Northwest to host smart grid demo
    Sustainable Industries - San Francisco - December 3, 2009
  • Pacific Northwest emerges as power player in ‘smart-grid’ sweepstakes
    Puget Sound Business Journal - Seattle - December 4, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • 3TIER is a WTC client
  • 3TIER cuts staff due to uncertainty in the renewable energy market
    Posted 10/09/2009
  • 3TIER opens offices in Germany, Australia and India
    Posted 4/06/2009
  • Washington's clean tech companies -- a list from Xconomy
    Posted 3/03/2009
  • 3TIER launches global wind prospecting tool
    Posted 2/06/2009
  • 3TIER receives $10M in venture funding
    Posted 12/18/2008

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    Fire at Vaagen Bros. Lumber in Colville destroys electricity co-generation plant

    An equipment malfunction is likely responsible for a fire that destroyed an electricity co-generation turbine at Vaagen Bros. Lumber in Colville, Washington on November 18, 2009. The blaze caused in excess of $1 million in damage and puts upwards of 20 employees out of work. The co-generation capability, which supplied three megawatts to the electrical grid, will take one to two years to rebuild said Russ Vaagen, company vice president.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Fire at Vaagen Brothers knocks out co-generation facility
    The Statesmen Examiner - Colville, Washington - November 24, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • Vaagen Bros. Lumber is a WTC client
  • Vaagen Brothers Lumber receives stimulus funding
    Posted 6/29/2009

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    EKOS Corporation launches upgraded product for treating blood clots

    The EKOS Corporation has launched the EkoSonic™ MACH4e, an upgraded product for faster and simpler removal of arterial and venous clots. According to a press release "the EkoSonic System is FDA-cleared for controlled and selective infusion of physician-specified fluids, including thrombolytic, 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."

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more
    EKOS Corporation Web site product page
  • EKOS Corporation Launches the New EkoSonic® MACH4e at VEITHsymposium™ in New York
    EKOS Corporation press release - November 18, 2009
  • Ekos, Enduring Tough Year for Devices, Sticks With Goal to Break Even Next Year
    Xconomy - Seattle - November 30, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • EKOS Corporation is a WTC client

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    IsoRay announces world's first Cesium-131 lung implants

    IsoRay, Inc., a Richland-based developer of therapies for prostate and other cancers, has announced that the world's first Cesium-131 lung implants have been performed at Cornell Medical Center.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • IsoRay announces world's first Cesium-131 lung implants performed at Cornell Medical Center
    IsoRay - Richland, Wash. - October 27, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • IsoRay is a WTC client
  • IsoRay announces first head and neck cancer treated with Cesium-131
    Posted 8/07/2009
  • IsoRay receives approval to market cancer therapy in Canada
    Posted 5/12/2009
  • IsoRay signs distribution agreement for prostate brachytherapy product
    Posted 2/19/2009

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    MicroGREEN Polymers wins $60K Zino investment

    MicroGREEN Polymers, an Arlington-based developer of environmentally friendly recycled plastic products, has won $60,000 in the fourth-annual Zino Zillionaire Investment Forum (ZZIF).

    "We are honored to receive the ZZIF 2009 Non-Technology Best Investment Fund Award. The award money, together with funds we secured for our upcoming Series B closing, will be used to build-out our facilities to full commercial production scale. This will enable us to further demonstrate to CPGs how Ad-air(TM) empowers them to lower the material costs of plastic products and improve their sustainability to meet growing consumer demands," said Tom Malone, CEO of MicroGREEN Polymers.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • ZINO Society Awards $120,000 Investment Funds to Two Companies
    Reuters - Seattle - October 21, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • MicroGREEN Polymers is a WTC client
  • MicroGREEN Polymers business evolution profiled
    Posted 8/24/2009
  • MicroGREEN Polymers raises $1.6M in ongoing investment round
    Posted 7/10/2009

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    Governor Gregoire celebrates new installation of Andgar's manure-to-electricity system

    At a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony in Skagit County, Wash., Governor Chris Gregoire celebrated Farm Power's operation of a system built by Andgar Corp. for turning cow manure into electricity. Farm Power's operation produces up to 750 kilowatts of electricity -- enough to power 500 homes. They sell the power to Puget Sound Energy for 8 cents per kilowatt hour.

    The anaerobic digester system, also known as biogas recovery system, burns methane gas produced by cow manure to produce electricity. The resulting clean and odorless processed cow manure is then sent back to farmers as an organic fertilizer.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Dairies' manure turned into fuel
    The Seattle Times - Seattle - October 13, 2009
  • http://www.farmpower.com/

    Related WTC links:

  • Andgar Corp. is a WTC client

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    nLIGHT, Lockheed Martin Aculight, among the Washington companies receiving millions in job-creating Defense spending

    U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced October 6, 2009 that the $63 million in federal defense work for Washington state companies that she included in the Fiscal Year 2010 Defense Appropriations bill has passed the full Senate. Senator Murray is a senior member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.

    "This spending will create good jobs in Washington state and help our armed forces get the cutting-edge military equipment they need and deserve," said Senator Patty Murray. "Washington state companies are at the forefront of research and innovation, and these contracts will give them the resources they need to continue developing new ways to keep our service members and country safe. The spending I have included in this bill will provide a critical boost to the economy, and it will make a strong investment in research, technology, and innovation in Washington state."

    nLight of Vancouver received $4 million for "Advanced Fiber Lasers Systems and Components." This funding would be used to improve the Air Force's eye-safe laser capabilities by developing advanced fiber laser technology. In addition to supporting engineering jobs in Clark County, Wash., this would improve military laser technology used to counter roadside bombs and other threats to the warfighter.

    Lockheed Martin Aculight Corporation of Bothell received $4 million for "Optical Neural Techniques for Combat/Post-Trauma Healthcare." This funding would develop new laser stimulation technology for the Army to address hearing loss, balance disorders and other medical conditions affecting soldiers. This innovative approach towards hearing loss and other medical conditions would advance research to better care for soldiers returning from war.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Job-Creating Defense Spending for Washington State Passes Full Senate
    U.S. Senator Patty Murray - Washington, D.C. - October 6, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • nLIGHT is a WTC client
  • Aculight is a WTC client

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    Omeros stock IPO closes lower in first two days of trading

    Omeros Corporation, a Seattle-based biopharmaceutical company, saw its stock price close lower in its first two days of trading after the company's initial public offering (IPO) on October 8, 2009. The company had priced its offering of 6.82 million shares at $10 each, but saw shares close trading at $8.46 on October 9. The Seattle Times reported that "Omeros, the first Pacific Northwest-based company to go public in nearly two years, was also the first early-stage pharmaceutical company nationally to do so since 2007."

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Omeros, Worst Performing IPO of 2009, Casts Shadow Over Other Aspiring Biotechs
    Xconomy - Seattle - October 27, 2009
  • Omeros stock sinks in market debut
    The Seattle Times - Seattle - October 9, 2009
  • Omeros Prices IPO at $68.2 Million
    The New York Times - New York - October 8, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • Omeros is a WTC client
  • Washington Technology Center Awards $485,261 in Research Funding
    Posted 1/14/2009
  • Omeros awarded $465,000 grant for Parkinson's research
    Posted 1/13/2009

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    3TIER cuts staff due to uncertainty in the renewable energy market

    Xconomy reports that 3TIER, a Seattle-based provider of renewable energy assessment and power forecasting services, has laid off 19 employees -- an estimated 22 percent of its workforce. A company spokesperson acknowledged the uncertainty in the market and said that the staff reduction will help 3TIER transition to a "scalable and efficient information services business model."

    Updated (10/28/2009): 3TIER has launched a suite of solar assessment products.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • 3TIER Launches Next Generation of Solar Assessment
    Products
    3TIER press release - Seattle - October 14, 2009
  • 3Tier Group Cuts Staff To Deal With “Uncertainty” in Clean Energy ...
    Xconomy - Seattle - September 16, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • 3TIER is a WTC client
  • 3TIER opens offices in Germany, Australia and India
    Posted 4/06/2009
  • Washington's clean tech companies -- a list from Xconomy
    Posted 3/03/2009
  • 3TIER launches global wind prospecting tool
    Posted 2/06/2009
  • 3TIER receives $10M in venture funding
    Posted 12/18/2008

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    Microvision announces first sales of world's first laser pico projector

    Microvision, a Redmond-based developer of light-scanning technologies, has announced the first sales of its recently launched pocket-sized pico projector. The company received a purchase order in September from its Asian distribution and marketing partner, and announced in October a deal with an undisclosed global consumer electronics OEM that plans to private label the projector. Details of market launch activities have not been released.

    Update (10/28/2009): Uniden Corporation of Japan is the previously undisclosed global consumer electronics OEM. Microvision has also announced it received an order from a global mobile phone operator.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Microvision Lands Order For SHOWWX Laser Pico Projectors With World Leading Mobile Phone Operator
    Microvision press release - Redmond, WA - October 27, 2009
  • Microvision Secures Global Consumer Electronics OEM To Private-Label Laser Pico Projector
    Microvision press release - Redmond, WA - October 8, 2009
  • Microvision Receives Purchase Order and Begins Shipping World's First Laser Pico Projector, SHOWWX
    Microvision press release - Redmond, WA - September 30, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • Microvision is a WTC client
  • Microvision CEO says pico projector to retail for $400-$600 at introduction
    Posted 8/03/2009
  • Microvision secures $1M contract from Lockheed Martin
    Posted 7/08/2009
  • Microvision receives $15 million equity investment
    Posted 6/22/2009
  • Microvision lands supplier of green lasers for its pico projector
    Posted 5/08/2009

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    MicroGREEN Polymers business evolution profiled

    John Cook's Venture Blog takes a look at the business evolution of University of Washington spinout MicroGREEN Polymers, an Arlington-based developer of environmentally friendly recycled plastic products. MicroGREEN, which was founded by a pair of UW graduate students, received exclusive rights to UW patented technology and has since developed new technologies including intellectual property made possible through four state-funded research awards totaling more than $300,000 from Washington Technology Center.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • A UW spinout success story: Krishna Nadella of Microgreen
    TechFlash - Seattle, WA - August 20, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • MicroGREEN Polymers is a WTC client
  • MicroGREEN Polymers raises $1.6M in ongoing investment round
    Posted 7/10/2009
  • MicroGREEN Gives Gift to University of Washington
    Posted 4/02/2008

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    Forest Concepts wins $350K USDA SBIR Phase II

    Forest Concepts, an Auburn-based developer of innovative wood products, has won a two-year $350,000 Phase II SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) contract from the United States Department of Agriculture to advance its process for preparing woody biomass such as hog fuel and bark for use as a feedstock for bioenergy applications.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • USDA awards wood cleaning contract to Forest Concepts
    Biomass Magazine - Grand Forks, ND - August 19, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • Forest Concepts is a WTC client
  • Forest Concepts bringing value to wood waste materials
    Posted 7/19/2008

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    Insitu unmanned aircraft are now helping to fight forest fires

    The Vancouver Sun reports that Insitu ScanEagle unmanned aircraft "are being flown through thick smoke over intense wildfires to map where fire lines are holding and where flames are spreading." University of Alaska research staff have been flying the planes outfitted with infrared cameras since August 5th, after worsening fire conditions in Alaska's Crazy Mountain Complex grounded manned aircraft. "The university is the first entity other than NASA or the U.S. Department of Defense to receive emergency clearance to fly unmanned aircraft beyond the line of sight in civil airspace." With the Insitu unmanned planes in service during dangerous conditions, personnel are able to monitor fire lines from afar without putting themselves at physical risk.

