Ocean Optics Awards Phase I Blue Ocean Grants
DUNEDIN, Fla., Oct. 18, 2011 — Ocean Optics, a supplier of optical sensing technology, has named the Phase I winners of its first Blue Ocean Grants and Challenges, an open innovation program seeking novel ideas and technologies with the potential to change the world for the better and for eventual commercialization.
The company said that the quantity of quality applications was so impressive that it issued more grants than planned and created an additional category of developmental grants.
The Blue Ocean grants are divided into two phases. Phase I grants are issued to fund initial evaluation and development of ideas and technologies to the proof-of-concept phase. The company originally planned to award up to 10 Phase I grants of up to $10,000 but expanded that number to 13 grants in five different countries when the grants committee, made up of Ocean Optics CTO Jason M. Eichenholz and independent photonics experts, felt compelled to find funding for the additional three recipients.
Another seven strong submissions were awarded development grants. Recipients will be given or loaned Ocean Optics equipment to facilitate progression of their grant ideas, enabling them to be submitted for either Phase II of this year’s program or Phase I of next year’s funding.
Phase II grants will be issued to nurture a proposed technology through proof of concept in a way that enables the potential of market commercialization. Up to two Phase II grants of up to $100,000 each will be awarded in early 2012.
“We were very impressed with the response to the Blue Ocean Grant Program. We had over 100 submissions from multiple countries, with a diverse range of photonics technologies and applications,” said Eichenholz.
Recipients were chosen based on the technology’s ability to change the world for the better, and for out-of-the-box thinking, technical merit and potential commercial viability.
Phase I grant winners and their technology are:
Jarkko Antila, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, MEMS-based mid-IR spectrometer
Christopher Fraker, Diabetes Research Institute, Tailored oxygen levels for cell culturing
Matthew Gunn, Aberystwyth University, Economical hyperspectral imager
Guifang Li, CREOL/The School of Optics at the University of Central Florida, The College of Optics & Photonics, Novel tunable mid-IR laser sources
Zhiwen Liu, Pennsylvania State University, G-Fresnel optical spectrometer miniaturization
Hans-Peter Loock, Queen’s University, Fiber optic mercury probe
Robert Pal, Durham University/FScan Ltd., Handheld rapid prostate cancer screening instrument
Bill Parker, Creative Microsystems, Nanoliter optical sensing
Nadia Pervez, Chromation Partners, Novel photonic crystal spectrometer
Scott Rowe, Ocular Prognostics LLC, Macular pigment measurement
Maurizio Tormen, CSEM SA, MEMS wave meter Ian White, University of Maryland, Inkjet-printed SERS dipsticks
Liang Zhang, University of Washington, Detection system for early childhood caries
Development grant winners are:
Kristen Maitland, Texas A&M University, Spectrally encoded depth scans for early cancer detection
Dominic Murphy, Fusion Photonics Ltd., Fiber Fourier transform spectrometer
Dustin Ritter, Engineering World Health organization — Texas A&M chapter, Medical oxygen concentrator measurement system
Frank Rutten, Keele University, Rapid on-site detection of asbestos
Eric Smith, FMIP, Real-time spectroscopy for the produce industry
Kate Sugden, Aston University, Fiber Bragg grating sensing using new Ocean Optics spectrometers
Bo Yang, USF College of Marine Science, Low-cost optical pH sensors
For more information, visit: www.blueoceangrants.com