Commercially viable technologies get Charger Innovation Fund awards

Photo

Dr. Ray Vaughn, UAH vice president for research and economic development, left, and Kannan Grant, director of the Office of Technology Commercialization, at the UAH Patent Wall in Von Braun Research Hall.

Michael Mercier | UAH

Three commercially viable technology proposals resulting from research at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) have been awarded $44,627 by UAH's Charger Innovation Fund (CIF) for further development.

The CIF is funded by the UAH Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development and administered by the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC).

"The CIF program supports our faculty and staff's entrepreneurial efforts, and in turn helps to build new business opportunities within our community," says Dr. Ray Vaughn, UAH vice president for research and economic development. "UAH has a very innovative and hardworking faculty, both within our numerous research centers and in our academic departments. As an office with a strong interest in both research and economic development, extending this support through the Charger Innovation Fund is fundamental."

Proposals funded:

  • "Brightness Limiting System (BLiS)," Jason Carter, Rotorcraft Systems Engineering and Simulation Center (RSESC), $15,000 - The Brightness Limiting System, or BLiS, is a dynamic solar shade that uses see-through glass displays with embedded systems to filter out glare spots from a viewer's line of sight.
  • "Ultra-Thin Film Wide Angle Transmission Color Filters for Imaging and Display Applications," Dr. Junpeng Guo, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), $14,984 - An optical color filter uses thin layers of a proprietary material being applied over a glass substrate. The varying material thicknesses filter different wavelengths of light, thus presenting different colors at different thicknesses.
  • "Novel Photodetector Based on a Silicon Photo-Multiplier with Temperature Compensation," Dr. Evgeny Kuznetsov, Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research (CSPAR), $14,643 - The operation of an improved Silicon Photo-Multiplier (SiPM) is not adversely affected by temperature. The improved SiPM would be more temperature-resistant than other SiPM's currently available.

Five proposals were heard by a panel of judges from UAH and the business and legal community, who listened as applicants explained each innovation and then quizzed them about its marketability before making their selections, according to Kannan Grant, OTC director.

"They were scored on elements such as the technology's novelty and need, maturity and stage of development, market need, commercialization potential and other factors," Grant says. "The Advisory Council participated in back-and-forth discussion with each principal investigator to develop understanding of each technology."

The CIF is proving to be an important tool for spurring UAH inventors to develop their commercialization skills, Grant says. "The CIF process helps them move their technologies to become, not just science, but part of Alabama's economic engine."

"Kannan Grant has been an excellent resource for our faculty, staff and students, and this program allows him to place seed funds where needed," says Dr. Vaughn. "We hope to continue this program into the future - particularly as additional innovative ideas come forward from our UAH family."


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