    UPDATE 8/27/2009: Watch video from University of Alaska available on Wired

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Unmanned drones play vital role in fighting Alaskan forest fires
    The Vancouver Sun - Vancouver, Canada - August 13, 2009
  • Video: UAV in a Firefight of a Different Kind
    Wired - U.S. - August 26, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • Insitu is a WTC client
  • Insitu expands production operations, employees and revenue from its base in rural Bingen, Washington
    Posted 7/10/2009
  • Insitu: the origin and evolution of its unmanned aircraft
    Posted 6/29/2009
  • Boeing's acquisition of Insitu buys small-company culture; provides market power
    Posted 5/29/2009
  • Insitu wins $250M U.S. Special Ops contract for ScanEagle
    Posted 5/26/2009


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    IsoRay announces first head and neck cancer treated with Cesium-131

    IsoRay, Inc., a Richland-based developer of therapies for prostate and other cancers, has announced the first head and neck cancer treated with Cesium-131. Dwight Babcock, IsoRay's CEO, stated "This is an important development in our strategy to significantly broaden our base beyond prostate cancer. Cesium-131 has unique characteristics for treating many additional cancers such as this new application that provided a minimally invasive treatment option for this patient."

    Update 8/19/09: IsoRay received FDA clearance to market Cesium-131 for treating other cancers -- such as those affecting the head, neck and other organs -- beyond the current prostate market.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • IsoRay Announces First Head And Neck Cancer Treated With Cesium-131
    IsoRay - Richland, Wash. - July 27, 2009
  • IsoRay Announces FDA Clearance Supporting Enhanced Loading and Delivery Methods for the Treatment of Lung, Head and Neck, and Other Tumors
    IsoRay - Richland, Wash. - August 18, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • IsoRay is a WTC client
  • IsoRay receives approval to market cancer therapy in Canada
    Posted 5/12/2009
  • IsoRay signs distribution agreement for prostate brachytherapy product
    Posted 2/19/2009

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    EnerG2 awarded $21.3M in energy stimulus funding for facility in Oregon

    EnerG2, a Seattle-based startup in the energy storage market, has received $21.3 million in federal stimulus funding from the Department of Energy to build a high-tech facility in Oregon for commercial-scale production of its nano-engineered ultracapacitor energy storage material.

    EnerG2 uses University of Washington technology to create ultracapacitors which store and release more energy faster than conventional batteries.

    In a press release announcing the funding, Rick Luebbe, CEO of EnerG2, said, "We appreciate the Department of Energy's confidence in us and we are eager to help the next generation of clean transportation become a reality. We are confident that our materials will improve these vehicles' efficiency, range and affordability."

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • EnerG2 Is Awarded $21.3 Million in Federal Stimulus Funds
    EnerG2 - Seattle - August 5, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • EnerG2 is a WTC client
  • EnerG2 raises $2.5 million in equity and options
    Posted 6/03/2009
  • EnerG2 raises $8.5 M in financing round
    Posted 11/18/2008

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    Microvision CEO says pico projector to retail for $400-$600 at introduction

    A pocketable projector being developed by Microvision, a Redmond-based developer of light-scanning technologies, will retail in the $400-$600 at introduction says company CEO Alexander Tokman in a video interview with FoxBusinessNetwork.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Small Cell Phone Screen? No More
    FoxBusinessNetwork - Youtube.com - July 24, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • Microvision is a WTC client
  • Microvision secures $1M contract from Lockheed Martin
  • 6-22-09: Microvision receives $15 million equity investment
  • 5-8-09: Microvision lands supplier of green lasers for its pico projector

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    nLIGHT of Vancouver, Wash. recognized for fourth consecutive year as one of the fastest growing technology companies

    nLIGHT, a manufacturer of high-power laser diode-based products located in Vancouver, Wash., has been named for the fourth consecutive year in a row in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 as one of the fastest growing technology companies in North America.

    According to the nLIGHT press release, "Deloitte's Technology Fast 500 is an award that recognizes the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunication and life sciences companies in North America based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth over five years (2004-2008). nLIGHT achieved a ranking of 76th of the fastest growing 500 technology companies in North America during 2008."

    Larry Hile a partner in Deloitte's Technology, Media & Telecommunications practice based in Seattle said, "The Technology Fast 500 organizations are innovating with increasing speed and global vision helping to deliver breakthrough growth in their respective markets. It's these visionary organizations and leaders that deliver greatness, even during these difficult economic times."

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • nLIGHT Recognized for Fourth Consecutive Year by Deloitte as One of the Fastest Growing Technology Companies
    nLIGHT - Vancouver, Wash. - May 4, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • nLIGHT is a WTC client
  • nLIGHT adds $10.7 million in growth capital
    Posted 2/03/2009

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    MicroGREEN Polymers raises $1.6M in ongoing investment round

    Xconomy reports that "MicroGreen Polymers, an Arlington, WA-based developer of technology to recycle plastics into cheaper, environmentally friendly coffee cups among other things, has raised $1.6 million for expansion from WRF Capital and local angel investors (Northwest Energy Angels, Alliance of Angels, and Atlas Accelerator), out of an ongoing round the company expects will net $3 to $4 million later this month."

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • MicroGreen Polymers Grabs $1.6M to Put Green Plastics Into Your Morning Coffee Cup
    Xconomy - Seattle - July 9, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • MicroGREEN Polymers is a WTC client
  • MicroGREEN Gives Gift to University of Washington
    Posted 4/02/2008

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    Insitu expands production operations, employees and revenue from its base in rural Bingen, Washington

    Insitu, a Boeing subsidiary which makes unmanned aerial vehicles in Bingen, Washington, announced that it has produced its 1,000th ScanEagle unmanned aircraft system and that it is expanding production to a facility in Stevenson, Washington. According to The Oregonian, "The company has grown from four employees when it was founded in 1994, to six when [CEO Steve] Sliwa joined in 2001, to about 30 in 2004 to 360 employees in July 2008 when Boeing announced it was going to acquire Insitu as a wholly owned subsidiary." As of July 6, 2009, Insitu has 657 employees with roughly 200 deployed internationally. Revenues for 2009 are expected to be around $200 million, compared to $143 million in 2008.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Boeing drone maker creates technology jobs near Gorge
    Seattle Times - United States - July 26, 2009
  • In remote Washington, Insitu's growth takes off with remote aircraft
    OregonLive.com - Portland, Ore. - July 9, 2009
  • Insitu Produces 1,000th ScanEagle; Expands Production Operations
    Insitu - Bingen, Wash. - July 9, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • Insitu is a WTC client
  • Insitu: the origin and evolution of its unmanned aircraft
    Posted 6/29/2009
  • Boeing's acquisition of Insitu buys small-company culture; provides market power
    Posted 5/29/2009
  • Insitu wins $250M U.S. Special Ops contract for ScanEagle
    Posted 5/26/2009

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    Microvision secures $1M contract from Lockheed Martin

    Microvision, a Redmond-based developer of light-scanning technologies, has secured a $1,000,000 subcontract from Lockheed Martin Corporation to develop a daylight-readable, see-through, low-profile, ergonomic eyewear display. According to a Microvision press release, "This subcontract is part of DARPA’s Urban Leader Tactical Response, Awareness & Visualization (ULTRA-Vis) program, an advanced technology development initiative, whose objective it is to build a soldier-worn system that provides non-line-of-sight command and control in distributed urban operations for dismounted warfighters."

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Microvision Announces $1M Contract Award from Lockheed Martin Corporation to Develop Low-Profile See-Through Eyewear Displays
    Microvision - Redmond, WA - July 7, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • Microvision is a WTC client
  • 6-22-09: Microvision receives $15 million equity investment
  • 5-8-09: Microvision lands supplier of green lasers for its pico projector

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    PhysioSonics raises $2 million in financing

    PhysioSonics, Inc., a privately held developer of noninvasive neurologic monitors, announced it has raised $2 million in a second tranche of series A financing. This follows a $4 million investment in 2008. The company is commercializing technologies including an ultrasound-based transcranial Doppler (TCD) monitor neuromonitor. In a press release, Brad Harlow, president & CEO of PhysioSonics said, "We are very excited with the continued validation of our product development as more neurosurgeons, anesthesiologists and cardiologists view our technology." The company was formerly known as Allez Physionix.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • PhysioSonics, Inc. Raises $2.0 Million for Second Tranche of Series A Financing
    Earthtimes (press release) - London, UK - July 1, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • PhysioSonics is a WTC client

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    Washington Technology Center awards $376,454 to spur innovation and jobs

    Five company-researcher projects have been awarded state funding for the development of innovative commercial technologies.

    SEATTLE – July 1, 2009 – Washington Technology Center has awarded a total of $376,454 in state funding to five researchers working with companies to develop commercially promising technologies. The companies expect commercial adoption of their technologies to create 175 new jobs in Washington during the next five years.

    The company partners are: Data Data, of Vancouver; Healionics, of Redmond; Modumetal, of Seattle; Paine Electronics, of East Wenatchee; and Simulab, of Seattle. Winning proposals from the University of Washington and Washington State University Vancouver described innovation in computer systems and microelectronics, advanced materials and manufacturing, and biotechnology and biomedical devices.

    "I commend these companies and their research partners for growing new business opportunities," said Washington Governor Chris Gregoire in support of this round of award winners. "This kind of investment in innovation builds on our state’s strong university research institutions, supports our 21st century industries, and most importantly, helps to create family-wage jobs in Washington.”

    This round of projects addresses a wide range of innovation:

    Data Data, Inc., a property data solutions company founded in 2007, is collaborating with the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Washington State University Vancouver to evaluate the use of machine learning algorithms to improve document classification and information extraction from images of public records documents. Data Data expects that successful application of this technology will enable the company to scale its real estate market statistics services to the national level and, in the process, create 40 new technology jobs in Washington during the next five years. WSU Vancouver will receive $28,546 in Phase I research and technology development funding from Washington Technology Center and $5,845 from Data Data for the project. More

    Healionics Corporation, a startup biomaterials company in Redmond, is partnered with the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington to commercialize UW technology that will reduce infection from skin-breaching devices such as catheters. Healionics expects this technology will enable the company to capture a significant part of a $100-200 million market resulting in the creation of 50 new technology jobs during the next five years. UW will receive $82,500 in Phase II research and technology development funding from Washington Technology Center and $16,500 from Healionics for the project. More

    Modumetal, Inc., a Seattle-based developer of nanostructured materials, is teamed with the University of Washington’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering to develop an innovative nanostructured anti-corrosion technology. Modumetal projects this new technology will lead to many opportunities in a $120 billion market and grow 50 jobs in the company during the next five years. UW will receive $100,000 in Phase I research and technology development funding from Washington Technology Center and $20,000 from Modumetal for the project. More

    Paine Electronics, LLC, a manufacturer of pressure instrumentation with headquarters in East Wenatchee and a production facility in Renton, is collaborating with the University of Washington’s Department of Electrical Engineering to develop an integrated circuit for use in high-temperature sensors. Paine Electronics expects the new sensors will open up opportunities in the growing geothermal and mineral exploration markets, and create 25 jobs during the next five years. UW will receive $65,408 in Phase I research and technology development funding from Washington Technology Center and $14,538 from Paine Electronics for the project. More

    Simulab Corporation, a Seattle-based developer of medical and surgical simulators, is working with the BioRobotics Laboratory at the University of Washington to commercialize UW software capable of measuring hands-on surgical skills. Simulab plans to target surgical residency programs and large hospitals for the skill-evaluating simulators, and projects the creation of 20 jobs during the next five years. UW will receive $100,000 in Phase I research and technology development funding from Washington Technology Center and $20,000 from Simulab for the project. More

    About the Research & Technology Development (RTD) Grant Program
    Washington Technology Center competitively awards around $1 million in state funding annually through the Research & Technology Development Grant Program for technology projects that show strong potential for commercializing products and creating jobs in Washington. Each project team is comprised of a Washington company partner and a researcher from a university or research nonprofit in the state. The company defines the research challenge and provides access to the commercial market. The university or nonprofit researcher executes the research with funding from both Washington Technology Center and the company partner. Since 1996, the RTD program has supported 335 research commercialization projects. Applications for the next funding round are due October 22, 2009. More information about the research and technology development program is available online at http://www.watechcenter.org/rtd.

    About Washington Technology Center
    Washington Technology Center is a statewide economic development organization focused on technology and innovation. We spark ideas, form connections between people and resources, and foster job growth to position Washington state as a national technology leader. As an organization, Washington Technology Center channels state, federal, and private resources to help companies develop and commercialize new products and technologies. Our 15,000-square-foot Microfabrication Laboratory provides companies and university researchers access to facilities and specialized equipment for micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) research and product/process development. The impact of Washington Technology Center’s work has generated more than $600 million in additional investment for Washington companies and researchers. For more information how Washington Technology Center can help research and development projects succeed, visit www.watechcenter.org or call 206-685-1920.

