The Center for Advanced Systems and Engineering (CASE) at Syracuse University announced the winners of its inaugural University-Industry Seed Funding Competition. This unique program provides New York State companies with an opportunity to receive up to $50,000 in leading-edge University-based research and development with no immediate matching investment.
The competition, announced in October, was open to any faculty member of Syracuse University partnered with a New York State company to conduct information-related research likely to result in innovation, revenues, jobs and other positive economic impact for the company and the state. Participants were eligible for awards of up to $50,000. Topics included a wide range of “big data” and “smart” applications, and proposals were submitted from a diverse array of industry sectors by companies of all sizes throughout the State.
“CASE is thrilled to be able to offer New York companies this unique opportunity to experience the benefits of collaborating with University researchers. I anticipate that the innovative research that will result from these seed projects will yield huge dividends in terms jobs and economic growth,“ says CASE Director Pramod Varshney. “We were impressed by the high quality of proposals we received. I am delighted with the three winners, who work in areas important for our region: renewable energy, advanced manufacturing and unmanned air systems.”
A panel of external reviewers drawn from industry and academe selected winning proposals based on scientific merit and the likelihood of the work to result in innovation, revenues, investment and jobs for the company partner. The winners, each from a different industry sector, are:
- Assistant Professor Sara Eftekharnejad, partnering with Greenview Energy Management Systems (http://www.greenviewems.com/), to maximize renewable energy use in New York State by investigating the impact of renewable generation forecast and variability on real-time power system operation, developing methods to forecast renewable generation and estimating the optimal reserve required based on those forecasts.
- Professor Utpal Roy, partnering with FilterTech, Inc. (http://www.filtertech.com/), to develop a unified lifecycle management platform for smart manufacturing systems, an essential tool for cyber-manufacturing.
- Associate Professor Amit Sanyal, partnering with ANDRO Computational Solutions, LLC (http://www.androcs.com/) to develop guidance and control systems for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in environments where GPS is not available.
Many companies struggle to finance early stage research that is particularly critical to innovation. Most programs available to finance research and development for industry are either too small to move an idea through proof of concept, require a substantial cash match that is beyond the reach of many small companies or demand some equity stake. Others are limited to very specific subjects, which often exclude the needs of industry. This seed funding program is expected to result in innovation which will accelerate economic growth of winning New York state companies.
CASE hopes to announce a second round of the University Industry Seed Funding Competition later in 2016 in conjunction with a conference and Technology Showcase.