Frankfort — Developing better cancer drugs, preventing mosquito-borne diseases and improving food safety. Those are just some of the innovative projects Kentucky companies are developing.
To help these companies turn their research into reality, Gov. Steve Beshear Monday announced that six high-tech businesses have been awarded a total of $1 million as part of a program to support and attract technology-based small businesses to Kentucky.
The companies are receiving funding through the state's competitive Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Matching Funds program. Kentucky's program matches all or part of federal SBIR-STTR awards received by Kentucky-based companies. It also provides a match to out-of-state companies, should they be willing to relocate to the Commonwealth.
The companies receiving awards in the first quarter of 2015 include:
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■ 3P BioTechnologies Inc. (Oldham County): The company is working to develop improved cancer-fighting oral drugs which aim to enhance the absorption of the drug while reducing the dosage amount.
■ Amelgo LLC (Kenton County): Amelgo is working on a non-antibiotic therapeutic to help treat and prevent mastitis in dairy cows. This will greatly reduce the need for prophylactic antibiotic use, thus reducing the exposure and dangers to consumers, cows and dairy workers.
■ Bert Thin Films LLC (Jefferson County): Bert Thin Films is creating cost-saving copper-based ink to replace the silver metallization pastes used in silicon solar cells.
■ Mosquito Mate Inc. (Fayette County): This company is developing a new method of mosquito control to combat mosquito-borne diseases. Male mosquitoes, which do not bite or transmit disease, are infected with a larvicide, which they will carry back to breeding sites.
■ Nanowise LLC (Fayette County): Nanowise is developing new technology and materials for lithium batteries. Applications of these hybrid cells include military equipment, power tools and medical gear.
■ Okeanos Technologies LLC (Boone County): Okeanos is commercializing a new type of desalination technology. It will start mass producing a cartridge that will desalinate water at a commercially relevant water flow.
Since its inception in 2006, Kentucky's SBIR-STTR program has awarded nearly $52 million to support more than 100 companies. These businesses have leveraged an additional $90 million in federal funds. A total of 36 companies have located, or are planning to relocate, their businesses to Kentucky to take advantage of Kentucky's matching program.
A link to the online guidelines and application form for the Kentucky program are posted at www.ThinkKentucky.com/dci/SBIR.