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    Carbon Nanoprobes establishes headquarters in Pennsylvania

    Carbon Nanoprobes, a startup company developing high-resolution probes for atomic force microscopy, has established headquarters in Malvern, Pennsylvania. The company, which was based for two years in facilities at Washington Technology Center in Seattle, was drawn to Pennsylvania by state grants designed to grow technology companies.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Nanometers make big things happen for small business
    Pottstown Mercury - Pottstown, Penn. - June 29, 2009
  • Carbon Nanoprobes may make it big in a tiny field
    Philadelphia Business Journal - Philadelphia, PA - June 26, 2009

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  • Carbon Nanoprobes is a WTC client

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    InnovaTek among 12 semifinalists in Clean Tech Open

    InnovaTek, a Richland-based developer of patented technologies for sustainable power and environmental safety, is among 12 Pacific Northwest region semifinalists in the Clean Tech Open, a national competition and program that helps clean technology businesses. The semifinalists were chosen from a field of 56 initial competitors in the clean tech business plan competition. Companies are vying for three regional prizes of up to $50,000 in cash and services as well as one national prize of up to $250,000 in cash and services.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Clean Tech Open
  • Clean Tech Open rewards 12 startups from the Northwest
    TechFlash - Seattle - June 26, 2009

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  • InnovaTek is a WTC client

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    Insitu: the origin and evolution of its unmanned aircraft

    The Seattle Times explores the history and evolution of Insitu, a Boeing subsidiary which makes unmanned aerial vehicles in Bingen, Washington. From finding tuna to supporting military reconnaissance, Insitu grew from a three-person company in 1998 to a six-hundred person company manufacturing aircraft in 2009.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Unmanned aircraft started as tuna finder
    Seattle Times - United States - June 19, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • Insitu is a WTC client
  • Boeing's acquisition of Insitu buys small-company culture; provides market power
    Posted 5/29/2009
  • Insitu wins $250M U.S. Special Ops contract for ScanEagle
    Posted 5/26/2009

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    Vaagen Brothers Lumber receives stimulus funding

    Vaagen Brothers Lumber, an industry leader in lumber manufacturing based in Colville, Wash., will receive $250,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding to purchase high-efficiency equipment to turn logging waste into fuel for energy production.

    "This funding is further proof that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is working every day to strengthen Washington state's economy and spur our energy innovation sector," said U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "These investments will cut our national carbon emissions and keep Washingtonians on the cutting-edge of the clean energy revolution in these green-collar jobs."

    Oregon Public Broadcasting reports that "a half dozen private sawmills around the Northwest are splitting about $17 million in federal economic stimulus grants. The new awards follow a wood-to-energy theme."

    Related external links (will open a new window):
  • Wood-To-Energy Projects Get Stimulus Dollars
    OPB News - Portland, Ore. - June 16, 2009

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  • Vaagen Brothers Lumber is a WTC client

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    Impulse Accelerated Technologies announces successful medical imaging project with University of Washington

    Impulse Accelerated Technologies, Inc., a Kirkland-based developer of software-to-hardware tools, announced the successful completion of a tomographic image reconstruction acceleration project at the University of Washington.

    According to a press release issued by the company, UW researchers "achieved 38 ms back-projection of a 512 x 512-pixel image from 512 projections. This represented a greater than 100X speedup over a software-only benchmark algorithm. This project, which was funded in part by a $100,000 Research and Technology Development grant from Washington Technology Center, was intended to determine the benefits and tradeoffs of using higher-level FPGA programming methods for medical imaging, radar and other applications requiring high throughput image reconstruction."

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Researchers accelerate tomographic image reconstruction with FPGA programming
    Vision Systems Design - Nashua,NH - June 22, 2009

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  • Impulse Accelerated Technologies is a WTC client

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    Microvision receives $15 million equity investment

    Microvision, a Redmond-based developer of light scanning technologies, announced that Taipei-based Walsin Lihwa Corporation, through its subsidiary Max Display Enterprises Limited, has agreed to an equity investment of approximately $15 million in Microvision.

    "We are pleased to welcome Walsin Lihwa as an investor to Microvision in addition to being a key enabling strategic supply chain partner in our go-to-market strategy," said Alexander Tokman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Microvision. "We look forward to continuing the strong working relationship we have developed with Walsin Lihwa over the years."

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Microvision press release
    June 22, 2009

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  • Microvision is a WTC client
  • Microvision lands supplier of green lasers for its pico projector

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    Greenwood Technologies closes operations; liquidating assets on eBay

    Greenwood Technologies, a renewable heating solutions company headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, has closed operations according to Michael Dulion, company president. Dulion stated, "Despite having an excellent product, the effects of the financial freeze made it difficult for Greenwood, like many small companies, to weather the recession." Greenwood is liquidating its inventory of wood furnaces and boilers on eBay.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Greenwood eBay Store

    Related WTC links:

  • 10/19/2008 - Greenwood Technologies secures $3 million in venture capital
  • Greenwood Technologies is a WTC client

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    EnerG2 raises $2.5 million in equity and options

    EnerG2, a Seattle-based startup in the energy storage market, has raised $2.5 million in equity and options reports Xconomy. EnerG2's latest funding is on top of the fall 2008 $8.5 million financing round led by OVP Venture Partners of Kirkland and Firelake Capital Management of Palo Alto, California. EnerG2 uses University of Washington technology to create ultracapacitors which store and release more energy faster than conventional batteries.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • EnerG2 Snaps Up $2.5M
    Xconomy - Seattle - June 2, 2009

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  • EnerG2 is a WTC client

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    Boeing's acquisition of Insitu buys small-company culture; provides market power

    Flight International, an international aerospace news weekly magazine, goes behind the scenes of Insitu and Boeing to see how the organizations will pair their cultural strengths in the growing market for unmanned aerial systems.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Boeing's culture challenger
    Flightglobal - UK - May 28, 2009

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  • Boeing is a WTC client
  • Insitu is a WTC client

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    Insitu wins $250M U.S. Special Ops contract for ScanEagle

    Insitu, a Boeing subsidiary which makes unmanned aerial vehicles in Bingen, Washington, has received a five-year contract with a potential value of $250 million from U.S. Special Operations Command for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance services using the ScanEagle unmanned aircraft. The camera-carrying drone aircraft was used recently in the U.S. Navy's rescue of an American ship captain held by Somali pirates.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read the Boeing press release

    Related WTC links:

  • Insitu is a WTC client
  • Insitu unmanned aerial vehicles watched pirates

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    Modumetal, UW Partnership Receives Funding for Anti-Corrosion Technology

    Modumetal to develop an innovative commercial anti-corrosion technology in partnership with University of Washington's Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

    - more in full post -- continued below -

    SEATTLE – May 20, 2009 – Washington Technology Center (WTC) has awarded an Entrepreneur's Access grant to the University of Washington to support an advanced material research collaboration with Modumetal, Inc. of Seattle, Washington.

    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."

    More information about the research and technology development program is available online at http://www.watechcenter.org/rtd.

    About Modumetal, Inc.
    Modumetal (www.modumetal.com) 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.

    About Washington Technology Center
    Washington Technology Center is a statewide economic development organization focused on technology and innovation. We spark ideas, form connections between people and resources, and foster job growth to position Washington state as a national technology leader. As an organization, Washington Technology Center channels state, federal, and private resources to help companies develop and commercialize new products and technologies. Our 15,000-square-foot Microfabrication Laboratory provides companies and university researchers access to facilities and specialized equipment for micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) research and product/process development. The impact of Washington Technology Center's work has generated more than $600 million in additional investment for Washington companies and researchers. For more information how Washington Technology Center can help research and development projects succeed, visit www.watechcenter.org or call 206-685-1920.

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  • Modumetal is a WTC client

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    Insitu has major role in Columbia Gorge economy

    The Seattle Post-Intelligencer profiles the rural economic impact of Insitu, an unmanned aircraft maker based in Bingen, Washington. The company started in a garage 15 years ago and has since grown to more than 500 employees at 21 locations located primarily in Klickitak and Skamania counties along the Columbia Gorge. Now a wholly-owned but independent subsidiary of Boeing, Insitu plans to keep its headquarters in the Columbia Gorge and is considering options for expanding and consolidating its operations.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Drones play big role in Columbia Gorge economy
    Seattle Post Intelligencer - USA - May 13, 2009

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  • Insitu is a WTC client
  • Insitu unmanned aerial vehicles watched pirates
  • Insitu awarded $20.9 M defense contract for unmanned air systems

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    IsoRay receives approval to market cancer therapy in Canada

    IsoRay, Inc., a Richland-based developer of therapies for prostate and other cancers, has announced that Health Canada’s Therapeutic Products Directorate has approved IsoRay's Proxcelan Cs-131 brachytherapy seeds for sale throughout Canada.

    In a press release, IsoRay CEO Dwight Babcock stated, “This completes another step in being able to expand the potential distribution of cesium-131 brachytherapy seeds. We initially plan to leverage the relationships of our exclusive U.S. distributor, BrachySciences, and contacts we have made with Canadian physicians who are interested in using cesium-131 to treat their patients. Through these channels we hope to begin to penetrate the Canadian brachytherapy market.”

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read the IsoRay press release

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  • IsoRay is a WTC client
  • IsoRay signs distribution agreement for prostate brachytherapy product

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    Microvision lands supplier of green lasers for its pico projector

    Microvision, a Redmond-based developer of light scanning technologies, moves a step closer to shipping its new pico projector to users with the announcement that it has landed Corning as a supplier of green lasers. For two years, Microvision has been waiting for a company to be able to supply production-level quantities of green lasers. Microvision expects its Show WX pico project to be commercially available mid-2009. The Show WX projector uses lasers, not optical lenses, to project images ranging smaller than 6 inches to larger than 100 inches diagonally from a device the size of a portable music player. A key benefit -- in addition to the small size -- is that focusing is not necessary with laser projection technology.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Corning and Microvision Announce Agreement for Supply of Green Lasers for Microprojectors
    Microvision press release - May 4, 2009
  • Green lasers arrive for pico projectors
    EE Times - May 6, 2009

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  • Microvision is a WTC client
  • Microvision demonstrates a preproduction pico projector at Macworld and CES

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    EnerG2 CEO offers venture capital advice in CNNMoney article

    CEO Rick Luebbe of EnerG2, a Seattle-based startup in the energy storage market, and nine other CEOs and venture capitalists offer advice on attracting venture funding in a recent CNNMoney article. EnerG2 raised $8.5 million from OVP Venture Partners and others for its nanoscale energy storage technology.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • The venture game: What investors want
    CNNMoney.com - USA - April 15, 2009
  • 10 steps to catch VC cash
    CNNMoney.com - USA - April 15, 2009

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  • EnerG2 is a WTC client
  • EnerG2 raises $8.5 M in financing round

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    Insitu unmanned aerial vehicles watched pirates


    Insitu, a Boeing subsidiary which makes unmanned aerial vehicles in Bingen, Washington, supplied the drone that assisted the Navy's USS Bainbridge in its rescue of an American captain captured by Somali pirates. Insitu's ScanEagle weighs 40 pounds, has a 10-foot wingspan, can fly 20 hours, and transmits day and night surveillance video. In other news, the Canadian Department of National Defence recently awarded Insitu a $30 million one-year contract to continue providing unmanned aerial vehicle services to its military.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Insitu assists in American hostage rescue
    The Enterprise - White Salmon - April 22, 2009
  • Off Beat: Locally made unmanned aircraft kept electronic eye on pirate drama
    Columbian.com - Vancouver, WA - April 20, 2009
  • Drone built by Boeing subsidiary watches pirates
    Seattle Times - WA - April 13, 2009
  • New contract for small unmanned aerial vehicles (SUAV) will boost economy
    Government of Canada - April 6, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • Insitu is a WTC client
  • Insitu awarded $20.9 M defense contract for unmanned air systems

