Commerce awards two $50K innovation vouchers

PROVIDENCE – R.I. Commerce Corp. approved two more innovation vouchers at its Tuesday evening board meeting. Both Matunuck Oyster Farm LLC and Vitae Industries Inc. received $50,000 each for funded research and development collaborations.

To date, the Commerce program has awarded 40 vouchers to Rhode Island businesses.

Matunuck Oyster Farm has received $50,000 in funding to collaborate with Marta Gomez-Chiarri, professor and chair of fisheries in the Animal and Veterinary Science Department at the University of Rhode Island in order to use the school’s aquaculture knowledge to develop a hatchery capable of producing a diversity of species including oysters, bay scallops and seaweeds.

Vitae Industries was awarded $50,000 to collaborate with Dr. Bruce Becker and Dr. Alyson McGregor at the Rhode Island Hospital Department of Emergency to further work to deploy and commercialize a robotic platform that produces individually tailored doses of pharmaceutical tablets. The two parties will conduct a clinical study using zolpidem tartrate, more commonly known as Ambien.

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This is the second innovation voucher awarded to Vitae Industries, who previously collaborated with Brown University to develop a gel for personalized drug compounding with a $40,000 innovation voucher.

Innovation vouchers are provided to Rhode Island companies with fewer than 500 employees. Companies with approved proposals can receive grants of up to $50,000 to fund R&D assistance from a Rhode Island university, research center or medical center.

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.