Innovation Fund Projects

SyracuseCoE’s Innovation Fund provides SyracuseCoE Partners with financial and technical support for overcoming barriers to commercialization of potentially transformative innovations. Projects may be awarded up to $10,000 and must be aligned with commercialization of innovative products/technologies and focused on one or more of SyracuseCoE’s three core areas.

  • Indoor Environmental Quality and Building Energy Efficiency
  • Clean & Renewable Energy
  • Water Resources

The Innovation Fund is funded by and for members of the SyracuseCoE Partner Program.

2017 Projects

Air Innovations

 

Air Innovations Logo
Project Lead: Air Innovations
Project Type: Commercialization
Area of Interest: IEQ
Key Personnel: Larry Wetzel
Funding Amount: $10,000
Start Date: 11/30/2017
End Date: 8/31/2018
Project Summary: Air Innovation proposed a revolutionary personal cooling and heating system that needed an industrial redesign. The unit was designed to change the way people managed their own personal comfort within workspaces. The system would save on building costs by running higher set points in the summer and lower temps in the winter, managing the direct environment people worked in.
Project Outcome: The company was able to design an enclosure, produce three prototypes and test the resulting system.

Bush Technical

 


Project Lead: Bush Technical, LLC
Project Type: Commercialization
Area of Interest:
Key Personnel: Bill Bush
Funding Amount: $10,000
Start Date: 1/24/2018
End Date: 10/24/2018
Project Summary: Bush Technical’s innovative microscroll compressors have multiple commercial applications for spot-cooling products. Funding for this project allowed Bush Technical to work with Syracuse University engineering students and faculty to develop a production machine and process that would optimize the finishing process.

LC Drives

 

lcdrives logo
Project Lead: LC Drives Corp.
Project Type: Commercialization
Area of Interest: Energy
Key Personnel: Russel Marvin
Funding Amount: $10,000
Start Date: 5/25/2017
End Date: 2/25/2018
Project Summary: LC Drives aimed to develop the next generation of electric motors that were smaller, lighter, and more efficient. This program would develop a vacuum pressure impregnation process for the motors that met its specific needs.

 

Funding Amount: $10,000
Start Date: 12/19/2017
End Date: 9/19/2018
Project Summary: LC Drives continued its work to develop next-generation electric motors. This project supported the development of an improved rotor cooling approach to keep the rotor and magnets cooler, allowing for the manufacture of smaller, more powerful motors and generators.
Project Outcome: LC Drives continued its work in developing electric motors with funding in 2018.

MolecuSense

MolecuSense Logo

Piezeoelectric Microbalance Sensors for CO2 and Other Volatile Materials

Project Lead: MolecuSense Inc.
Project Type: Commercialization
Area of Interest: IEQ
Key Personnel: James Spencer
Funding Amount: $10,000
Start Date: 7/23/2017
End Date: 4/23/2018
Project Summary: MolecuSense was working to develop a new generation of solid state sensors with exceptional response and selectivity properties based upon the use of modified piezoelectric solid state oscillators, including functionalized Quartz Crystal Microbalances (QCM). Sensors based upon the response of such piezoelectric devices are expected to provide a unique platform for the selective detection of key target molecules, with ppb sensitivity and exceptional selectivity, similar to that found in immunoassay, and deliver devices that are inexpensive, robust, rapidly modified to new applications and broadly applicable to a variety of environmental, biomedical and threat-responses.
Project Outcome: The project funding allowed the company to prepare new molecular recognition coatings.

 

 

2016 Projects

LC Drives

lcdrives logo

Design and Build Dynamometer Cooling System for MW Scale System

Project Lead: LC Drives Corp.
Project Type: Commercialization
Area of Interest: Buildings
Key Personnel: Marvin Russel
Funding Amount: $10,000
Start Date: 5/15/2016
End Date: 2/15/2017
Project Summary: Following its wind turbine generator from the previous year, LC Drives’ next project with the Innovation Fund was to design and build dynamometer cooling system for megawatt (MW) scale systems. Funding went into the pumps component of the project.
Project Outcome: The company was awarded funding for the third consecutive year in 2017, this time for a next generation electric motor.

SparkCharge

Portable Electric Vehicle Charging Units

Project Lead: SparkCharge
Project Type: Commercialization
Area of Interest: Energy/Batteries
Key Personnel: Joshua Aviv
Funding Amount: $6,199
Start Date: 6/13/2016
End Date: 1/31/2017
Project Summary: SparkCharge applied for funding to test the heat management system for its portable universal charging units for electric cars. Their portable charger allows electric vehicle owners to charge anytime and anywhere starting with a 5-mile battery pack.
Project Outcome: The project was extended through the next funding period.

