Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program supports 17 technology development projects teaming Maryland companies, USM faculty

September 15, 2021

The Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program announced its support of 17 technology product development projects in Maryland.

The projects, averaging $90,000 in value, each feature a collaboration between University System of Maryland faculty members and Maryland companies. Projects are jointly funded by both MIPS and participating companies. All funding goes to the university research.

Phase 1 (new projects) include:

College Park-based AmpX Technologies Inc. and Professor Alireza Khaligh, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Institute for Systems Research
and Maryland Energy Innovation Institute, University of Maryland, College Park:
designing, manufacturing and demonstrating a 6.6kW Silicon-Carbide (SiC) onboard electric vehicle charger (OBC) with ultra-high power density and enhanced efficiency. MIPS/company contributions: $74K/$8K

Royal Oak-based Blue Ocean Biosystems, Inc. and Professor Allen Place, Institute of Marine & Environmental Technology, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science: optimizing the company’s chicken bedding additive blend for reducing ammonia emissions under controlled laboratory studies while assessing the effect on chicken growth and production. MIPS/company contributions: $68K/$17K

Baltimore-based Dipole Materials, Inc. and Jamal Uddin, Professor, Department of Natural Sciences, Coppin State University: fabricating a silver, nanowire-based piezoresistive pressure sensor to be embedded in smart textiles via electrospinning. MIPS/company contributions: $90K/$10K

Frederick-based Ductoad Inc. and Professor Mohamad Al-Sheikhly, Department of Material Science and Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park: performing accelerated age testing of the  modified polycarbonate plastic components used in the company’s duct connectors, and comparing with the sheet metal components commonly used in the HVAC industry. MIPS/company contributions: $90K /$10K

Baltimore-based GreatAlga, LLC and Director and Professor Feng Chen, Institute of Marine & Environmental Technology, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science: sequencing the genome of a microalgal strain and constructing its metabolic pathways to understand lipid biosynthesis and the microalgae’s potential for reducing methane production in cattle. MIPS/company contributions: $90K/$10K

Germantown-based Intelligent Fusion Technology, Inc. and Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Jamil Abdo, Frostburg State University: developing methods for performing and analyzing outdoor tests to examine the effects of rain, fog, snow, dust, and smog on the performance of various light detection and ranging (LiDAR) sensors and integrating them into a three-dimensional (3D) autonomous vehicle simulator. MIPS/company contributions: $100K/$25K

Gaithersburg-based JumpLights, Inc. and Professor Patrick McCluskey, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland: designing advanced cooling systems to facilitate the development of higher density LED lighting fixtures for indoor farms. MIPS/company contributions: $90K/$10K

Elkridge-based Kontrol Inc. and Assistant Professor Huan Xu, Department of Aerospace Engineering and Institute for Systems Research, University of Maryland: developing a certifiable safety critical flight control system for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that enables flights beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS): MIPS/company contributions: $90K/$10K

Bethesda-based Liatris Inc. and Assistant Professor Po-Yen Chen, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Maryland: embedding cellulose nanofibers as part of the company’s thermal insulation material, and demonstrating chemical foaming at laboratory scale that is compatible with standard pilot and production tools for scale-up. MIPS/company contributions: $90K/$10K

Lanham-based Millennium Engineering and Integration, LLC Assistant Professor Huan Xu, Department of Aerospace Engineering and Institute for Systems Research, University of Maryland: providing models of advanced transponders for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) flight applications in adversarial environments and developing interfaces for adapting signals from such transponders for use in collision avoidance algorithms. MIPS/company contributions: $100K/$100K

Worton-based PaverGuide, Inc. and Professor and Charles A. Irish Sr. Chair in Civil Engineering, Allen Davis, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland: identifying and testing promising materials for the stormwater filter media that functions as a sub-base for the company’s stormwater capture product for permeable pavements. MIPS/company contributions: $14K/$1.5K

Rockville-based Silvec Biologics Corporation and Professor Anne Simon, Department of Cell Biologics & Molecular Genetics, University of Maryland: developing inoculation processes for introducing the company’s virus-targeting RNA therapy platform into non-citrus trees. MIPS/company contributions: $90K/$10K

Severna Park-based Tanzen Medical and Research Assistant Professor Justin Brooks, Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, University of Maryland, Baltimore County: further developing the company’s RestEaze product, a device that can aid in the diagnosis and treatment management of restless leg syndrome (RLS) in a home setting. MIPS/company contributions: $80K/$9K

Phase 2 (second year) projects include:

Accident-based FireFly Farms Inc. and Associate Professor Rohan Tikekar, Department of Nutrition & Food Science, University of Maryland, College Park: providing practical education and training to degree candidates as they support FireFly Farms’ FSMA food safety compliance activities, as well as GFSI/SQF audit and certification. MIPS/company contributions: $90K /$10K

Bethesda-based FishProGrow LLC and Professor Srinivasa Raghavan, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Maryland: establishing an effective mechanism for the value-added conversion of fish scraps from processing wastes into bio-available collagen for use in the human nutrition, therapeutic-cosmetics, and biomedical industries. MIPS/company contributions: $90K/$10K

Salisbury-based International BioRefineries, LLC and Professor Stephanie Lansing, Department of Environmental Science & Technology, University of Maryland: developing recommendations on how to best use and enhance the value of biochar created from using poultry litter in the company’s pyrolysis biorefinery. MIPS/company contributions: $140K/$10K

Cordova-based OviPost, Inc. and Professor Allen Place, Institute of Marine & Environmental Technology, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science: evaluating dietary hydration approaches for superworms, a fast-growing insect species with the potential to replace fishmeal in livestock feed. MIPS/company contributions: $90K/$10K

This is the 68th round of MIPS funding.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) provided funding during this round for the projects with Blue Ocean Biosystems, GreatAlga, International BioRefineries, and PaverGuide.

Projects are subject to final contract negotiations.

The Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program is an initiative of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) in the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland. MIPS leverages the resources of Maryland’s public universities to bolster the state’s economy by bringing faculty and students into collaboration with companies to develop new technology products and processes. MIPS projects expand the horizons of technology and grow Maryland’s economy by generating new technology-based jobs.