Washington’s technology-based companies are getting a boost in their product R&D, thanks to the technical assistance and funding programs provided by Washington Technology Center (WTC). In July 2000, WTC awarded over $1.1 million in R&D funding to 11 company / university research teams through its Research & Technology Development (RTD) program. The RTD program is one of three WTC funding mechanisms that helps companies develop, refine, or test new products using the scientific and engineering expertise of researchers at the state’s universities.
This year’s round of projects aims to make advances in areas as diverse as high frequency medical imaging, plastic bone models, and improved streaming video. A summary of these research collaborations is featured below.
Company partners have projected product revenues generated by these projects to exceed $125 million by 2002. As a result, these companies also predict that more than 277 high-tech jobs will be created by 2005.
Awards in Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Advanced Silicon Materials LLC, Moses Lake
Researcher: David F. Bahr, WSU School of Mechanical & Materials Engineering
Advanced Silicon Materials is a leading producer of polycrystalline silicon, the feed material used by silicon wafer manufacturers in the growth of single crystal silicon ingots. The focus of the project is to develop tests to monitor the fracture toughness of machined polysilicon rods, so that breakage during handling can be eliminated.
ATL Ultrasound, Bothell
Researcher: Amit Bandyopadhyay, WSU School of Mechanical & Materials Engineering
ATL is a worldwide leader in the manufacturing, distribution and service of diagnostic medical ultrasound systems. The project will design and develop high element count, high frequency micro-machined medical ultrasound transducers for skin, eye and heart imaging.
Awards in Computer Systems
RealNetworks, Inc., Seattle
Researcher: Eve A. Riskin, UW Dept. of Electrical Engineering
RealNetworks is a leader in streaming media – a way to make information such as audio and video available in real-time over the Internet. This project will implement code that improves performance of RealNetworks’ streaming video over the World Wide Web and in wireless networks by minimizing image loss during periods of network congestion.
Awards in Biotechnology / Biomedical Devices
Amplicon Express, Pullman
Researcher: Jerry J. Reeves, WSU Dept. of Animal Sciences
One goal of livestock management is to keep heifers in the feedlot from becoming pregnant. Dr. Reeves and Amplicon Express, a marketer of genetic and microbiological products, are collaborating on a project to develop and test a hormone fusion protein for use as a sterilization vaccine in cattle.
Sterling International, Veradale
Researcher: Donald S. Matteson, WSU Dept. of Chemistry
Museum collections – plants, animals, books, mummies, etc. – are susceptible to attack from Stegobium paniceum and Lasioderma serricorne, two species of beetles. Sterling International, manufacturer of non-toxic pest control products, is teaming up with Dr. Donald Matteson to develop pilot scale synthesis of pheromones that will attract these beetles into traps.
UNIBEST International Corporation, Pasco
Researcher: Joan R. Davenport, WSU Dept. of Crop and Soil Sciences
Farmers use soil testing and in recent years, plant tissue testing to determine if and how much fertilizer to apply to crops. Applying too much fertilizer can cost farmers both in the cost of the fertilizer and in reduced yield. UNIBEST has developed an ion exchange resin pellet that measures only those nutrients that are bioavailable to the plant and at a lower cost. Dr. Davenport is doing commercial field studies as well as research plot studies to develop protocols for the placement and use of the pellets.
Pacific Research Laboratories, Inc., Vashon
Researcher: Susmita Bose, WSU School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Pacific Research makes Sawbones™, artificial bones used for training doctors and veterinarians, and for testing medical devices. Sawbones™ are designed to simulate the bone architecture as well as the bone’s physical properties. Dr. Bose will experiment with polymers and ceramic powders to develop a model of the appearance and physical and mechanical properties of cancellous bone – the porous honeycomb structure inside bones.
Awards in Microelectronics
Advanced Hardware Architectures, Inc., Pullman
Researcher: Benjamin Belzer, WSU School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Advanced Hardware Architectures is a fabless semiconductor design firm that is expanding into the wireless data communication market. This project will develop an error control coding architecture to provide high-performance, complexity-limited error coding and modulation circuits.
Researcher: Leung Tsang, UW Dept. of Electrical Engineering
HyperLynx is a leading supplier of high-speed signal integrity, electromagnetic compatibility and crosstalk simulation products that are used by companies designing digital systems operating at frequencies above 1 GHz. This project proposes to develop advanced computational methods for predicting the effects of integrated-circuit packages on high-speed digital signals. The goal is to decrease system failure and improve performance in signal quality.
IntelliSense Inc. (ISI), Indianola
Researcher: R. Bruce Darling, UW Dept. of Electrical Engineering
The collaboration between ISI and the UW will develop a new type of ion source for an ultra-miniature mass spectrometer. For use initially in providing real-time chemical analysis of air quality and process gas composition, this breakthrough instrument will be the smallest, lowest cost, lowest power consumption, fully functional instrument of its type on the market.
OC Technologies, LLC, Seattle
Researcher: Karl F. Bohringer, UW Dept. of Electrical Engineering
OC Technologies develops electrochemical sensors for water analysis, and switching and sensing technologies. This project will research, design and build a prototype fiber-optic routing switch for telecommunications system applications that is compact, low power and significantly faster than current products.
Related WTC links:
– end of post –