18:00 PM

Ohio State to receive $9 million in Third Frontier grants

COLUMBUS – The Ohio State University has earned $9 million in state funds to boost research and commercialization activities with leading Ohio industry partners. The grants represent more than a third of the $24 million in the latest round of funding recommended by the Ohio Third Frontier Commission.

The awards, contingent upon State Controlling Board approval, will be given through the Commission's Wright Projects Program, which aims to build strong research capabilities within Ohio's colleges and universities in support of Ohio's economy.

"These awards from the Third Frontier Commission reflect the ground-breaking work that Ohio State faculty are doing in collaboration with our industry partners. These projects reflect real-world applicability to the transportation, healthcare and materials industries," said Caroline Whitacre, Ohio State's vice president for research.

Three separate Ohio State initiatives will receive $3 million grants:

*Designing market viable commercial electric vehicles, such as buses and trucks. The grants will help build a user-facility for testing and refining commercial vehicles that can hasten the conversion from gas to electric. The project, in collaboration with Vanner, American Electric Power, STMicrolectronics and Fil-Mor Express, will help make Ohio an industry leader, creating jobs and reducing carbon emissions and dependency on foreign oil. The principal university investigator is Giorgio Rizzoni, director of Ohio State's Center for Automotive Research.

*Advancing radionuclide-based imaging for healthcare and research. With partners Phillips and Cardinal Health, these funds will help refine SPECT imaging technologies to make them more viable for daily medical use. SPECT has the potential to provide highly precise three-dimensional images in a more cost-efficient manner. Principal university investigator is Dr. Michael Knopp, director of the Wright Center of Innovation in Biomedical Imaging.

*Accelerating on the use of bio-based materials to provide stronger, lighter and less expensive products for the building and construction, industrial and consumer markets. The initiative, led by the Ohio BioProducts Innovation Center, includes Natural Fiber Composites Corporation, Engineering Mechanics Corporation, VinylTech, P&G, Fypon, Michelman, International Paper, Polymer Ohio, OMNOVA Solutions, Ohio Soybean Council, the Ohio Corn Marketing Program, and the Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program. Principal university investigator is Stephen Myers, director of the Ohio BioProducts Innovation Center.

The Ohio State University is second only to Duke University in industry-sponsored research. The university has received more than $170 million Third Frontier funding since the program's inception.