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Blog | 3 min read

Bio and tech startups awarded research commercialization for 2019

June 25, 2019

Greater Richmond has consistently been recognized for its innovative environment and supportive business community. In 2019, the region was ranked 3rd Best City (Outside Silicon Valley) For Your Next Startup by BroadBandNow. Individuals, companies and organizations around the region are constantly taking the initiative to progress in their field.

Earlier this month, Virginia-based researchers in the private sector, academia and nonprofit research institutes received funding from the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF). A total amount of $2.51 million was awarded through 41 awards to initiatives that will further the commercialization process of high-potential technology and services for Virginia’s private sector. Of that fund, $500,000 was awarded to Richmond-based individuals, teams, and companies.

Wearable sleep tech gets investment

Dr. Ryan Casey Boutwell, Chief Executive Officer of NIRSleep Inc. and Bionica Labs, was awarded $50,000 for his proposal Home Sleep Monitoring with a Compact and Inexpensive Wearable Neuro-Imaging Device. NIRSleep Inc. is dedicated to creating a noninvasive, easy-to-use sleep-monitoring device that expands the realm of sleep science outside of a lab. The NIRSleep devices would enable scientists to remotely receive objective data from sleeping patients wearing the tech in the comfort of their own homes, improving accessibility and acceptability of disorder diagnosis.

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Braintrust at VCU issued funding

Four experts at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) were each awarded $100,000:

  • Wei-Ning Wang was awarded for his proposal Development of a Highly Efficient Air Filter for Inactivation of Airborne Germs. He currently teaches in VCU’s Department of Mechanical & Nuclear Engineering with expertise in aerosol science and technology.
  • Jason Reed received funding for his proposal A Nanotechnology Approach for Streamlining Detection of Prognostic Translocation in Multiple Myeloma (MM). He currently teaches in VCU’s Department of Physics and is an expert in experimental biophysics and nanoscience.
  • Christopher Ehrhardt was awarded for his proposal Rapid Cell Typing Technology for Forensic DNA Casework. He currently teaches in VCU’s Department of Forensic Science. He specializes in microbiology, forensic biology, and trace evidence analysis.
  • Nicholas Farrell was issued funding for his proposal Sulfated Glycosaminoglycans as Disease Biomarkers and Molecular Targets for Precision Medicine in Cancer. He is a current professor in VCU’s Department of Chemistry. He studies the role of metal complexes in biology and medicine.

Biomedical firm to research infection prevention

Dr. Kenneth Wynne, President of WynnVision LLC., was awarded $50,000 for the proposal Antimicrobial and Biocompatible Endotracheal Tubes. Located in the VA Bio+Tech Park, the biomedical company focuses on preventing infections caused by medical devices. WynnVision recently received a NIH SBIR FastTrack award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in 2018. Dr. Kenneth Wynne is also a Professor Emeritus in VCU’s Department of Chemistry and Life Sciences Engineering with expertise in the processing technology for fluoropolymers.

Learn more about Richmond's BioScience industry