The Standard Hydrogen Corporation

shc

Marketing Support for SHC Station

Project Lead: The Standard Hydrogen Corporation
Project Type: Commercialization
Area of Interest: Energy/ Hydrogen
Key Personnel: Paul Mutolo
Funding Amount: $10,000
Start Date: 6/1/2016
End Date: 11/30/2016
Project Summary:SHC required funding to clear remaining obstacles to building their initial demonstration hydrogen station. The funding went into building a financial and physical model of their system, which were to be used to communicate their value proposition to Con Edison and National Grid.
Project Outcome: The company were able to advance critical conversation with these two key utility. SHC are looking to build a demonstration station in New York State.

 

 

2015 Projects

Cortland Research

cortland research

A Novel Integration of Smart Sensing Systems with Environmental System Modeling for Sustainable and Healthy Buildings

Project Lead: Cortland Research
Project Type: Commercialization
Area of Interest: Buildings
Key Personnel: Steve McMahon
Funding Amount: $10,000
Start Date: 2/1/2016
End Date:  10/31/2016
Project Summary: Cortland Research required funds to make the modifications necessary to add the demand response functionality to their Point of Use Network Controlled Energy Management (POUNCE) System. The system was designed to perform as both an energy efficiency system and a demand response solution.
Project Outcome: Today, POUNCE systems are used by the New York City Department of Education in city schools, Corning, Onondaga Community College, and SUNY Cortland.

Full Circle Feed

Full Circle Feed

Zero Food Waste Processing

Project Lead: Full Circle Feed
Project Type: Commercialization
Area of Interest: Energy
Key Personnel: Michael Amadori
Funding Amount: $10,000
Start Date: 12/1/2015
End Date: 3/31/2016
Project Summary:Full Circle Feed aimed to develop a closed-loop process for dog treat production that turned their wastewater into renewable energy and a revenue source. This transformative innovation to their dog treat process would have allowed them to scale their process.

LC Drives

lcdrives logo

Wind Turbine Generator

Project Lead: LC Drives Corp.
Project Type: Commercialization
Area of Interest: Energy/Wind
Key Personnel:Russel Marvin
Funding Amount: $10,000
Start Date: 6/1/2015
End Date: 3/1/2016
Project Summary: LC Drives wanted to develop a key manufacturing process for a newly designed wind turbine generator. The wind turbine generator was to help bring down the cost of energy from wind power.
Project Outcome: These programs allowed the interns to complete in-depth design work needed to help move the company forward and allowed both the intern and the company to decide if a longer term permanent employment arraignment would make sense.

Wind Turbine Generator II

Project Lead: LC Drives Corp.
Project Type: Commercialization
Area of Interest: Energy/Wind
Key Personnel:Russel Marvin
Funding Amount: $10,000
Start Date: 3/1/2016
End Date: 12/1/2016
Project Summary: Following the success of the designing, building and testing of the previous component, LC Drives sought to develop a key manufacturing process for another component in the final assembly of the wind turbine generator.
Project Outcome: Following the successful completion of these projects, LC Drives was awards funding in the following year for the development of a megawatt scale cooling system.

LED Spirit

led spirit

Proprietary LED Lighting Technology

Project Lead: LED Spirit, Inc.
Project Type: Commercialization
Area of Interest: Buildings
Key Personnel: Alcinda Miller
Funding Amount: $10,000
Start Date: 12/27/2015
End Date:  9/26/2016
Project Summary: LED Spirit aimed to create new and proprietary LS Core technology with no printed circuit board, no heat sink, negligible heat generation, eco-friendly resulting in a 40% reduction in cost of manufacturing with up to 50% increased energy efficiency for 4 feet T8 LED tube lights.

NuClimate Air Quality Systems

Nuclimate

Testing of Vertical Stack Induction/Fan Coil Unit

Project Lead: NuClimate Air Quality Systems, Inc.
Project Type: Commercialization
Area of Interest: Buildings
Key Personnel: John DiMillo
Funding Amount: $10,000
Start Date: 9/1/2014
End Date: 5/31/2015
Project Summary: NuClimate Air Quality Systems required funding for independent testing and final product revisions for their Vertical Stack Induction/Fan Coil Unit (Model QMH). The unit was to be a direct replacement for conventional Vertical Stack Fan Coil Units in the light commercial and commercial market place and was designed to consume no more than 25% of the energy of current products.
Project Outcome: They were able to achieve their project objective and the final product was released to the market in April 2016.