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    VentriPoint raises $1 million in debenture financing

    VentriPoint Diagnostics Ltd., a Seattle-based provider of diagnostic tools to monitor patients with heart disease, announced it raised total proceeds of $1,052,317 in debenture financing. Health Canada has granted licensed approval for VentriPoint's diagnostic tool which is based upon technology received by VentriPoint through its exclusive technology license with the University of Washington. The diagnostic tool, together with its associated online service, is being developed for a variety of heart related diseases, including congenital heart disease and pulmonary hypertension.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more in the VentriPoint press release

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  • VentriPoint is a WTC client

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    3TIER opens offices in Germany, Australia and India

    3TIER, a Seattle-based provider of renewable energy assessment and power forecasting services, announced the expansion of its global operations with new offices in Germany, Australia and India. "These offices provide a 'local' presence for financiers, developers, operators or governments who need 3TIER's expertise in wind, solar and hydro assessment and forecasting," said Pascal Storck, Ph.D, president of global operations at 3TIER. Storck says the offices will help them develop partnerships in the rapidly growing markets of Europe, the Pacific Rim and India.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more in the 3TIER press release [PDF]

    Related WTC links:

  • 3TIER is a WTC client
  • 3TIER launches global wind prospecting tool
  • 3TIER receives $10M in venture funding

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    Healionics ships its first product, glaucoma treatment for dogs

    Healionics Corporation, a start-up biomaterials company in Redmond, announced the sale and shipment of the first commercial product featuring Healionics' STAR® biomaterial. A company press release says the product, TR-ClarifEYE™, an innovative veterinary glaucoma implant marketed by TR BioSurgical, LLC (TRBIO), is scheduled for limited market launch in April 2009. "We are very excited to announce the first commercial shipment of STAR, which is a significant milestone for Healionics and represents the Company’s first revenue from product sales," said Healionics CEO Michel Alvarez. In related news, Alvarez replaces Rob Brown as CEO in a management change.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more in the Healionics press release
  • Read more in Xconomy

    Related WTC links:

  • Healionics is a WTC client
  • Healionics raises $2.6 million
  • Healionics announces first commercial product for biomaterial

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    Insitu awarded $20.9 M defense contract for unmanned air systems

    From the DoD press release: Insitu, Inc., Bingen, Wash., is being awarded a $20,917,403 firm fixed price contract for the procurement of ScanEagle Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) hardware for four operational sites, 3 spare/operational float packages, and critical spares kits in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) missions. Work will be performed in Bingen, Wash., and is expected to be completed in Jul. 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to the FAR 6.302-2. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-09-C-0005).

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read the U.S. Department of Defense press release

    Related WTC links:

  • Insitu is a WTC client
  • Insitu CEO and President Steve Sliwa, and other company heads, give acquisition advice in TechFlash
  • Insitu acquired by Boeing

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    Insitu CEO and President Steve Sliwa, and other company heads, give acquisition advice in TechFlash

    TechFlash's John Cook and Eric Engleman spoke with six company heads including Steve Sliwa of Insitu for their advice to entrepreneurs who are considering deals.

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  • Read the article at TechFlash

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    VisionGate founder to sell company; takes leadership post at ASU Biodesign Institute

    VisionGate President and CEO Alan Nelson has taken the director position at the Arizona State University Biodesign Institute. Nelson plans to sell the company he founded, VisionGate, a Gig-Harbor-based company working in the field of cancer diagnostics. VisionGate recently sold its first commercially available Cell-CT™ imaging platform to ASU's Biodesign Institute. VisionGate's patented technology was developed with assistance from UW researcher Eric Seibel.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more in The Arizona Republic
  • Read more in the Phoenix Business Journal

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  • VisionGate is a WTC client
  • VisionGate sells first commercially available Cell-CT™ imaging platform
  • VisionGate and University of Washington create 3-D cancer imaging

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    Washington's clean tech companies -- a list from Xconomy

    Xconomy, a business and technology publication, recently compiled a list of Washington's clean technology and alternative energy companies.

    Luke Timmerman, the national biotechnology editor for Xconomy, writes that they "defined the alternative energy industry broadly, including innovative developers of biofuels, solar power, wind, and energy storage, as well as technologies for hybrid vehicles and smart-grid applications and software for energy efficiency and conservation."

    WTC client companies on the list include 3TIER, Boeing, EnerG2, InnovaTek, Microsoft, and Neah Power Systems. Several speakers at Washington's Innovation Summit 2009 come from companies on the list (Blue Marble Energy, General Biodiesel, PACCAR, and Prometheus Energy).

    Xconomy compiled the list of more than 80 Washington companies with the assistance of several organizations and people: The Washington state Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development; the Washington Clean Technology Alliance; Rick LeFaivre of OVP Venture Partners; Eric Gertsman of the University of Washington; Jane Shaw of the Canadian Consulate’s office in Seattle; Pernick of Clean Edge; Gary Spanner of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, WA; and Kim Zentz of Sirti in Spokane, WA.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read the article and view the list at Xconomy

    Related WTC links:

  • WTC client list
  • Washington's Innovation Summit 2009

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    VisionGate sells first commercially available Cell-CT™ imaging platform

    VisionGate, a Gig Harbor headquartered company working in the field of cancer diagnostics, has sold its first commercially available Cell-CT™ imaging platform to Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute. VisionGate's patented technology was developed with assistance from UW researcher Eric Seibel.

    In a February 26th press release from ASU, Thomas Neumann, M.D., VisionGate’s vice president for medical science, said the sale of the company’s first Cell-CT platform is a significant step for the company. “We are encouraged that the scientists at the Biodesign Institute will be using our novel 3-D cellular imaging technology for their groundbreaking research on single cell biology,” he said. “VisionGate plans to continue developing the Cell-CT system for clinical use in the early detection of lung cancer, and the agreement announced today is expected to provide valuable contributions to the institute’s personalized medicine initiatives.”

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more in the Arizona State University press release

    Related WTC links:

  • VisionGate is a WTC client
  • VisionGate and University of Washington create 3-D cancer imaging

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    Carbon Nanoprobes recognized at Zino Society's Life Sciences Investment Forum

    Carbon Nanoprobes, a startup company developing high-resolution probes for atomic force microscopy, won a prize for best investment opportunity at the Zino Society's first Life Sciences Investment Forum held in Seattle February 24, 2009. The company, which had teamed with UW researchers to develop its technology, recently relocated from Seattle to Pennsylvania. An article at Xconomy tells more about the Zino Society event.

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  • Read more at Xconomy

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  • Carbon Nanoprobes is a WTC client

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    IsoRay signs distribution agreement for prostate brachytherapy product

    IsoRay, a Richland-based producer of the Cesium-131 brachytherapy seed used to treat prostate and other cancers, announced it has signed an agreement with BrachySciences, a division of Biocompatibles International plc, to distribute IsoRay's Proxcelan Cesium-131 brachytherapy seeds.

    In a press release, Dwight Babcock, chairman and CEO of IsoRay, stated, "We are very pleased to announce this collaboration with BrachySciences. Management believes this distribution agreement will enable us to increase the sales of Cesium-131 within the prostate cancer therapy market. This supports our ongoing strategy of driving sales by adding an additional outside distribution channel to augment our current sales staff. We look forward to a close working relationship with BrachySciences that will help us further penetrate the brachytherapy market."

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    VisionGate and University of Washington create 3-D cancer imaging

    VisionGate, Inc., a privately-held company in Gig Harbor, Wash., and University of Washington researchers led by Eric Seibel, a UW mechanical engineering associate professor, have helped develop a new kind of microscope to visualize cells in three dimensions, technology that could help advance early cancer detection. According to a University of Washington press release, the machine works by rotating the cell under the microscope lens and taking hundreds of pictures per rotation, and then digitally combining them to form a single 3-D image. Funding was provided by VisionGate and Washington Technology Center.

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    3TIER launches global wind prospecting tool

    3TIER, a Seattle-based provider of wind, solar and hydro energy assessment forecasting, announced expansion of its FirstLook® Prospecting tool, providing free access to average wind speed ranges throughout the world. “This intuitive and interactive tool provides a free, initial assessment of global wind resources,” says Kenneth Westrick, CEO and founder of 3TIER. “We developed this map as part of REmapping the World,™ a sophisticated renewable energy resource mapping initiative we launched in March 2008 to address the biggest barrier to global renewable energy adoption – the lack of information.”

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  • Navigate the map at http://firstlook.3tier.com
  • Learn more about wind forecasting and 3TIER at The Wall Street Journal

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  • 3TIER receives $10M in venture funding

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    nLIGHT adds $10.7 million in growth capital

    nLIGHT Corporation (nLIGHT), the emerging leader of high-power semiconductor lasers, announced that it has received $10.7 million in the first closing of a new equity financing. nLIGHT will use the new growth capital to drive continued product development of integrated laser modules and increase sales in its core industrial, defense, and medical markets. Continued investment came from existing venture investors Oak Investment Partners, Mohr Davidow Ventures and Menlo Ventures.

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    Microvision demonstrates a preproduction pico projector at Macworld and CES

    Microvision's plug-and-play projector creates a large screen image from a miniature device that connects to the TV-out or VGA connector on portable devices such as mobile phones, portable media players and notebook computers.

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    Ultreo closes operation

    Ultreo, maker of an ultrasound toothbrush, posted a statement on its Web site announcing it ceased operations on December 22, 2008. Company CEO & President Glenn Bonagura cited insufficient cash flow and a lack of potential investors or purchasers as reasons for closing.

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    Theo Chocolate, UW scientists to identify the best organic cocoa beans

    Xconomy's interview with Theo's chief operating officer and food scientist, Dr. Andy McShea, describes Theo's partnership with University of Washington to develop food quality-analysis technology.

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    Washington Technology Center Awards $485,261 in Research Funding

    Washington Technology Center awarded research and technology development funding totaling $485,261 to seven* projects developed between companies and Washington researchers.

    Companies with winning projects for January 2009 are: Applied Precision, of Issaquah; ATS, of Silverdale; The Boeing Company and HEATCON® Composite Systems, of Seattle; Enertechnix, of Maple Valley; GeoMonkey, Inc., of Vancouver; Omeros Corporation, of Seattle; and Theo Chocolate, Inc., of Seattle. Winning proposals described innovative research in computer systems and microelectronics, advanced materials and manufacturing, food safety and quality, and biotechnology and biomedical devices.

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    "Washington’s success in research and development is known globally," said Washington Governor Chris Gregoire in support of this round of award winners. "And the bold innovations created by these companies will help keep Washington’s economy robust. Congratulations to each of you."

    Washington Technology Center competitively awards around $1 million in state funding annually as part of the Research and Technology Development Grant Program. 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 329 Research and Technology Development projects.

    Each project team is comprised of a Washington company partner and a researcher from a university or research nonprofit in the state. The company defines the research challenge and provides access to the commercial market. The university or nonprofit researcher executes the research with funding from both Washington Technology Center and the company partner.

    This round of projects addresses a wide range of innovation:

    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. More

    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. More

    The Boeing Company’s Research & Technology group and HEATCON® Composite Systems, a Seattle-based composite repair equipment supplier, 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. More

    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. More

    GeoMonkey (doing business as MapWith.Us), 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. More

    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. More

    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. More

    This round of funding is anticipated to generate more than 350 full-time technology jobs in Washington during the next five years. Washington Technology Center estimates that through its work with entrepreneurs, more than 7,000 new technology jobs have been created in Washington state, many of these from award recipients. New project funding is awarded twice annually.

    Annual follow-up surveys show that the Research and Technology Development Grant Program has helped Washington companies transition novel technologies into commercially-viable ventures.

    Proposals for the next round of funding are due April 23, 2009. More information about the Research and Technology Development Grant Program is available online at http://www.watechcenter.org/rtd.

    * (Update 2/10/09: an eighth project -- Greenwood Technologies -- has been canceled)

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    Omeros awarded $465,000 grant for Parkinson's research

    Omeros Corporation, a Seattle-based biopharmaceutical company, has been awarded a $465,000 grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation to evaluate Omeros' recent dicovery of a new target for the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

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    Northstar Neuroscience announces plans to dissolve

    Northstar Neuroscience, a medical device company developing therapies for the treatment of major depressive disorder, announced in a press release January 5, 2009 "that its Board of Directors has determined, in its best business judgment after consideration of potential strategic alternatives, that it is in the best interests of the company and its shareholders to liquidate the company's assets and to dissolve the company."

