Commercialization Gap Funding Award recipients announced

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The Office of Commercialization has awarded eight WSU researchers with the Commercialization Gap Fund (CGF). The CGF supports research projects with high market potential and provides researchers up to $50,000 to demonstrate their innovation(s) can make an economic impact on society.

The CGF is intended to be the final funding step for near-market technologies. The funding has supported research in the areas of cleantech, engineering, human and animal health, and agricultural and/or information technologies. Funds will be distributed using a milestone-driven process with stipulated goals reached before the next funding increment is approved.

“For more than a decade, the Commercialization Gap Fund has provided funding for researchers who demonstrate that their innovation(s) can make an economic impact in our society. Through the transfer of technologies to commercial entities, valuable knowledge is applied through local and global engagement. This knowledge has the potential to improve lives and enhance the economies in Washington state, the nation, and the world,” said Denise Keeton, interim director of the Office of Commercialization. “Congratulations to this year’s recipients.”

Since the re-establishment of the program in 2014, the CGF has awarded more than $4.66 million in funding to 88 projects. These projects include technologies with 69 issued patents, 113 provisional patents filed, 15 trademarks filed, and 5 copyrights filed. Additionally, 48 of the technologies have signed licensing deals with outside companies and 24 start-up companies have been formed. The gap funding support resulted in $32.6 million follow-on funding for these technologies.

The CGF is made possible through the support of the Washington Research Foundation and was initially jumpstarted through the support of the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, and the Office of Research.

The 2024 CGF awardees and their projects are:

  • Jeffrey Bell, Department of Chemistry
    “Point of Care Assay for Milk Fever Determination in Dairy Cattle”
  • Roland Chen, School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
    “High-Throughput Fabrication of Personalized Human/Veterinary Medicine and Supplements”
  • Manoj Karkee, Department of Biological Systems Engineering
    “Automated Green Shoot Thinning System for Vineyards”
  • Jong-Hoon Kim, School of Engineering and Computer Sciences
    “Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing of Stretchable, Skin-Conformal Dry Electrodes”
  • Anne Pisor, Department of Anthropology
    “ClimTo: Promoting and Tracking Climate Resilience”
  • Xianming Shi, Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture
    “Nano-Modified Fine Biochar for Cost-Effective Carbon Neutral Concrete”
  • Jinwen Zhang, Composite Materials and Engineering Center
    “Chemical Upcycling of Polylactic Acid (PLA) and Reutilization of Monomer into Multiple Value-Added Products”
  • Jinwen Zhang, Composite Materials and Engineering Center
    “Transforming Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer Waste into Easily Recycle New Composite Products”
  • Zhiwu Zhang, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences
    “Computer Aided Grain Inspection of Club Wheat Identification”

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