Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Perry Announces Emerging Technology Fund Investments In Central Texas Companies

Tuesday, November 18, 2008  •  Press Release

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today announced the state will invest funds through the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF) in six Central Texas companies for research, development and commercialization of their innovative technologies The companies include: Faradox Energy Storage, Ironbridge Technologies, Merkatum Corporation, NanoMedical Systems and Stellarray. Texas State University also received a grant for a new collaborative research, development and commercialization center.

“Continued investment in technological innovations  will help keep Texas at the forefront of national and international competitiveness,” Gov. Perry said. “The technologies funded by these TETF grants will not only benefit countless individuals and industries, but also maintain Texas’ status as a premier center for research and innovation.”

Faradox Energy Storage Inc. has received a $250,000 award for the commercialization of its fabrication process for high-performance electrical capacitors. Capacitors are an essential energy storing component in many electronics. The Faradox product is a temperature tolerant, high energy density capacitor that that can be used in industries such as aerospace, defense systems, oil and gas exploration, automotive electronics and implantable medical devices such as cardiac pacemakers. The TETF award will help attract customers and allow the company to seek funding to set up an additional manufacturing facility in Texas. Faradox will work closely with Texas State University’s Department of Chemistry and the Texas Engineering and Extension Center at Texas A&M University to complete testing of the product. 

Ironbridge Technologies Inc. has received a $250,000 award for the development of energy storage technology designed to heat prepared foods simply, safely and efficiently in a special container using a flameless, thermal reaction. The technology is unique in the way the fuel composite is formulated to efficiently produce high specific energy, conversion efficiency, and heat transfer at a controlled heating rate. Ironbridge will use the TETF funds to expand its research and development facility in Austin and foster development activities of its self-heating food packaging product. The company is collaborating with nano-material experts Keith Stevenson at the University of Texas at Austin and Michelle Pantoya at Texas Tech University.

Merkatum Corporation has received a $1.5 million award to expedite the commercialization of its innovative web-based biometric software systems. The technology is a multi-modal fingerprint and facial recognition identity system that is used for biometric identity management. The product is less expensive and easier to configure, deploy and maintain than currently available in the marketplace. Merkatum is a member of the Austin Technology Incubator’s Technology Business Accelerator program through the University of Texas at Austin.

NanoMedical Systems Inc. has received a $3.5 million project award to accelerate completion and pre-clinical testing of its Personalized Molecular Drug-delivery System (PMDS), a small drug delivery device that is implanted under the skin. The device slowly releases drugs over many weeks or months, and will serve as an alternative to current treatments that involve a long series of injections or clinical visits. The PMDS device is designed to support several pharmaceutical ingredients, with initial research and development focusing on anti-cancer treatments. NanoMedical is collaborating with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston to speed commercialization of the device.

Stellarray Inc. has received a $750,000 award for the commercialization of a new type of flat panel X-ray source for use in radioactive treatment in mail, food and medical product sterilization; medical imaging (including breast cancer screening and cardiac imaging); and industrial applications (such as new photolithography systems). Stellarray is working closely with the National Center for E-Beam Sterilization Research at Texas A&M University under the leadership of Suresh Pillai, and Chris Shaw’s Digital Imaging Research Lab at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. UHV Technologies in Fort Worth is building a new type of deposition tool for nanoelectronic arrays that Stellarray will use in making large radiation panels. All three organizations are subcontractors in the Stellarray ATP project.  

Texas State University at San Marcos has received a $4 million grant to operate and staff a newly established center for the research, development and commercialization of multifunctional materials to drive the development and innovation for the next generation of devices used in the fields of energy, security and health. Uses include information processing and high-density, light-weight information storage, more efficient solar power generation and new approaches to computing and communication. The federal government has also expressed interest in sophisticated, next-generation sensors that could be developed from this research for homeland security purposes. The program is a collaborative effort between the  chemistry, biochemistry, physics, technology and engineering programs at Texas State University, as well as the Nanomaterials Application Center, Center for Nanophase Research, Center for Coatings  and Biobased Technology and the Institute for Environmental and Industrial Science.

The TETF is a $200 million initiative created by the Texas Legislature in 2005 at the governor’s request and was reauthorized in 2007. A 17-member advisory committee of high-tech leaders, entrepreneurs and research experts reviews potential projects and recommends funding allocations to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House. To date, the TETF has allocated $115 million in funds to Texas companies and universities.

For more information on the TETF, please visit http://www.emergingtechfund.com.

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