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    3TIER receives $10M in venture funding

    The venture funding will help Seattle-based 3TIER open offices in Europe and Asia and expand globally its forecasting and assessment products and services for weather-driven renewable energy resources (wind, hydro and solar power).

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    Insilicos Awarded $900K Grant From NIH

    Insilicos announced that the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (part of the National Institutes of Health) has awarded the company a $900,000 grant to study Ensemble Learning. Ensemble Learning is a prediction technique that is particularly well-suited to the large data sets of biomedical research. Insilicos has received over $3 million in NIH grants, which support the company's research towards diagnostics for cardiovascular disease.

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    Healionics raises $2.6 million

    Healionics Corporation, a start-up biomaterials company in Redmond, has raised $2.6 million in a second round of financing. Investors came from several angel funding networks -- the Bellingham Angels, the Alliance of Angels, Keiretsu, the Tacoma Angel Network and the Zino Society. The company is commercializing UW technology that will reduce infection from skin-breaching devices such as catheters.

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    Neah Power awarded $1.2M Navy grant, also buys SolCool One

    Neah Power Systems, a Bothell-based maker of fuel cells and power systems for portable electronic devices, announced it completed its first Office of Naval Research contract and received a second contract worth $1.2 million to aid in funding the development of Neah Power's unique methanol-based fuel cell. The company also announced its purchase of SolCool One, a leader in the solar air conditioning industry, with an established manufacturing partner in China.

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    EnerG2 raises $8.5 M in financing round

    EnerG2, a Seattle-based startup in the energy storage market, announced the company has raised $8.5 million in a Series A financing round led by OVP Venture Partners of Kirkland and Firelake Capital Management of Palo Alto, California. EnerG2 uses University of Washington technology to create ultracapacitors which store and release more energy faster than conventional batteries.

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    Washington entrepreneurs share tips for start-up success

    Scott Keeney of Vancouver's nLIGHT, Christina Lomasney of Seattle start-up Modumetal, Gerry Langeler of Kirkland's OVP Venture Partners, and Carolyn Brennan of University of Washington Bothell discuss how to get traction in the marketplace in an article from The Columbian.

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    Scientists develop new cancer-killing compound from salad plant

    Researchers at the University of Washington have updated a traditional Chinese medicine to create a compound that is more than 1,200 times more specific in killing certain kinds of cancer cells than currently available drugs, heralding the possibility of a more effective chemotherapy drug with minimal side effects. The compound is currently being licensed to Artemisia Biomedical Inc. for commercialization.

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  • Healionics announces first commercial product for biomaterial

    Healionics, a start-up company in Redmond, has entered into a multi-million dollar manufacturing, supply and distribution agreement for use of its biomaterial in a veterinary glaucoma implant made by TR BioSurgical. Healionics was founded on technology developed by Dr. Buddy Ratner and Dr. Andrew Marshall at the University of Washington Engineered Biomaterials center and licensed from UW.

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    UW licenses 'camera in a pill' technology

    In one of its largest technology transfer deals, University of Washington has licensed imaging technology to medical-device maker Hoya, which plans to commercialize the technology in the next couple of years. Research funding for the technology came from several sources including Washington Technology Center.

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  • Aculight Corp. acquired by Lockheed Martin

    Aculight, a Bothell-based developer of laser technologies for national defense and aerospace applications, has been acquired by Lockheed Martin. Aculight's 90 employees will remain in Bothell and will become part of Lockheed Martin's Maritime Systems & Sensors business.

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  • Insitu acquired by Boeing

    Insitu, a maker of unmanned aerial systems in Bingen, Washington for military and commercial customers, has been acquired by Boeing. Insitu will continue to operate independently as a separate subsidiary under Boeing Integrated Defense Systems' Military Aircraft unit.

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  • Efficere, WSU Vancouver improving signal transfer in electronics

    Their partnership is profiled in an article by the Vancouver Business Journal. The team aims to streamline the electronics design process.

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  • Forest Concepts bringing value to wood waste materials

    Biomass Magazine featured Auburn-based Forest Concept for its use of technology to increase the value of waste materials in the wood products industry.

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  • Insitu wins $24M contract for unmanned aircraft

    A marketing alliance with Boeing has helped Bingen-based Insitu access defense markets for its unmanned aerial vehicles.

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  • Prototype 'Bionic' Contact Lens Developed at WTC Lab

    Babak Parviz, a UW assistant professor of electrical engineering, heads a multi-disciplinary group developing virtual displays on contact lenses. The prototype contact lenses, with metal connectors for electronic circuits, were manufactured in WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory. "Looking through a completed lens, you would see what the display is generating superimposed on the world outside," said Parviz.

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  • Carbon Nanoprobes Closes Equity Financing

    Carbon Nanoprobes, a startup company developing high-resolution probes for atomic force microscopy, successfully closed an A-round of investment capital financing and added a Chief Marketing Officer and three new directors to its management team.

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  • Illumigen Biosciences Acquired by Cubist Pharmaceuticals

    Illumigen Biosciences of Seattle, a spinoff company from the University of Washington Genome Center, was recently acquired by Cubist Pharmaceuticals of Lexington, Mass. Illumigen's prospective drug to treat Hepatitis C virus was the basis of the acquisition. Illumigen was formed in 2000 by faculty/staff from the Genome Center (housed in the Washington Technology Center facility).

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  • InnovaTek Collaboration Receives Research Funding for Hydrogen Fuel Technology

    Washington Technology Center awarded $64,275 in Research and Technology Development funding based on a proposal from InnovaTek in collaboration with Washington State University.

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  • MicroGREEN Gives Gift to University of Washington

    The UW Dept. of Mechanical Engineering has just acquired a new Instrumented Impact Test machine from Instron, the first of its kind at UW. This has been made possible by major gifts from MicroGREEN Polymers and the Washington Research Foundation, and additional contributions from UW. "It is quite a special story about TechTransfer success, and a strong UW-industry (especially a Washington startup helped by WTC) relationship," said Vipin Kumar, Associate Professor, UW Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.

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  • Microvision Pico Projector Technology Featured in The Economist

    CEO Alexander Tokman discusses the laser-diode technology that enables Microvision's miniature, mobile 'pico' projector. Once commercialized, the technology will enable portable devices such as phones to project images onto walls.

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  • Ultreo and EnerG2 featured in Washington CEO magazine

    Washington CEO magazine highlighted four start-up companies -- including Ultreo and EnerG2 -- commercializing research out of the University of Washington.

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  • Greenwood Technologies secures $3 million in venture capital

    Greenwood Technologies received a $3 million investment from Copia Associates, a venture capital firm in San Ramon, Calif.

    With research and technology development funding from Washington Technology Center, Greenwood Technologies and UW researcher John Kramlich are developing a low-emission combustion system for Greenwood's wood-fired furnace.

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  • Seven Companies Receive State-Funded Research Grants

    Washington Technology Center awarded research and technology development grants totaling $457,301 to seven companies working in partnership with academic researchers from the University of Washington and Washington State University.

    Grant winners for January 2007 are Arcadia Biosciences, Seattle; Carbon Nanoprobes, Seattle; Northwind Marine, Seattle; FungusAmongUs, Snohomish; Greenwood Technologies, Bellevue; nLight Photonics, Vancouver; and VisionGate, Gig Harbor. Winning proposals outlined breakthrough research in biotechnology, defense and security, nanotechnology, energy and manufacturing.

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    "Research institutions in Washington are engines of economic growth and these grants bridge the gap between good research and competitive products," says Washington Governor Chris Gregoire. "Congratulations to these innovative companies and researchers."

    Washington state allocates more than $1.2 million annually to the Washington Technology Center grants program. State funding enables collaboration between companies and university researchers on technology projects that show strong potential for commercializing products and creating jobs. Since 1996, the state has funded 304 Research and Technology Development projects.

    This round of grants is expected to generate more than 300 full-time technology jobs in Washington over the next five years. Washington Technology Center estimates that through its work with entrepreneurs, over 7,000 new technology jobs have been created in Washington state, many of these from grant award recipients. New project funding is awarded twice annually.

    Companies are eligible for financial awards up to $100,000 per phase for initial proof-of-concept projects or multi-phase research.

    The Washington Technology Center’s research and technology development grants have proved effective in helping Washington companies and researchers transition novel technologies from “good ideas” into commercially-viable ventures. Annual follow-up surveys show that assisted companies have been successful in leveraging these grants into more than $400 million in additional funding.

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  • MFL, CN Probes Partner in Breakthrough Growth of Carbon Nanotubes

    In one of the most famous scenes in the 1967 film, The Graduate, Walter Brook's character Mr. McGuire ceremoniously intimates to protagonist Benjamin Braddock (portrayed magnificently by Dustin Hoffman) that "Plastics" are the next big thing.

    Thirty years later, you might hear a similar statement touted by recent Columbia graduate and CN Probes CEO Brian Ruby. Only instead of plastics, the catch phrase is "Carbon Nanotubes."

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    Ruby, a New York college graduate-cum-Washington state business entrepreneur, is a client of the Washington Technology Center's Microfabrication Laboratory (MFL) and a key player in a successful joint research project between CN Probes and the MFL to develop and grow carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on a silicon wafer. The team recently completed groundbreaking research that did, in fact, successfully grow CNTs on a targeted location and confirmed the growth through various spectroscopic techniques. It is estimated that only four or five research groups in the world have achieved similar results on this scale.

    The CNTs grew out of pure collaboration. WTC's facility had the right tools in place to spark this type of innovation. According to Ruby, these capabilities extended beyond the lab's physical equipment such as the furnace used to grow the CNTs and the UW Nanotechnology User Facility's Raman Spectrum used to verify the results. "It's the collaborative environment of the Microfab Lab that makes these kinds of breakthroughs possible," he says. "It's a highly supportive and creative culture. The staff is just as committed to discovery and process innovation as their clients," Ruby notes. "Plus, WTC understands 'start-up mode' and work with their customers to keep access up, costs down and IP protected."

    Lab Manager Michael Hjelmstad concurs. He says that working with clients like CN Probes, PCB Piezotronics, and Microvision, who are pioneers in their fields, is inspiring and the goal of the lab is to go beyond just providing equipment and training and be a true research partner.

    "Imagine WTC is an architect who builds the ultimate kitchen for master chefs of various cuisines," explains Hjelmstad. "Brian Ruby has brought the lab his own special CNT recipe. That's a good analogy for the Carbon Nanotubes project."

    Hjelmstad also praises the assistance of the University of Washington's Nanotechnology User Facility, also housed in Fluke Hall, WTC's headquarters and the location of WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory. "We could not have confirmed the CNT growth without the assistance of Dong Qin and her team," Hjelmstad notes. "They were an invaluable partner and resource throughout this process."

    While still in the very early stages, carbon nanotubes have been lauded for their potential product versatility. The material is widely applicable to numerous applications and has been praised for its unique properties.

    However, when trying to integrate CNTs into a small-scale device, such as Nantero's nanotube based memory, CN Probes' molecular imaging probes or a new Intel processor, issues of scalability, reliability and reproducibility arise. With the new system at MFL, CN Probes and WTC are attacking these issues head on and making great progress. They are not the first team to grow carbon nanotubes, but they are part of an elite few that claim to be able to grow them under manufacturing conditions.

    Brian Ruby is optimistic this can be done. He sees CNTs as having high value in developing targeted applications for drug discovery. Ruby is aiming to evolve a process to grow an entire wafer of tubes on micro-machined atomic force microscope tips, which will vastly improve the resolution and utility of atomic force microscopes, a molecular imaging technique used by virtually everyone doing nanotech research.

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  • Eleven companies, researchers awarded grants

    "Live long and prosper" could be the tagline for this year's Research and Technology Development (RTD) grant winners. Disease prevention, greener living, and raising the bar on performance were popular themes among the most recent round of grants awarded by Washington Technology Center (WTC).

