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Upstate projects get EPSCoR grants

Innovation
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Three Upstate projects have received funding from the Phase-0 Program, which is part of the South Carolina Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, also known as SC/EPSCoR.

The Phase-0 Program provides $6,000 seed grants to South Carolina-based, American-owned, for-profit small businesses seeking funding for innovative ideas from Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, according to a news release.

This year’s recipients are:

Circa Bioscience, in Greenwood, focuses on developing diagnostic, monitoring and surgical technologies for biomedical applications. As part of the Phase-0 project, Circa Bioscience will partner with Clemson University researchers to obtain preliminary data on the performance of an implantable mesh/bioadhesive system for improved fixation for hernia repair surgery, according to the release. Principal investigator is Kevin Champaigne.

KnewTek LLC, in Greenwood, is developing alert notification systems that employ digital technology to warn deaf people of environmental hazards in rural residential settings. KnewTek will leverage SC/EPSCoR Phase-0 funding to hire consultants to assist in the preparation of a competitive USDA Phase-1 proposal, enabling the development of multi-sensory alert devices for enhancing the safety of hearing impaired people, the release said. Principal investigator is Thomas Riley.

Purilogics LLC, in Greenville, develops high-speed, high-productivity membrane chromatography products for biologics purification. The company plans to use Phase-0 funds to strengthen a Small Business Innovation Research Phase-I proposal to develop affinity membrane chromatography columns for rapid, high-recovery purification of lentiviral vectors used in gene delivery applications, the release said. Principal investigator is Daniel Henn.

In addition to the Upstate projects, ATP-SC LLC, in Allendale, the South Carolina operating affiliate of Agri-Tech Producers LLC, received funding to help it prepare a more competitive Department of Energy Small Business Innovation Research grant application, which will help fund the commercialization of bio-based fillers, which makes plastics and composites stronger, lighter and more heat-resistant than commonly used filters, according to the release. Principal investigator is Joseph James.

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