PROVIDENCE – The Raimondo administration on Monday awarded six Rhode Island companies a cumulative $280,000 in Innovation Vouchers, a grant program to encourage research and development projects.
The grants are awarded to small businesses with fewer than 500 employees, and go toward R&D projects assisted by a Rhode Island university, research center or medical center, according to a press release.
“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Ranks Rhode Island as the second-best state in America for innovation and entrepreneurship. Our innovation grants give startups the spark they need to turn their ideas into businesses,” Gov. Gina M. Raimondo said in a statement.
This is the second round of grants awarded by R.I. Commerce Corp., an economic-development arm of state government, in this fiscal year. The state has so far awarded 28 innovation vouchers with nine assisting partners.
“This year our Innovation Voucher Program will help businesses from Barrington to Bristol, East Greenwich to Pawtucket access the R&D resources they need to succeed,” Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor said in a statement.
The grants can be used for commercializing products, process or services, access to expertise and other reasons.
Commerce Corp. described the awarded projects as follows:
- BluSource Energy Inc. of Bristol will receive $50,000 and will partner with Brown University on the development of the Leading Edge Oscillating Foil, a new technology to harvest tidal energy. BluSource built the LEOF prototype and test vessel, which was successfully tested in the Cape Cod Canal in 2016.
- Medley Genomics Inc. of Providence will receive $50,000 and will partner with Rhode Island Hospital on developing novel approaches to define genomic heterogeneity in disease. Funds will be used to acquire and analyze key data from primary and metastatic tumors to validate the software in a clinical setting.
- NanoDe Therapeutics Inc. of Barrington will receive $50,000 and will partner with Rhode Island Hospital to discover how to best optimize the physical attributes of Nanopieces, a novel, next-generation platform nucleic acid delivery technology. Designed to overcome the challenge of delivering therapeutics to dense, difficult-to penetrate tissues such as cartilage, brain and solid tumor, NP may potentially be used to develop the first disease-modifying drugs to treat rare bone cancer, post-traumatic osteoarthritis, and other challenging indications.
- PetTech LLC of Providence will receive $50,000 and will partner with the Biosensing Laboratory at the University of Rhode Island to hone technical specifications for the company’s Pet Rover device. This will support the development of the core embedded systems module for navigation and control commands.
- T-Time Productions LLC of Pawtucket will receive $30,000 and will partner with the New England Institute of Technology on animation, gamification and translation for ELL students to enhance the product design of a digital subscription-based curricula it is designing and prototyping. The curricula will support academic excellence in the increasingly diverse K-12 population.
- Vacuum Processing Systems LLC of East Greenwich will receive $50,000 and partner with the University of Rhode Island to evaluate the capability of its process to clean and sterilize a variety of items from medical devices to orthopedic implants to pharmaceutical equipment at a higher level than current techniques. Testing at URI will also provide manufacturers with a roadmap of testing that should be performed in order to prove safety and efficacy levels needed to receive FDA approval. Vacuum Processing will be honored Thursday at PBN’s Manufacturing Awards program.
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