    RTD grant winners for July 2006 are 3TIER, Seattle; Cadwell Laboratories, Kennewick; Calypso Medical Technologies, Inc., Seattle; EnergG2, Seattle; Hummingbird Scientific, Lacey; Infometrix, Inc., Bothell; Insitu, Bingen; Kronos Air Technologies, Redmond; MicroGREEN Polymers, Arlington; SpringStar USA, Inc., Woodinville; and VentriPoint, Seattle.

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    WTC awarded $952,414 through its RTD program to 11 Washington companies teamed with state researchers from the University of Washington, Washington State University and Swedish Medical Center.

    Winning proposals outlined breakthrough discoveries in everything from heart disease to hydropower, psychoses to pest control, cancer prevention to chromatographs, robust energy storage to robotic reconnaissance aircraft.

    Thermal management was a "hot" issue this year as well with projects taking on such challenges as high temperature testing for nanotech applications, air handling systems for micro-electronics and heat-resistant food packaging made from eco-friendly materials.

    WTC allocates more than $1.2 million annually to the RTD grants program, which provides seed funding to entrepreneurial companies teamed with university researchers on technology projects that show strong commercial potential. Applicants are eligible for financial awards ranging from $100,000 for initial proof-of-concept projects to up to $300,000 for multi-phase research.

    The process is competitive and the goal is clear: to transition our state's most promising innovations into commercial products, company growth and high-wage jobs. The Washington Technology Center has supported 293 technology commercialization projects through its RTD program since 1995.

    These grants have proved effective in helping these companies transition novel technologies from "good ideas" into commercially-viable ventures. From this initial funding, these companies are better able to attract add-on funding from federal grants, angel investors, and industry partners. Annual follow-up surveys show that WTC–assisted companies have been successful in leveraging RTD grants into more than $400 million in additional funding.

    WTC estimates that through its work with Washington entrepreneurs, over 7,000 new technology jobs have been created in our state, many of these from RTD Award recipients. This round of grants is expected to generate roughly 250 full-time technology jobs in Washington over the next two to five years.

    July 2006
    RTD Grant Winners

    3Tier
    Seattle
    Research Partner:
    Andrew Wood, PhD, UW Civil & Environmental Engineering

    Cadwell Laboratories
    Kennewick
    Research Partner: James Wise, PhD, WSU-TriCities

    Calypso Medical Technologies (*project canceled)
    Seattle
    Research Partner:
    Timothy P. Mate, MD, Swedish Medical Center

    EnergG2
    Seattle
    Research Partner: Guozhong Cao, PhD, UW Materials Science & Engineering

    Hummingbird Scientific
    Lacey
    Research Partner:
    Karl Bohringer, PhD,
    UW Electrical Engineering

    Infometrix
    Bothell
    Research Partners: Jaromir Ruzicka, PhD, Mel Koch, PhD, UW Center for Process Analytical Chemistry

    Insitu
    Bingen
    Research Partner:
    Rolf Rysdyk, PhD, UW Aeronautics & Astronautics

    Kronos Air Technologies
    Redmond
    Research Partner:
    Alexander Mamishev, PhD, UW Electrical Engineering

    MicroGREEN Polymers
    Arlington
    Research Partner:
    Vipin Kumar, PhD, UW Mechanical Engineeering

    SpringStar USA, Inc.
    Woodinville
    Research Partner:
    R. Bruce Darling, PhD,
    UW Electrical Engineering

    VentriPoint
    Seattle
    Research Partner:
    Florence Sheehan, MD,
    UW Medical Center

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  • WTC Client Profile: WTC's Business Services Help EnerG2 Define Market Niche

    EnerG2 is an early-stage nano composite company based in Seattle. Co-founded in 2003 by two seasoned entrepreneurs with Stanford MBAs, the company's proprietary technology is based on unique activated carbons. This material is an ideal conduit in a wide range of industrial, environmental, military and medical applications.

    In 2004, EnerG2 teamed with Dr. Guozhong Cao, an Associate Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering department at the University of Washington, to develop the engineer-ability and performance of their proprietary carbon-based material. Dr. Cao was familiar with Washington Technology Center (WTC) and suggested they collectively apply for a research grant from WTC to supplement the research and development costs. Over the course of two years, the team received $140,000 in grant funding from WTC to complete their research.

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    The attractiveness of EnerG2's product is that it easily adapts to a variety of applications. The unique properties of the nano-engineered carbon allow its porosity and surface-area to be fine-tuned and customized for a wide array of uses. For EnerG2, a key success factor was identifying which of these markets was the best match for their technology and would provide sustainable growth for the company in the long and short term.

    Through WTC's grant program, the company was given the option of applying a portion of their cash matching requirement to consulting services. EnerG2 executives Rick Luebbe and Chris Wheaton recognized this as a unique opportunity. They saw genuine added value in being able to leverage the broad-based experience and connections of the Washington Technology Center to accomplish much of the legwork needed to move the company forward.

    "After completing our research project, we gave a presentation to WTC's advisory board and got excellent feedback on markets for our technology. From that input, we had a better understanding of the importance of identifying early-stage market opportunities," says Rick Luebbe, EnerG2's co-founder and chief executive officer.

    According to Luebbe, he and Wheaton felt a consulting contract with WTC had three key advantages. "First, we wanted to access the knowledge base and resources of the Washington Technology Center. Second, it provided the opportunity to delegate the fundamental 'blocking and tackling' work that needed to be done to take the company to the next level, and third, we wanted to utilize Elaine's specific experience in business planning and venture capital funding."

    "EnerG2 was smart in how they chose to use our services," notes Elaine Kong, manager of WTC's business consulting services program. "We settled on a three-pronged approach to getting the information we needed to move forward. The first was market research, the second was business planning and the third was a strategy for industrial-scale manufacturing."

    "We literally made a list of the things we needed to do," explains Luebbe. "Elaine reviewed the list and indicated where she could contribute the most, and from there, we jointly came up with a game plan."

    Specifically, EnerG2 needed to identify short-, mid- and long-term markets for their technology and roll this into their business plan before going after capital investment. They also wanted to address the issue of manufacturing scalability to ensure the company could meet industrial demand for the product.

    During their research work with Dr. Cao, EnerG2's product proved to be an optimal absorbing material for industrial gas storage. The company's original plan was to go after the hydrogen market. This gas is attracting growing interest across the globe as a driving force in clean energy production. However, the hydrogen economy is proving challenging due t technical barriers and is still many years away, classifying it as a late-stage market opportunity.

    The company was interested in three primary markets for high performance activated carbons: industrial gas storage, filters and super capacitors. Elaine and her team weighed the opportunities and barriers for each of these markets against EnerG2's technology. Industrial gas storage technology has changed very little over the past 50 years. This market has low incentive for change and high regulation and compliance requirements. The bulk nature of the filter market makes its price point too low for the sophistication of EnerG2's product.

    Elaine recommended that the company pursue the makers of super capacitors in the short-term. Super capacitors are an ideal match for the company's technology and are a high-end market with a premium pricing strategy that can better absorb the cost of technology development and product customization. In addition, the super capacitor market has manufacturers who are ready to buy the material now. This strategy also allows the company to maintain its core mission as an energy company. Short-term, the focus will be electrical energy; long-term, the adaptability of EnerG2's product can easily be transitioned to hydrogen gas storage when that market is more mature.

    Once the market analysis was completed, Elaine put her extensive connections to work for Luebbe and Wheaton. This included introducing them to pioneers in the field of industrial engineering who could share experiences in manufacturing scalability, experts in the super capacitor space, venture capitalists that could help prepare them for future funding rounds, and suppliers looking for novel carbon materials.

    "This saved us valuable time in having to do this research ourselves," notes Luebbe. "In many instances, WTC already had the relationships in place, so it was much easier to connect with these people and build our business contact network."
    Kong concurs. "Rick and Chris were able to use the flexibility and personalized nature of WTC's services to their full advantage. Our niche is that we act as a business strategy and market research arm for companies," she adds. "This frees up the time of the executive team to put their efforts elsewhere, where they're most needed."

    "What also helped is that they were very clear on their goals," explains Kong. "This helped us focus our efforts and accomplish key milestones more quickly and efficiently."

    WTC's cross-functional service model is targeted to entrepreneurial businesses. Customers can get plugged into WTC's network and gain access to a wide range of resources that will help them through each step of their company's growth cycle.
    In EnerG2's case, the company received both grant funding and expert consulting in business growth strategy. Next steps within WTC might include a funding proposal through WTC's energy angel investment group, Northwest Energy Angels, or participation in the Northwest Energy Showcase or Northwest EnVenture, two commercialization programs run by the Northwest Energy Collaborative, part of WTC's industry initiative program.

    "We have an entire suite of services that caters to the needs of entrepreneurial and growth-focused companies," explains Kong. "Just as you would choose an investment portfolio for your financial future, companies can customize WTC's programs to fit their needs." WTC offers research grants, education and information on federal funding programs, seed capital through its angel network, and personalized consulting through its business consulting services. "We want our clients to know that WTC can help them at multiples stages in their development," emphasizes Kong.

    In the end, EnerG2 achieved three critical milestones through their work with WTC's business consultants. They clearly established markets that were a good fit for their technology; they gained access to valuable experts in their field and built key relationships with potential customers and partners; and they outlined the main components of their new business plan. The company's next steps are to continue to leverage the relationships they developed through WTC's assistance and take their newly-minted business strategy before investors in late 2006.

    Related WTC links:

  • EnerG2 is a WTC client
  • WTC Business Consulting

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  • Institute Söliv opens in Seattle -- Prototype facility will help company shape its commercial future

    Söliv is a Seattle-based skin care company with a breakthrough product line based on marine biotechnology.

    Founder and CEO, Diane Boratyn, first connected with the Washington Technology Center (WTC) in 2001. Söliv received a research grant from WTC to collaborate with researchers in the University of Washington's botany department to develop an advanced aquaculture system for cultivating the specific seaweed strain used in the company's proprietary skin care product line.

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    The WTC grant, in combination with support from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), allowed Söliv to develop a platform for natural selection and propagation of its raw base material -- a red ocean algae -- and to "farm" these materials for multi-product development and full-scale manufacturing.

    In 2004, Boratyn again tapped into WTC resources and contracted with Elaine Kong, manager of WTC's business consulting services, to help develop a marketing and sales strategy to position the company for its next growth phase. With a strong business model in place, Söliv begin to realize new growth. The company added staff, expanded production and manufacturing operations, penetrated target markets and increased sales.

    In January 2006, Söliv celebrated the launch of its flagship training center at Seattle's University Village. This is the first of the company's bricks and mortar operations and serves as both an education facility, treatment center, and retail store.

    Institute Söliv represents the third step in the company's vertically-integrated Washington operations which include seaweed farms on the Kitsap Peninsula, manufacturing operations in downtown Seattle, and Institute Söliv.

    Boratyn explains that the Institute is a "concept location" for Söliv and will serve as a prototype for the company's retail sales moving forward. The Institute opens in tandem with the roll out of the company's new Sea 2 Skin™ brand, the trade label for its red algae-based nutraceutical skin care line.

    The unique nature of the product makes education and inventory control important factors in its sales strategy. The company's marketing approach is currently centered on outreach, referrals, and word-of-mouth. Distribution channels include both wholesale and retail partners including high-end spas, physicians, naturopaths and skin care specialists. Clients can also book appointments for services at Institute Söliv. The addition of Institute Söliv will help the company expand its retails sales, further define its niche market, and determine branding strategies moving forward.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • www.Söliv.com

    Related WTC links:

  • Söliv is a WTC client

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  • WTC Client Profile: Carbon Nanoprobes, Inc.

    Brian Ruby, founder and CEO of Carbon Nanoprobes, Inc., a New-York based start-up, recently traveled 3,000 miles from White Plains to Seattle. The reason for this journey: an in-person visit to the facility where he would undertake some of the most critical research needed to launch his business -- WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory.

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    An intelligent, passionate and poised 22 year-old Columbia University student and entrepreneur, Ruby is that rare combination of scientist and visionary. He's simultaneously developing novel technologies and challenging the boundaries of industry standards, while making the venture rounds to drive capital to his fledgling company.

