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ADVANCE Spring Awardee Announcement

Administered by Michigan State University and the Michigan Strategic Fund, through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the ADVANCE Grant Proof of Concept Fund provides an incentive for faculty with early stage technologies at Michigan public universities to engage with their university’s technology transfer office to advance their technologies toward commercialization. 

Detailed below, the fund committee selected five innovative translational research projects from five different universities in the state in January and March, and represent the most recent awards distributed.  

Boosting Speed and precision of Desktop 3D Printers via Software-based Vibration Compensation
Dr. Chinedum Okwudire, The University of Michigan
$80,000 ($40,000 MEDC; $40,000 match)
This technology is an entirely software-based vibration compensation technique that allows up to 2x faster printing without causing surface waviness or registration errors. It enables faster, more precise and more reliable 3D printing.

A Novel Tool to Generate Dopamine Neurons in Human Stem Cells: PM-Nato3
Dr. Merritt DeLano-Taylor, Grand Valley State University 
$51,050 ($25,535 MEDC; $25,535 match)
PM-Nato3 is a novel polypeptide tool that promises to replace use of costly reagents and simplify the conversion of human stem cells (HSC) into dopamine (DA) neurons. DA neurons are lost in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and affected in schizophrenia and other disorders, and therapeutics in this realm represent a growing market of 6.7 Billion USD.

Durable Super-Hydrophilic Fouling-Resistant Marine Coating
Dr. Zhiqiang Cao, Wayne State University 
$15,000 ($7,500 MEDC: $7,500 match)
This technology and resulting product will be the first generation of the marine fouling-resistant coating.  It is the combination of hydrophilic hydrogel and commercial glue and could be easily applied on both cargo shops and leisure vessels by either professional ship yards or DIY product.  It overcomes the disadvantages of current fouling-release marine coatings and greatly improves the marine bio-fouling resistant capability.

Fatigue Property of Materials & Components Using Multi-Scale Hardness Data
Dr. Daniel Kujawski, Western Michigan University 
$49,892 ($24,946 MEDC; $24,946 match)
This project improves prediction of the fatigue properties of materials. The methodology will lower the expense of providing designers with material properties over the lifecycle of manufactured parts. The technique promises higher reliability from non-destructive testing and analysis.

Developing Customer-Ready Software for Analysis and Design of Asphalt Pavements Constructed with Traditional and Advanced Materials
Dr. Emin Kutay, Michigan State University 
$80,000 ($40,000 MEDC; $40,000 match)
This project develops a user-ready software program to be used by civil engineers designing asphalt pavements using traditional and advanced materials under regional conditions.


Dr. Richard Chylla, Program Director, and Ann Spalding, Program Manager, are available to visit (or conference call) Technology Transfer offices to present a short overview of the grant and to answer questions.  Contact msugrant@msu.edu to set up an appointment. An initial review of draft proposals is available (budget review and suggestions, proposal review for eligibility, etc.) prior to a formal application.  

Application information for ADVANCE GRANT Proof of Concept Fund