SyracuseCoE Innovation Fund Awards $40,000 to Companies for COVID Related Commercialization

The Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems (SyracuseCoE) has awarded $40,000 to four partner companies through the second round of the SyracuseCoE 2020 Innovation Fund. For this round, partners were invited to submit proposals in SyracuseCoE core focus areas that directly address the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal is to leverage the region’s great capabilities in indoor air quality to reduce disease transmission in the built environment. The Innovation Fund is funded by member companies of the SyracuseCoE Partner Program and aims to help companies advance product development and technological innovation. See previously awarded Innovation Fund projects.

The winning projects are:

  • Acumen Detection Inc., to provide an rt-PCR machine, positive controls and other reagents, and advice, guidance and support to SyracuseCoE researchers developing a test for COVID-19 in room air. This will allow schools, offices and other gathering places to detect if someone with COVID-19 has entered the space. Acumen Detection is a startup partner, co-located at the SyracuseCoE research facility, that is transforming the way dairy producers across the globe monitor the environment and health of their herds by providing pathogen detection at the point of need–on the farm. Acumen Detection joined the SyracuseCoE Partner Program in 2019 soon after its spin-off from SRC Inc.
  • Air Innovations Inc., is enhancing their HEPAirX ventilating air purifier and HVAC unit to reduce disease transmission with negative pressure settings and UV-C light. After conducting the redesign, marketing materials will be created to address the needs of the dental market. Air Innovations is an affiliate partner that designs, tests and manufactures environmental control systems for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), custom HVAC projects and unique environments. They specialize in achieving consistent results in temperature control (low temperature and precision temp control), humidity control (desiccant to near saturation) and air filtration (HEPA to molecular).
  • Elizion Tech will develop medical grade, bio-based thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) for the manufacture of sustainable, biodegradable and recyclable filtration materials. Several sources will be assessed for their feasibility of processing into a source component for subsequent manufacturing of the antipathogenic filtration technology. Such materials can be useful in the production of personal protective equipment (PPE). Elizion Tech, based in Ontario, Canada, is developing an antipathogenic nanocoating, PPE, air filtration systems, high-contact surfaces and other applications.
  • M3 Innovation, LLC, co-located at the SyracuseCoE research facility, is developing a revolutionary platform for sports venues that will both provide efficient high quality lighting and also use ultraviolet lighting to sterilize the facilities from bacteria and viruses (specifically COVID-19). M3 Innovation is a startup partner comprised of founders and former engineers from Ephesus Lighting Inc., focused on developing lighting technology for the LED sports lighting market.

“There is an established history of innovative research and commercialization in environmental and energy systems in the Central New York region,” says Eric Schiff, interim executive director of SyracuseCoE. “Many SyracuseCoE partner companies, like Ephesus Lighting, Air Innovations, NuClimate, SparkCharge and others, have used their Innovation Fund awards on their path to successful commercialization. We hope this award will give companies the potential to play a critical role in helping communities reopen and function safely as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

SyracuseCoE is New York State’s Center of Excellence for Environmental and Energy Systems. Awards are chosen by a panel of members of the SyracuseCoE Industry Partners Council, select SyracuseCoE staff and collaborators. Eligibility for funding is open to all current members of the SyracuseCoE Partner Program. Innovation Fund proposals must be submitted and led by Partner Program members, but may include collaborations with academic partners or with firms outside of the Partner Program. With the second round of the 2020 Innovation Fund awards distributed, SyracuseCoE has helped finance more than 49 projects by 30 companies, totaling over $527,000.