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US Research Organizations Awarded Composite Development Grants

  • Friday, 10th December 2004
  • Reading time: about 3 minutes

US Governor Bob Taft awarded five organizations with more than $7.5 million in Third Frontier Grants to continue the commercialization of composite technology development.

“Ohio’s future is in the hands of those who are able to take a great idea, develop it and produce a functional product that can be manufactured and sold throughout the world,” said Taft. “I’m pleased to award $10 million in Third Frontier grants to those organizations that will unlock Ohio’s potential and turn concepts into reality, ultimately creating new companies and more jobs for Ohio citizens.”

The Third Frontier grants presented to Dayton-area organizations are among $10 million in 2005 Wright Project Awards given out to organizations statewide. The grants help higher education institutions and non-profit research organizations commercialize innovative Ohio-based projects. Recipients must include an Ohio-based, for-profit company among its collaborators and must demonstrate the potential of a commercial application within five years.

Taft pointed to a previous Third Frontier-backed project as an example of the successful knowledge-to-product transfer that can occur through the collaborations the Wright Project awards foster. Earlier this year, the University of Dayton Research Institute, a 2004 Wright Project award winner, licensed its carbon nano-fibre technology to Akron, Ohio-based NanoSperse. The company is now applying UDRI’s technology to produce lighter, stronger and more durable polymers for use in the aerospace, electronics, equipment manufacturing and automotive industries.

The Dayton-area 2005 Wright Project Award recipients include:

National Composite Center (Kettering, Montgomery County) received a $100,000 operational funds grant to continue its 2003 Wright Project grant for its Creating Affordable Large Scale Complex Composite Products project. The project developed a large-scale performer to produce large fibre performs (parts over 100 feet long and 200 pounds) for aerospace and defence applications. NCC, using internal funds, also developed an intermediate-sized manufacturing module and now seeks operational funding to optimize its use. The projected predicted $7 million in annual revenues the creation of 60 new jobs by 2006, and is on target. Collaborators on this project include WebCore Technologies Inc., Edison Materials Technology Center, Ashland Specialty Chemicals, Boeing, PolymerOhio Inc., Toray Carbon Fibers, University of Akron, University of Dayton, Sinclair Community College, Wright Brothers Institute and United States Air Force.

University of Dayton (Dayton, Montgomery County) received a grant of $2.1 million for its Production of Multifunctional Carbon-based Materials project. The proposal seeks to improve the bonding ability of carbon nanoparticles to various polymer matrices. Commercial applications include low-cost carbon composites for aircraft brake pads and armour, carbon foam for thermal management applications, graphite flake for adhesives and coatings and nanoparticles for moulding compounds. By 2009, the project is expected to generate $85 million in revenues and create 300 jobs. Collaborators on this project include Air Force Research Laboratory, NASA Glenn Research Center, Aircraft Braking Systems, Inc., Applied Sciences, Inc., GE Aircraft Engines, Goodrich Corp., k Technology Corp., GrafTech International, Lockheed Martin and Materials Research Institute, LLC.

Unveiled by Governor Taft in February 2002, the Third Frontier Project is a ten-year, $1.1 billion initiative to expand high-tech research capabilities, promote innovation, encourage company formation and create high-paying jobs in the State of Ohio. It is the State’s largest-ever, technology-based economic development investment, awarding more than $235 million to Ohio-based companies, universities and research organizations to date.

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