Solstice Power

Solstice logo

CHP Solar Technology Development

Project Lead: Solstice Power LLC
Project Type: Commercialization
Area of Interest: Energy/Wind
Key Personnel: James Shomar
Funding Amount: $10,000
Start Date: 9/1/2014
End Date: 5/31/2015
Project Summary: Following its project from the previous year, Solstice Power requested for funding to test its “Hybrid System” product, a solar panel that used renewable, low-cost, on-site, combined heat and power solar technology. It was designed to generate three times the electrical energy efficiency of traditional fixed mounted flat panel solar systems.
Project Outcome: With the funding, they were able to conduct sustained system testing and completed a patent application for the product.

 

 

2014 Projects

Avatar Sustainable Technologies

Avatar Sustainable Technologies

Scaling Production of Fermentable Sugars

Project Lead: Avatar Sustainable Technologies
Project Type: Research
Area of Interest: Energy
Key Personnel: Bhavin Bhanyani
Funding Amount: $25,000
Start Date: 8/1/2014
End Date: 4/30/2015
Project Summary:Avatar Sustainable Technologies developed an efficient, scalable process using enzymes to produce fermentable sugars out of solid waste, requiring fewer steps, producing higher yields, higher quality thereby reducing waste.
The awarded funding was used to scale up the process from bench scale (2lbs) to pilot scale (200 lbs) through optimization. The scale-up initiative was designed to enhance investor and customer confidence in the proposed process.
Project Outcome: The company won a Small Business Vouchers Pilot award from the U.S. Department of Energy to work with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to conduct studies on the enzyme.

Ephesus Lighting

Ephesus

Energy Efficient and High Performing Power Supply with Monitoring Functionality

Project Lead: Ephesus Lighting
Project Type: Commercialization
Area of Interest: Energy
Key Personnel: Jeff Shuster
Funding Amount: $19,635
Start Date: 9/1/2014
End Date: 5/31/2015
Project Summary:Ephesus Lighting proposed to use funds awarded to design, develop, and test an intelligent power supply not offered in the marketplace with twice the power output, lower standby power, and novel monitoring capabilities.
Project Outcome:The following year, Ephesus Lighting was acquired by Eaton. The company continues to shine brightly, lighting up sports events with their efficient LED technology.

King+King

king and king

Researching the Effects of an Innovative Middle School Renovation on Student Performance – Bridge Phase

Project Lead: King+King
Project Type: Research
Area of Interest: IEQ
Key Personnel: Pete King
Funding Amount: $15,000
Start Date: 8/1/2014
End Date: 4/30/2014
Project Summary:King + King Architects led a research project to test the connection between the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) of school buildings and the learning and teaching performance of its occupants. The research also aimed to scientifically prove there was a connection between interdisciplinary project-based learning and the spatial design of schools.
The awarded funding supported “bridge” activities between the collection of data and dissemination of results, including the development of a web site and a workshop with national leaders in this field of research.
Project Outcome: The company was able to carry out its objectives.

Quansor Corporation

QuansorLogo

Field Testing E. Coli Sensor

Project Lead: Quansor Corporation
Project Type: Commercialization
Area of Interest: Urban Environments
Key Personnel: John Merrill
Funding Amount: $24,902
Start Date: 9/1/2014
End Date: 5/31/2015
Project Summary: Quansor Corporation sought to demonstrate a benchtop detector of waterborne E. coli bacteria by combining two innovations, (a) its own quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) platform and (b) an innovative modified mannose receptor to bind E.coli. It also aimed to develop a statistical validation and field test plan for the sensor in Cortland County.
Project Outcome:The company was able to achieve its objectives with a final demonstration at the Cortland Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Solstice Power

Solstice logo

Development of Renewable, Low Cost and On-Site Heat and Power Solar Technology

Project Lead: Solstice Power LLC
Project Type: Commercialization
Area of Interest: Energy
Key Personnel: James Shomar
Funding Amount: $24,710
Start Date: 7/1/2014
End Date: 3/31/2015
Project Summary:Solstice Power developed and integrated a low cost combined solar thermal and power generation system. The compact generator was designed to use a powerful Fresnel lens (~ 800 x concentration) to focus light onto ~ 1 cm x 1 cm multi-junction solar cells rated at 40% electrical efficiency, more than twice that of standard silicon solar cells.
Project Outcome: The company was awarded a second consecutive Innovation Fund award the following year to fund research into the resulting system – “The Solstice Power Hybrid System”.

Taitem Engineering

TaitemLogo

Blowing Off Steam: The Case for Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) Heat Pumps To Replace Steam, New York’s Biggest Energy and Water User

Project Lead: Taitem Engineering
Project Type: Commercialization
Area of Interest: Energy
Key Personnel: Ian Shapiro
Funding Amount: $24,752
Start Date: 7/1/2014
End Date: 3/31/2015
Project Summary: Taitem Engineering developed a market analysis and energy and water conservation potential of converting steam-heating systems to variable refrigerant flow (VRF) heat pump systems in New York State.
Project Outcome: The report was released in 2017.