    Carbon Nanoprobes' product is based on one of the hottest scientific revolutions in the global economy -- nanotechnology. Ruby is looking to produce carbon nano-tube tips for atomic force microscopes -- a critical tool used by research scientists for nano-scale exploration. The novel properties of carbon nanotubes make them ideal for use in a variety of industries including micro-electronics, optics, energy storage, drug delivery and advanced materials. Their strength, electrical properties, and cylindrical shape make them a compelling option for probes.

    Ruby is capitalizing on these opportunities but his company's true competitive edge lies in scalability. Currently, the industry relies on manual production to produce the probes, which realistically only yields tens of tips daily. Carbon Nanoprobes plans to manufacture a whopping 7500 tips a day -- a huge margin ahead of the competition. This mass manufacturing drives down the price point, making the tips more affordable to the end user.

    Finding the right process application to produce consistent tips at a high volume is critical. To achieve this, Ruby was looking for a research laboratory to develop and prototype the tips. As a start-up venture, Carbon Nanoprobes doesn't have the capital to build and maintain a facility with the sophisticated equipment and processes needed to undertake this full-scale fabrication.

    "It didn't make sense to try and replicate a tool set that already exists," says Ruby. "However, finding a facility with the right infrastructure can be challenging." Ruby did his research. He surveyed every known nano center in the nation. He was looking for that winning combination of core competency and cost fit. He found it in WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory.

    The lab's sophisticated tool set captured his attention. What sold him was the attentive reception he received from WTC's lab manager. "He was responsive and flexible," Ruby offers. "The lab's pricing is attractive, especially in capping costs for user fees. This is especially attractive for a company during its intense R&D; phase," he explains.

    The relationship between WTC and Carbon Nanoprobes extends beyond the basic customer-supplier exchange. The company's nano-based technology requires novel processes not readily available through existing equipment, which is geared towards fabrication for micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS). Ruby wants to help pave the way for researchers to use nanotech tools, and sees WTC as a key partner in making that happen. "MEMS makes nano possible," says Ruby. "Product development at the micro level empirically validates what can be done at the nano level." WTC believes MEMS is the springboard for nanotechnology, and WTC staff are thrilled to be working with Carbon Nanoprobes and look forward to evolving processes to meet the needs of the nano community.

    Ruby is using the Microfabrication Laboratory to develop state-of-the-art silicon probes. He'll be using his IP to enhance the functionality of the probes and lay the groundwork for the carbon nanotube tips. Nanotubes produce a superior probe. They're durable, reliable and allow for greater resolution magnitude. Their market adoption will open doors for advanced materials science research that will benefit a myriad of industries including biotech, chemical pharmaceutical, and semiconductors.

    Ruby finds a pleasing symmetry of his company's business model. His product is based on innovation and intellectual property. And by creating the tips, he's helping others in the research field to do the same -- by expanding what's possible in nano-based scientific discovery and commercialization.

    "It's like selling premier picks and shovels to miners -- you are providing them with the tools they need to excel at their craft," he says. "Carbon Nanoprobes is enabling research engineers to experiment and create on the smallest possible scale -- beyond what they've been able to achieve previously."

    Ruby says Carbon Nanoprobes is looking to have a long-term presence in the Microfab Lab. "I am impressed with WTC's commitment to supporting start-ups. The organization's mission is centered on stimulating economic growth through technology entrepreneurship. This spirit carries through to their user facility."

    Related WTC links:

  • Carbon Nanoprobes is a WTC client

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  • Eight projects receive WTC research grants

    Washington Technology Center recently awarded grants to eight Washington researchers teamed with companies to commercialize new technologies.

    WTC's Research and Technology Development (RTD) award winners are Advanced Electroluminescent Sciences, Woodinville; Aegis Biosciences, Spokane; Arcadia Bioscience, Seattle; Cascade Quality Molding, Inc., Yakima; Insilicos, Seattle; Northwest Marine Technology, Anacortes; Tree Top, Selah; and Vaagen Brothers Lumber, Inc., Colville.

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    Research expertise was provided from three of the state's major academic institutions: University of Washington, Washington State University and Gonzaga University.

    Through support from WTC, these collaborative partners are working to revolutionize everything from cardiovascular disease detection to commercial wheat crops. Projects include such breakthrough discoveries as "smart" dressings that treat chronic wounds, vaccinations for fish, biodegradable plastic cutlery, tastier breakfast cereal, energy-efficient light bulbs, and durable decking materials.

    WTC awards funding through its RTD grants program to university researchers teamed with entrepreneurial technology companies on projects that show commercial potential.

    The process is competitive and the goal is clear: to transition our state's most promising innovations into commercial products, company growth and high-wage jobs. Over the last ten years, the Washington Technology Center has supported 285 technology commercialization projects through its RTD program. This seed funding and commercial feasibility endorsement has proved effective in helping these technologies mature into commercially-viable ventures. From this initial funding, these companies are better able to attract add-on funding from federal grants, angel investors, and industry partners. In a 2005 impact study, RTD grant winners reported receiving more than $23 million in additional investment as a result of WTC's support.

    To read project summaries, click on the company name.

    * Advanced Electroluminescent Sciences, Woodinville
    * Aegis Biosciences, Spokane
    * Arcadia Biosciences, Seattle
    * Cascade Quality Molding, Inc., Yakima
    * Insilicos, Seattle
    * Northwest Marine Technology, Anacortes
    * Tree Top, Selah
    * Vaagen Brothers Lumber, Inc., Colville

    Related WTC links:

  • WTC Research and Technology Development Grant Program

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  • Capabilities of Lab Help Client Attract Interest

    Success can come in many forms for small technology companies. For Zeus Semiconductor, an early-stage company working on silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductor technology, this success came in the form of acquisition by Advanced Power Technology.

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    Zeus had been a client of the Washington Technology Center's Microfabrication Laboratory since February 2002. Prior to being acquired by APT in September, Bruce Odekirk was doing research at WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory on the use of silicon carbide semiconductors for power components.

    While working for Zeus, Odekirk used the Microfab Lab facilities three to four times a week and did the process development in person on-site at the lab. Due to the cutting-edge nature of the technology, being able to have hands-on control of the process development was a critical factor and the main attraction for Zeus in deciding to house a portion of their R&D; activities at the Microfab Lab. According to Odekirk, similar facilities weren't equipped to handle the level of control needed for the type of R&D; that they were undertaking.

    WTC looks at this acquisition as a win as well. The work Zeus was able to conduct at the WTC facility played a role in making their technology attractive to APT.

    Odekirk concurs that the Lab's capabilities were a key factor in allowing Zeus to progress to a level in their technology development that did catch the attention of APT. "It was while working at WTC's Microfab Lab that we realized the real market potential for this technology was in power components," Odekirk explained. "We were able to successfully fabricate our first prototype," he added. "And the work we were doing was applicable to APT's technology needs in power electronics."

    Odekirk was retained by APT as director of silicon carbide engineering. He still works closely with Marc Vandenberg, former president of Zeus, who joined APT's management team as director of silicon carbide programs. While APT's facilities allow their engineers to do much of the lab work in-house, Odekirk noted that "The WTC Microfab Lab has some specialized capabilities that may be useful to the company in the future."

    Advanced Power Technology is a leading supplier of high performance power semiconductors used in the conditioning and control of electrical power for both switching and RF applications. APT's products are designed to power next generation high power systems for servers, computers, high capacity mass storage products, cellular base stations for telecommunications, and industrial applications such as advanced medical imaging systems, lasers, semiconductor process equipment, and arc welders, as well as military and aerospace power systems.

    The company has operations in Bend, Oregon, Santa Clara, California, Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania, and Bordeaux, France. The Bend, Oregon operation focuses on Discrete Power Semiconductor products.

    Related WTC links:

  • Zeus Semiconductor is a WTC client
  • WTC Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • SBIR/STTR Breakfast Seminar SBIR/STTR Breakfast Seminar -- April 21, 2005

    April 21, 2005
    7:30 to 9:00 a.m.
    Washington Club
    University of Washington Campus, Seattle, WA

    Steve Meginniss, President of Magic Wheels, will share his experience in leveraging his initial Phase I and Phase II funding into an additional Competing Continuation Grant. Magic Wheels received their Phase 1 in 1998, Phase II in 2002, with a continuation grant awarded in 2004 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. He will describe the program, keys to success, and how to leverage your connection with a program officer. The Competing Continuation Phase II Grants are available up to $1 million/year for each of three years, for a potential total of $3 million above and beyond a company's initial Phase I and Phase II awards. Funding is selectively offered by various institutes such as the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLB), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and several others. Purposes of funding are for clinical trials of various types and studies to meet FDA approvals are a few of the purposes supported under the Competing Continuation Grants. Cost to attend this breakfast seminar is $40 includes breakfast and program materials.

    Related WTC links:

  • WTC's SBIR Program
  • Magic Wheels is a WTC client

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  • YK Products case study

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

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    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, currently sold in the 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 Cold Patch® apart from the competition is that is uses recycled asphalt concrete as its main ingredient combined with small amounts of binding material, is 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 between 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 held up to this level of scrutiny.

    Dr. Papagiannakis says he was attracted to the project for two reasons. First, that 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 noted.

    The project, completed in February 2004, confirmed that U.S. Cold Patch® outperformed other cold asphalt products on the market overall from 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 US 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," explained Ackerman.

    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% 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.

    Related WTC links:

  • YK Products is a WTC client
  • RTD Grant Program

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  • Söliv case study

    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 Washington Technology Center's Small Business Services proved to be a smart move for Söliv and provided the company with an action plan for moving forward.

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    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 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 $80M–$100M retail business with 25 products.

    Business Situation
    With its product line well established, Söliv turned its attention towards financing, marketing, sales and manufacturing. The economic slow down 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," Boratyn adds.

    Enter Washington Technology Center's Small Business Services expert, 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 Elaine as a resource to assist them with their business strategy.

    Elaine 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, startup 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," explained Elaine Kong, manager of small business services for the Washington Technology Center. "For a company in their stage of growth, this is key to attracting investors," she noted. "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 projected growth for a sales force throughout Washington is expected to increase three-fold 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 Services consulting services helped us overcome the 'financial paralysis' stage that a company may face when funding is tight," Boratyn stated. "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," she adds. "Now we're prepared to deliver a high-quality, attractive presentation to investors supported by a solid growth plan."

    Related WTC links:

  • Söliv is a WTC client
  • Business Consulting

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  • WTC awards spring 2003 Research & Technology Development projects

    In June 2003, WTC awarded R&D; funding to five company-university research teams through its Research & Technology Development (RTD) program. This round of projects is supporting advances in environmental wind forecasting, processing manure as a fuel source, improving power toothbrushes, developing light weight wood-plastic lumber, and devising a novel fruit processing technique. A summary of these research collaborations is featured below.

    3TIER Environmental Forecast Group, Seattle
    Researcher: Dr. Tilmann Gneiting, UW Dept. of Statistics
    3TIER Environmental Forecast Group 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 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.

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

    Second Act Partners, Inc., Sammamish
    Researcher: Dr. Pierre Mourad, UW Applied Physics Laboratory
    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 startup company, will draw upon their considerable experience to define the technical requirements of the product for market success.

    Shoreline Industries LLC, Sedro Woolley
    Researcher: Dr. Karl Englund, WSU Wood Materials and Engineering Lab
    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 bio-deterioration. 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.

    Washington Farms, Inc., Tacoma
    Researcher: Dr. Barry Swanson, WSU Dept. of Food Science and Human Nutrition
    Washington Farms produces 100% 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 a process of fruit processing that will inactivate harmful bacteria such as E. coli, inactivate enzymes that "brown" fruit, and maintain "fresh-like" appearance, flavor and texture.

    Related WTC links:

  • RTD Grant Program
  • 3TIER is a WTC client
  • Andgar is a WTC client
  • Second Act Partners is a WTC client
  • Shoreline Industries is a WTC client
  • Washington Farms is a WTC client

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  • WTC awards 2002 research projects

    RTD Awards
    In December 2002, WTC awarded R&D; funding to six company-university research teams through its Research & Technology Development (RTD) program. This round of projects is supporting advances in areas as diverse as pest control, pharmacogenetics, diesel fuel processors, and enhanced asphalt for roads. A summary of these research collaborations is featured below.

