Seven advanced transportation technology projects have secured a share of $600,000 in grants that intend to help developers and researchers commercialize their product.

The grant is funded in part by Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization’s advanced transportation innovation hub at the University of Michigan and the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Entrepreneur and Innovation initiative.

Five projects will get a $100,000 grant and two others will receive $50,000 each with the chance to receive additional funding, which are being led by faculty at UM and Michigan State University.

The following projects received funding, according to the news release:

  • High-Frequency RADAR for Automotive Autonomous Applications – UM: a sub-millimeter-wave radar system with superior detection resolutions, wide-scanning range and minimal size, weight and power consumption; $100,000
  • High-Performance Coatings for Engine Cylinder Bores – MSU: a process to deposit diamond-like coatings onto the inner surface of cylinder bores to reduce friction and resultant fuel consumption; $100,000
  • Multi-Material 3D Printing – UM: a method which integrates electrical assemblies into components through micro-additive manufacturing; $100,000
  • Variable Coupling Wireless Power Transfer System – UM: a wireless power transfer system that achieves high efficiency at a wide range of positions and distances between transmitter and receiver; $100,000
  • Your Own Planner – UM, an optimal travel planning search engine producing lower costs at minimal effort for given constraints and preferences; $100,000
  • Enhanced Object Recognition LIDARs for Robotics – UM: a system to compliment the distance ranging of LIDARs with fast and accurate object recognition, which will enable LIDAR point clouds to be efficiently translated into object semantics; $50,000
  • Sensor Fusion and Cognitive Computing Solution for Autonomous Driving – UM: A reduced computing power system that converts raw sensor inputs into highly compressed “cues” to enhance the accuracy of real-time decision making tasks such as trajectory prediction and multi-object tracking; $50,000

“These teams have made the connection between their research and future transportation systems, and are working hard to get their technology to market,” UM MTRAC Program Director Eric Petersen said in a statement. “Investing in projects and people will help the state retain leadership in the transportation industry as vehicles become electrified and as autonomous systems are proposed for moving people and goods.”

The advanced technologies innovation hub, which is jointly run by the Center for Entrepreneurship and the Office of Technology Transfer, is one of five hubs situated at a university. Michigan State University, Michigan Technical University and Wayne State University also run MTRAC programs that focus on the agriculture biology, advanced applied materials, life sciences, advanced transportation and biomedical industries, the news release said.

MTRAC is a statewide initiative that funds translational research to take new technologies from higher education, hospital and nonprofit research institutions to market, the release said.

“Having this many projects qualify for funding is an incredible sign that the program is working and an excellent representation of the type of intellectual talent we have in our universities across the state,” MEDC University Relations Director Denise Graves said in a statement. “Being able to move transportation technologies from research to market is essential in growing Michigan’s economy. Combining our state’s brainpower with resources like MTRAC is a great example of providing commercial focus to research projects that can be translated into real world products.”

Graves said an eight-person oversight committee, made up of industry and venture capital executives, makes the advanced technologies program successful. They are responsible for reviewing proposals, selecting finalists and scoring the proposals at a presentation or funding. The seven projects will receive funding Aug. 1, which will be available to them until July 31, 2018. The advanced transportation innovation hub will begin accepting new proposals in January.

Source: Advanced transportation technology projects receive $600,000 in grants | Crain’s Detroit Business