KNOXVILLE– Improved wireless charging technology for consumer electronics, developing higher value added material from waste produced during bio-fuel production, and novel materials for 3-D printing are among the recipients of this year’s Maturation funding from the University of Tennessee Research Foundation.

Technologies invented at the University of Tennessee, like the majority of university discoveries, typically require additional development to attract commercial interest. UTRF awards grants each year through its annual Maturation Funding program to help researchers advance new technologies on the path to market.

This year, UTRF was fortunate to receive over 40 strong applications and is awarding 8 groups of faculty inventors. Each team receives $15,000 to further develop their technology and answer important commercialization questions.

“UTRF is delighted to provide maturation grants to accelerate the further development of these eight technologies,” said David Millhorn, UTRF President and UT Executive Vice President and Vice President for Research. “The quality of the ideas submitted from across the state shows the energy and dedication of the University of Tennessee research enterprise and the potential for UT innovations to improve the lives of people in the greater Tennessee region.”

2017 UTRF Health Science Center awardees:

  • Mojdeh Dehghan, Associate Professor of Restorative Dentistry, for “An Easy, Practical, and Immediate Saliva Neutralization and Remineralization Treatment for Tooth Erosion”
  • Denis DiAngelo, Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering, for “Dynamic Ankle Orthosis for Alleviating Pain and Preserving Motion”
  • Tayebeh Pourmotabbed, Professor of Microbiology, Immunology & Biochemistry, for “Advancement of a novel DNAzyme therapy for Huntington’s Disease”
  • Maddie Singer, Director of Anaplastology, for “Strapless CPAP Device for Sleep Apnea”

2017 UTRF Multi-Campus Office awardees:

  • Daniel Costinett, Assistant Professor, UTK Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, for “Developing wireless power transfer coil for charging consumer electronics”
  • Scott Lenaghan, Research Assistant Professor, UTIA Food Science and Technology for ”Development of a library of potential enhancer elements for precise gene regulation”
  • Baoshan Huang, Associate Professor, UTK Civil and Environmental Engineering and Xiaofei(Philip) Ye, Professor, UTIA Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, CRC, for “Higher-Value Added and Innovative Use of Biofuel Production Waste as Bio-modifier for Asphalt Binder”

The UTRF Maturation Funding Program is open to all University of Tennessee campuses and institutes. The selection process included evaluation of three key areas: (1) demonstration of a path for commercial development, (2) market potential, and (3) stage of development. As part of the award process, UTRF will receive interim and final reports from the researchers that will describe increased knowledge and improvements in the subject technology. This information is expected to assist UTRF in better positioning the technologies for licensing.

Tickle College of Engineering article

Complete list of Past Maturation Fund Recipients 2008 – 2017