SFAz investments promote brain diagnostics, solar technology

July 3, 2007

By hammersmith

[Source: The Business Journal of Phoenix] — Science Foundation Arizona selected eight research proposals out of 44 submissions to receive $2 million designed to advance the technologies to the point of commercialization. Researchers receiving funding are:

  • Nasser Peyhgambarian, a professor in the College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona, who is working to introduce ultra-low voltage hybrid polymer/sol-gel electro-optic modulators and switches as the next-generation of broadband. Peyghambarian also is working to commercialize a miniaturized fiber-optic sensor used in non-invasive real time monitoring of brain activity.
  • David Lynch of UA’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering is developing technology to reduce the cost of manufacturing solar-grade silicon while reducing pollution.
  • Dominic McGrath, professor in the Department of Chemistry at UA, is developing a disposable infusion pump for pain management IV therapy, drug and fluid delivery and insulin therapy for Medipacs, a Tucson biotech facility.
  • Qiang Hu, professor in the Department of Applied Biological Sciences at Arizona State University Polytechnic, is working on a project to increase the productivity and reduce production costs of Astaxanthin, an antioxidant for humans and color additive in foods like meat and fish — a project that could lead to creation of a manufacturing plant in Arizona.
  • John Kouvetakis, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at ASU is looking to find an improved, cost-effective and sustainable method for producing high-brightness and energy-efficient lighting and solar applications.
  • Wayne Frasch, a professor in the School of Life Sciences at ASU is working on molecular detection technology that rapidly tests and diagnoses pathogens such as anthrax, E-coli, cancer, forensics, STDs, avian flu and hospital-acquired infections.
  • Trevor Thornton, director of ASU’s Center for Solid State Electronics Research, plans to introduce a cost-effective option for companies that require high-voltage, high-speed integrated circuits in partnership with Honeywell.

The investments are part of the 2007 Small Business Catalytic program, designed to create a catalyst for technology development, company formation and high-tech job creation in Arizona.
“The research funded by our Small Business Catalytic program has great commercialization potential, a key component in Arizona’s efforts to grow an economy rooted in knowledge and innovation,” said William C. Harris, president and CEO of SFAz. “These projects will bring new patents to Arizona researchers with the ultimate goal of forming spin-off companies that create new jobs for Arizonans.”