FuzeHub awards innovation grants to Cornell-led projects

Three projects involving partnerships between Cornell and small businesses have been awarded grants totaling nearly $209,000 from FuzeHub, a nonprofit organization that matches small to medium-sized manufacturing companies in New York state with technical and business resources.

The Cornell-led projects are among seven identified by FuzeHub as recipients of a second round of awards through its Manufacturing Innovation Grants program. New York state nonprofit organizations, including institutions of higher education, are eligible for the grants, which promote innovative partnerships with small and mid-sized manufacturers or early stage companies.

The Cornell-related projects are:

Cornell Center for Materials Research ($58,926): CCMR and Yong Joo, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, are working with IdealChain, a spinoff of Binghamton-based safety products maker Buckingham Manufacturing. The grant will help CCMR develop and build a bench-scale, multi-nozzle air-controlled electrospray system for encapsulating dyes, to use as stress indicators in safety products. The system will be used by IdealChain to fabricate stress-indicating fibers and patches for safety equipment, helping users determine when to safely retire their equipment. The manufacturing technology was developed through the CCMR Industrial Partnerships Program between the Joo Group and Buckingham Manufacturing. This project will help IdealChain add 10 new jobs in the next two years.

Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility ($75,000): CNF has partnered with Xallent LLC to develop a next-generation diagnostic tool to more rapidly and economically test and characterize semiconductor devices and thin film materials during manufacturing. The ability to rapidly probe and measure electrical components at the nanoscale for diagnostics and non-destructive failure analysis is expected to tap a broad range of industry applications. The grant will be used to adapt Xallent’s nanomachine platforms to analytical instruments at CNF for validation, user-interface focus and reliability studies to ready the company for product launch and scale-up. This project will help Xallent add eight jobs by the end of 2019.

Cornell University ($74,980): Li Jiang, Ph.D. ’14 and CEO of VitaMe Technologies, and David Erickson, the Sibley College Professor of Mechanical Engineering, have developed the VitaScan diagnostics platform – a low-cost, portable instrument that can determine micronutrient deficiencies from a drop of blood drawn with a finger stick. Cornell and VitaScan will together develop a medium-scale manufacturing and packaging process to optimize its proprietary procedure and create reliable tests for validation studies. VitaScan will pursue the manufacturing strategy in preparation for commercialization, and plans to create 10 new jobs in the next two years.

Of the four other MIG awards announced March 1, two were given to projects at the Rochester Institute of Technology, one at Clarkson University and one to the Center for Economic Growth. All told, the awardees are projected to add 46 jobs to existing and startup companies across the state.

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Melissa Osgood