Six R.I. companies chosen for innovation vouchers

PROVIDENCE – Six Rhode Island companies have been selected to receive innovation vouchers from Gov. Gina M. Raimondo and the R.I. Commerce Corp. in partnership with the General Assembly, Commerce RI said Wednesday.

This is the fifth round of such grants to be awarded since their inception in 2015.

The five companies are Sproutel Inc., CoreMechanics LLC, Prometheus Inc., Navatek Ltd., Denmark Industries Inc. and Cooley Group of Pawtucket.

The vouchers, which were awarded to eligible Rhode Island businesses with fewer than 500 employees fund R&D projects in conjunction with a local university, research center or medical center. The release reports that, to date, 34 companies have been awarded an innovation voucher.

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Sproutel, of Providence, will spend its $50,000 in partnership with Brown University to develop a new prototype of its interactive child heath care project, Jerry the Bear.

CoreMechanics, which is based in Narragansett, received $50,000 to partner with the University of Rhode Island on the development of wearable exercise products for use in prevention and stabilization of musculoskeletal injury.

Prometheus, of Newport, will partner with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center to spend its $50,000 providing experimental evidence demonstrating that Prometheus algorithms applied to acoustic data will find delamination while a submarine is in water, thereby providing a method to significantly reduce maintenance costs for the subs.

Navatek, of South Kingstown, was awarded $50,000 to partner with URI to develop a better computational methodology for new designs of drop stitch inflatable structures.

Desmark Industries, of Cranston, will receive $49,895 to work with URI to research and develop textile composites for use in body armor.

Cooley Group of Pawtucket will use its $50,000 to partner with URI to research activities in development of technical specifications for beacon technologies and smart textile antennas as well as provide records for studies and trials conducted on prototypes created for smart billboards.

“This program is designed to help spur innovation and foster breakthroughs, and these grant recipients are well on their way to doing just that,” said Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor. “This access to R&D capital will undoubtedly help these entrepreneurs and small businesses take great steps forward, and may just be the crucial spark in a game-changing discovery.”

Information about innovation vouchers can be found on the RICC website.

Chris Bergenheim is a PBN staff writer.