    InnovaTek, Inc., Richland
    Researcher: Dr. Patrick Pedrow, WSU School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
    InnovaTek is 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, this research collaboration 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.

    Intelligent Ion, Inc., Seattle
    Researcher: Dr. R. Bruce Darling, UW Dept. of Electrical Engineering
    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.

    Sterling International, Inc., Spokane
    Researcher: Dr. Prashanta Dutta, WSU School of Mechanical & Materials Engineering
    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 that 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.

    Survival, Inc., Seattle
    Researcher: Dr. Brian Flinn, UW Dept. of Materials Science & Engineering
    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, multi-layer solution that will leverage new uses for existing materials, new textile technology, and manufacturing processes to put a superior, affordable armor on the market.

    VizX Labs, LLC, Seattle
    Researcher: Dr. Daniel Sabath, UW Dept. of Laboratory Medicine
    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 more precisely characterize various forms of the disease. 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.

    YK Products, LLC, Everett
    Researcher: Dr. A.T. Papagiannakis, WSU Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering
    YK Products manufactures cold-mixed asphalt that is used primarily to fill potholes and other paving maintenance applications. Using WSU's state-of-the-art Center for Asphalt Technology and Laboratory of Atmospheric Research, this project will develop an engineering and environmental assessment of an innovative cold-mixed asphalt concrete that incorporates largely recycled material and hardens under the action of traffic without perceivable emissions of harmful chemicals. The collaborators will track the performance of repairs over time and compute survivability curves to better guide future uses and applications.

    EA and FTI Awards
    In addition to the Research and Technology Development (RTD) program, WTC has two programs that facilitate fast-track industry-university research collaborations. The Entrepreneur's Access (EA) and Focused Technology Initiative (FTI) programs are ideally suited to assist small businesses and startup enterprises in collaborative technology development. Both programs are available throughout the year.

    FTIs provide up to $10,000–$30,000 for a project duration of 6–12 months and are targeted for companies with fewer than 100 employees. EAs fund a maximum amount of $5,000 for 3–6 month projects to companies with 15 or fewer employees.

    The following projects received awards in 2002.

    Allez PhysiOnix, Ltd., Kirkland
    Researchers: Dr. Michel Kliot and Dr. Pierre Mourad, UW Dept. of Neurological Surgery
    Intracranial pressure (ICP) is an extremely important determinant of brain function. At present, ICP can only be measured by performing a neurosurgical procedure in which a hole is drilled into the skull and a catheter is inserted into the space above the brain, into the brain itself, or into the brain's deep ventricular system. The risks of this procedure (hemorrhage, stroke, and infection) must be weighed against its benefit. Drs. Kliot and Mourad are working with Allez PhysiOnix to test a novel device that can measure ICP noninvasively. This device also would allow the procedure to be done both in and outside of a hospital setting, with or without an attending neurosurgeon.

    IsoRay, Inc., Richland
    Researcher: Dr. Mark Phillips, UW Medical Center's Cancer Center
    IsoRay was formed to develop radioactive "seeds" use 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.

    Isotron Corp., Seattle
    Researcher: Dr. Buddy Ratner, UW Engineered Biomaterials Center
    This team is developing a technology to provide semi-permeable reactive fabric coatings that can protect field troops, and industrial 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.

    Leak Indicator Paint Systems (LIPS), Inc., Tacoma
    Researcher: Dr. Gamal Khalil, UW Dept. of Chemistry
    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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    Micronics: Shrinking the macro world

    Micronics, Inc., based in Redmond, has developed a series of plastic cards that can fit in a wallet. These are not credit cards though. Each microfluidic card is a powerful "point-of-care" mini-lab that can analyze blood and other fluids quickly and cost-effectively, possibly performing up to twenty diagnostic tests with just a few drops of blood. With these cards, doctors and emergency workers can carry around the equivalents of full-size lab equipment in their pocket.

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    Although the microfluidic cards have many applications, building a company around them is challenging because the cards are a disruptive technology. There is nothing like them, and they do not yet have a recognized place in the market, says Karen Hedine, Micronics' president. Micronics may therefore develop supporting technology, such as software for lab card analysis, that will make the cards more practical to adopt.

    Based on university research
    The core of Micronics' technology was developed at the University of Washington. Professor Paul Yager and his colleagues in Bioengineering, Laboratory Medicine, Molecular Biotechnology, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering started researching point-of-care diagnostics in the early 1990s. WTC funded the group's initial research in portable stat labs.

    The microfluidics research that emerged from the lab was so ground breaking that Senmed Medical Ventures, a venture capital group that funded the group starting in 1994, felt a platform with broad commercial applications could be developed. It licensed from the University of Washington the rights to the technology and formed Micronics in 1996.

    Long time support from WTC
    Washington Technology Center (WTC) has been a long time supporter of Micronics, even before the company was actually formed. WTC funded the University of Washington research lab that developed the core microtechnology that was "spun out" into Micronics. The WTC has also awarded grants for research projects between the University of Washington and Micronics, facilitated contacts with researchers, and provided use of the state-of-the-art Microfabrication Lab. While Micronics was forming, its first employee kept his office in WTC's Fluke Hall.

    Micronics still collaborates with university researchers through WTC's Research and Technology Development (RTD) program. Micronics has participated in three WTC projects, each with a different researcher studying a relevant aspect of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). The ties between Micronics and university research are also strong because some of Micronics employees were hired after completing postdoctoral fellowships in Yager's lab.

    Micronics is small, employing about fifteen people, but it is poised to make a significant impact on the microfluidics industry.

    Related WTC links:

  • Micronics is a WTC client

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  • Eleven industry-university collaborations receive funding from Washington Technology Center

    For Immediate Release: July 15, 2002

    Seattle - Washington Technology Center (WTC) awarded $930,000 in June 2002 to university researchers teamed with eleven Washington-based companies through WTC's Research and Technology Development (RTD) program.

    The companies, located in areas across the state, are working with researchers from either Washington State University or the University of Washington.

    Caldus Semiconductor, Richland
    Researcher: M. Grant Norton, WSU School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
    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 to 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.

    General Dynamics Space Propulsion Systems, Redmond
    Researcher: Todd A. Anderson, UW Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
    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 UW to produce innovative, high temperature, compact, lightweight electromagnetic assemblies. Dr. Anderson has expertise in embedded sensors and multifunctional structures and especially 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.

    GenPrime, Spokane
    Researcher: Dong-Hyun Kang, WSU Dept. of Food Sciences and Human Nutrition
    GenPrime specializes in developing microbial measurement kits for product quality management in the beer, dairy, and other food industries. Dong-Hyun Kang of WSU is 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.

    MCD Technologies, Tacoma
    Researcher: Juming Tang, WSU Dept. of Biological Systems Engineering
    MCD Technologies manufactures drying equipment for use in the food processing, nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, chemical, and waste treatment industries using Refractance Window™ technology to gently, efficiently, and cost-effectively remove moisture from delicate products. MCD Technologies is collaborating with Juming Tang of WSU to evaluate the aroma, color, flavor, and nutrient level of this proprietary heat transfer technology adapted to food evaporation. Dr. Tang has expertise in food drying technologies, microwave heating, and heat and mass transfer simulation in food processing operations.

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

    Recycled Plastics Marketing, Redmond
    Researcher: Vipin Kumar, UW Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
    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% 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.

    Sienna Technologies, Woodinville
    Researcher: Yasuo Kuga, UW Dept. of Electrical Engineering
    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 UW 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.

    Sonus Pharmaceuticals, Bothell
    Researcher: Jin-Gang Zhang, WSU Dept. of Pharmaceutical Sciences
    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's 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.

    Syntrix Biosystems, Redmond
    Researcher: William M. Atkins, UW Dept. of Medicinal Chemistry
    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.

    Systematix Controls, Tukwila
    Researcher: Richard R. Gustafson, UW College of Forest Resources
    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 sensors and control of pulp and paper systems, recently focusing on single fiber analysis techniques.

    VisionGate, Gig Harbor
    Researcher: Eric J. Seibel, UW Human Interface Technology Lab
    VisionGate is developing a new high throughput cell analysis platform that automatically performs 3-dimensional analysis of biological cells. VisionGate has teamed with Eric Seibel of UW to further develop this new technology capable of screening for early detection of lung cancer. The technology uses Flow Optical Tomography (FOT) to take a series of snapshots of cells and recombine them as a 3-dimensional image showing subtle changes in the cells that may be associated with cancer. The project aims to develop an optical bench prototype and assess the photonics issues leading to clearly focused images with adequate brightness. Dr. Seibel, a bioengineer, has expertise in custom fiberoptic point sources and integration into medical imaging systems.

    Related WTC links:

  • RTD Grants Program

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  • Microvision works wonders in the Microfabrication Laboratory

    Imagine an airline pilot being able to view sectional maps and airport landing strip charts without having to look down at the instruments. Or a surgeon able to perform image-guided neurosurgery from an image overlaid into his natural field of view instead of looking up at a nearby monitor.

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    These revolutionary capabilities are made possible by a micro-miniature retinal scanning display technology called the Nomad™ Personal Display System, developed by Microvision, Inc. Spun off from technology developed at the University of Washington's Human Interface Technology Lab, the Nomad™ uses MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems) technology in a scanning chip that directs a tiny ray of light to transmit images and other information directly onto the wearer's retina. The sophisticated head-mounted display is comprised of a scanner with a one-inch screen, attached to a device like a miner's helmet. The wearer can see right through the scanner screen, which produces an image viewable even in daylight.

    Microvision, a Bothell-based company, develops and brings to market novel products that manipulate "information in the form of light," otherwise known as photonics. The company produces components and products that 1) output information -- such as displays, 2) capture information -- as with a camera or barcode reader, and 3) transmit or modulate information -- in the form of light in an optical fiber.

    Much of this exciting work is happening right in WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory. The company used the lab to develop the prototype of a video scanner for head-mounted displays and has moved into pilot production of the device. "WTC played a vital role in initial production and getting us to where we are today," says Kelly Linden, Microvision engineering manager who currently works in the lab four days out of five. "The Microfabrication Lab is a unique place where an outside company can work, using WTC equipment and facilities as an extension of itself."

    The relationship between Microvision and the Microfabrication Laboratory has been a reciprocally beneficial one. In its six years in the lab, Microvision has helped purchase specialized equipment as well as introduced processes and procedures. This has enabled lab staff to add process capabilities that can benefit other users.

    The company will continue as a lab user to refine the Nomad™ and develop other products. They recently partnered with Walsin Lihwa Corporation to develop low-cost manufacturing capabilities for the eventual mass production of key components of Microvision's microdisplay engine intended for consumer and other high-volume specialty applications. The worldwide market for displays is expected to grow from roughly $1.2 billion in 2001 to almost $5 billion by 2005.

    Related WTC links:

  • Microvision is a WTC client
  • Microfabrication Laboratory

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    Pacific Research Laboratories "boning up" for medical research and training

    Ever wonder how surgeons hone their skills or practice new and difficult procedures? Plastic bone models have played an increasingly important role in educating medical students and patients, training orthopedic surgeons and testing medical devices.

    Pacific Research Laboratories, Inc. of Vashon Island, Washington, 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 are crucial.

    During the last two decades, Pacific Research Laboratories has made a variety of bone structures synthetically -- by mimicking the architecture and strength of natural bone. Various aspects of bone shape, size and its complex internal structure make it difficult to manufacture artificial models. Products currently on the market have a hollow medullary canal with closed cell urethane foam interiors at the ends, not the open celled cancellous (the porous honeycomb structure inside bones) interiors found at ends of real bones. One of greatest challenges in simulating real bone is the modeling of cancellous bone.

    Continuing to be a leader in the artificial bone market, the company has been working to develop these cancellous bone models.

    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 Laboratories 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 Laboratories, 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.

    Related WTC links:

  • Pacific Research Laboratories is a WTC client

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