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TEDCO, NIST give four companies funding

In this Sept. 24, 2013, file photo, freshly-cut stacks of $100 bills make their way down the line at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas.(AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

Money, money. In this Sept. 24, 2013, file photo, freshly cut stacks of $100 bills make their way down the line at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

The Maryland Technology Development Corp. and the National Institute of Standards and Technology awarded four companies a total of $448,000 to develop NIST-licensed technologies for the market, TEDCO announced Tuesday.

The NIST Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Program (N-STEP) focuses on commercializing NIST research. It lets NIST researchers who have left the agency or will soon be leaving the agency to commercialize technology they researched.

“The N-STEP grants catalyze the growth of new companies, delivering products and services based on technologies invented at NIST,” Walter G. Copan, under secretary of commerce for standards and technology and NIST director, said in a statement. “By encouraging talented, entrepreneurial researchers and business leaders, this program is an important part of the NIST innovation pipeline, transitioning exciting new technologies into benefits for the American economy and people.”

The program is a collaboration between NIST and TEDCO and has provided awards to 10 companies so far.

“NIST and TEDCO designed N-STEP to facilitate the creation of startup companies with NIST technologies by NIST researchers that desire to become entrepreneurs. A key element is that the initial seed funding provides resources to further develop the technology and provides business mentoring and support,” Ron Kaese, TEDCO’s director of federal programs, said in a statement. “For each NIST technology that is commercialized by a NIST launched company, an innovative technology is brought into the economy to build a sustainable company creating well paying, high-tech jobs.”

The four companies announced this week each received $112,000. Those companies are:

  • PathOtrak, LLC, of Bethesda, is developing a technology that reduces the detection time of Salmonella in food from 24 to 36 hours down to four hours;
  • Microbial Pulse Diagnostics, LLC, of Golden, Colorado, is developing and deploying NIST technology for the rapid measurement of antimicrobial susceptibility;
  • Graphene Waves, LLC, located in Gaithersburg, is working to commercialize graphene technologies developed at NIST for the measurement and research markets;
  • Parman Tech, LLC, in Gaithersburg, is creating a new laser technology to aid the development and manufacture of biologic pharmaceuticals.

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