Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program supports 16 technology development projects teaming Maryland companies, USM faculty

February 18, 2022

The Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program announced its support of 16 technology product development projects in Maryland.

The projects, averaging $100,000 in value, each feature a collaboration between University System of Maryland faculty members and Maryland-based companies. Projects are jointly funded by both MIPS and participating ventures. All funding goes to the university research.

Phase 1 (new projects) include:

Halethorpe-based Astek Diagnostics, Inc. and Research Associate Mohan Tulapurkar, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore: Developing additional performance protocols for, and conducting a validation study on, the latest prototype of the company’s Eugris system, a benchtop analyzer that identifies the presence of bacterial infections in blood samples and then completes Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing (AST) within one hour. MIPS/company contributions. $90K/$10K

Frederick-based Blue Sources, Inc. and Research Assistant Professor Keiko Saito, Department of Marine Biotechnology, University of Maryland Baltimore County: developing an aquaculture method that is practical, effective, and reproducible to provide local, healthy, and reliable bluegill stock for the company’s proprietary tech-enabled water monitoring and contamination early warning system, which uses bluegills as the bio-sensor while protecting public drinking water systems and verifying the non-toxicity of permitted wastewater discharges. $90K/$10K

Bladensburg-based Ernest Maier, Inc. and Allen Davis, Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland: conducting performance testing of the company’s PaveDrain product—a permeable pavement system for stormwater management that uses open joints for higher water infiltration rates, lower maintenance, and less clogging—potentially leading to reduced sediment, phosphorus, and nitrogen loads in the Chesapeake Bay and other waterways. $10K/$10K

Baltimore-based Fight Blight Bmore and Associate Professor Dawn Thurman, Ph.D., Bachelor’s of Social Work Department, Morgan State University: developing a mobile application to identify and report urban blight, or housing units that have significant physical or health hazards, such as dilapidated structures, poor heating, damaged plumbing, gas leaks, or lead. The product will also include back-end analysis for a web application that aggregates data about blight, inspections, code compliance, hearings, judgments, foreclosures, tree canopy, and scheduled demolitions. $90K/$10K

University Park-based Living Canopies, Ltd., and David Tilley, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Science and Technology, University of Maryland: upgrading the company’s SolarSmart Irrigation Controller for its new Green Shelter product for bus stops, which creates a plant canopy that doubles as both a cooling roof and a rain harvester. The upgraded controller will monitor: soil and air moisture; soil, air, and ground temperature; water reservoir level; solar radiation; ambient CO2 levels; and battery voltage. $90K/$10K

Gaithersburg-based miRecule, Inc. and Robert Bloch, Physiology Professor, University of Maryland, Baltimore: developing biomarker assays and testing the efficacy of the company’s treatment for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder that results in progressive weakness and disability in the muscles of the face, shoulders, abdomen, and lower legs, with the goal of moving the therapeutic into clinical trials. $90K/$10K

Abingdon-based Modular Matter, Inc. and both Eleonora Tubaldi, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, and Jae Kun Shim, Professor, Department of Kinesiology, University of Maryland: developing a novel prosthesis, where discrete, mass-producible modular components can be assembled to fabricate patient-specific sockets that would otherwise require expensive materials and equipment, and hours of custom fitting, to make. $90K/$10K

Rockville-based N5 Sensors and Pratap Tokekar, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Maryland: developing a Multi-Modal Machine Learning Architecture (MMMLA), deployable on a series of remote multi-modality sensing units, for the improved localization, tracking, and identification of various wildfire threats. $90K/$10K

Rockville-based NextGlass, LLC and Professor Jungho Kim, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland: developing a manufacturing and scale-up process for the company’s vacuum-insulated glass for commercial freezer doors. The company’s glass could reduce material costs, lessen the weight, provide better condensation resistance, and reduce energy costs of the doors when compared with current solutions. $90K/$10K

Baltimore-based NextStep Robotics, Inc. and Balakumar Balachandran, Professor and Chair, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland: developing an enhanced crampon, a traction device that attaches to footwear, for use during gait therapy on uneven surfaces with the company’s portable, assistive robot, called AMBLE. $81K/$9K

Catonsville-based Oculi and Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Assistant Professor Riadul Islam, University of Maryland Baltimore County: developing an optimal and novel vision architecture by combining neuromorphic sensing and processing to produce a low-power, single chip that can detect/count people, monitor people/crowds, and detect/recognize objects, all while saving between 90-99 percent of the traditional power consumption/processing required for such a task. $90K/$10K

Frostburg-based SonoAsh LLC and Mohamad Al-Sheikhly, Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Maryland: assessing new pathways for recovering sustainable critical minerals and metals from coal ash. $90K/$10K

Baltimore-based Sonosa Medical, Inc. and Cornelia Fermuller, Associate Research Scientist, University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS): developing image processing tools to support Sonosa’s wearable diagnostic ultrasound system, which is designed to provide airway imaging during natural sleep in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. $90K/$10K

Phase 2 (second year) projects include:

Baltimore-based CyDeploy, Inc. and Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Professor and Chair Anupam Joshi, University of Maryland Baltimore County: extending the company’s automated, cloud-based security testing platform for configuring, testing, and deploying any information technology (IT) device, to Internet of Things (IoT) devices, requiring little to no manual human effort or end-user expertise. $90K/$10K

Bethesda-based Nostopharma, LLC and Stephen Hoag, Professor, School of Pharmacy, University of Maryland, Baltimore: establishing the process and documentation for chemistry, manufacturing and controls (CMC) of the company’s combination therapy for the treatment of heterotopic ossification (HO), which is the presence of bone in soft tissue where bone normally does not exist, most frequently seen with either musculoskeletal trauma, spinal cord injury, or central nervous system injury. $90K/$10K

Riverdale Park-based VisiSonics Corporation and Matthew Goupell, Professor, Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, University of Maryland: developing an algorithm for the presentation of high-end audio over headphones, with multiple levels of personal customization to be implemented through a cloud-based personalization process, which can be bundled with high-end headphones, either as an add-on service or as something that is included with the product. $90K/$10K

This is the 69th round of MIPS funding.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) provided funding during this round for the projects with NextGlass, Fight Blight Bmore, and Living Canopies.

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.