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NIST Announces 24 New Advanced Technology Program Awards

The Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology today announced 24 new research and development projects to receive cost-shared funding under the department's Advanced Technology Program.

Seventeen projects, with topics ranging from a method to produce high-performance industrial lubricants from specially bred yeast to an improved x-ray source for medical diagnostic equipment, were selected from among 251 applicants to the ATP general competition for 1995. An additional seven projects were selected from 27 applicants to a focused competition on advanced tools for DNA diagnostics.

"I'm particularly pleased to see the involvement of many small companies, who risk a great deal in devoting the time and money necessary to develop the detailed, well- researched proposals required for an ATP competition. I expect to see important gains for the nation's economy down the road as a result of the partnerships we are launching today," said Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown.

The Advanced Technology Program provides cost-shared funding to industry for high- risk R&D; projects with the potential to spark important, broad-based economic benefits for the United States. While the program does not fund product-development projects, the ATP enables potentially important R&D; projects that industry would not undertake on its own. ATP awards are made on the basis of a rigorous competitive review considering scientific and technical merit of each proposal and its potential broad benefits to the U.S. economy. Applicants must include a business plan for bringing the new technology to market once technical milestones have been achieved under ATP support.

ATP general competitions are open to proposals from any area of technology. ATP focused programs concentrate resources on key technical barriers in specific areas defined by industry to offer the potential for major economic benefits to the nation. The focused program in "Tools for DNA Diagnostics," established in 1994, is designed to accelerate the development of diagnostic methods, instrumentation, and data-handling protocols to speed up DNA analyses and sequence interpretations by a factor of ten or more, at costs a tenth or less of present-day costs. Today's award announcement brings the total number of projects in this focused program to 20.

When carried through to completion, the 24 projects announced today will cost approximately $60.5 million in ATP funding, matched by approximately $52.4 million in funding from private industry. The awards announced today are contingent on the signing of formal agreements between NIST and the project proposers.

Lists of the selected projects for the two competitions are attached.

Additional Statistics

  • ATP General Competition for 1995 — 17 awards
    • Joint ventures: 5 (35 percent)
    • Projects led by small businesses: 9 (53 percent)
    • Total number of participants: 31
    • Total number of small businesses: 12
    • Major technology areas: biotechnology (5), electronics (3), energy & environment (3), chemicals & chemical processing (2), materials (2), manufacturing (1), computing & information processing (1)
  • ATP Focused Program Competition, Tools for DNA Diagnostics — 7 awards
    • Joint ventures: 2 (29 percent)
    • Projects led by small businesses: 4 (57 percent)
    • Total number of participants: 16
    • Total number of small businesses: 6

As a non-regulatory agency of the Commerce Department's Technology Administration, NIST promotes U.S. economic growth by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards.


ATP General Competition, 1995

Crystallization and Structural Determination of G-Coupled Protein Receptors

3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Exton, PA

Develop a combination of novel protein engineering and crystallization methods to acquire previously unavailable molecular structure data on a medically important class of membrane-embedded proteins.

Requested ATP funds: $1,998 K
Est. project budget: $3,669 K
Announced: July 1995

Diamond-Like Nanocomposite Technology

Advanced Refractory Technologies, Inc., Buffalo, NY

Develop scientific understanding and basic process-control information to enable the use of "diamond-like nanocomposite" (DLN) films, a new family of thin-film materials, in a wide range of industrial applications.

Requested ATP funds: $1,996 K
Est. project budget: $3,673 K
Announced: July 1995

Development of Closed Cycle Air Refrigeration Technology for Refrigeration Markets

Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., Allentown, PA Lewis Energy Systems, Inc. (North Salt Lake, UT)

Design, fabricate, and pilot test a new form of industrial refrigeration equipment using dry air as the working fluid in a closed cycle at high pressures.

Requested ATP funds: $2,107 K
Est. project budget: $4,301 K
Announced: July 1995

Universal Donor Organs for Transplantation

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., New Haven, CT

Develop molecular biology and enzymology techniques to produce transgenic animals as a source of donor organs for transplantation that express human genes to eliminate hyperacute rejection response in the patient.

Requested ATP funds: $1,999 K
Est. project budget: $3,203 K
Announced: July 1995

Marine Microorganisms and Saline Fermentation: A New Industrial Resource

Aphios Corporation, Woburn, MA

Develop a knowledge base and technology platform to tap into the pharmaceutically, industrially, and environmentally valuable chemical diversity that remains unexplored in enormous numbers of marine microorganisms.

Requested ATP funds: $2,000 K
Est. project budget: $2,600 K
Announced: July 1995

Development of New Technologies for Treating and Recycling Wastewater from Aquaculture Facilities

Aquatic Systems/Kent SeaFarms Corporation, San Diego, CA

Develop new wastewater treatment technologies that are cost-effective means of removing metabolites from fish farm effluents to allow for water reuse in aquaculture and for irrigation of agriculture crops.

Requested ATP funds: $1,996 K
Est. project budget: $3,260 K
Announced: July 1995

Development of a High-Pressure Oxygen Generator Using a Solid Electrolyte Oxygen Separation (SEOS) Technology

Ceramatec, Inc., Salt Lake City, UT

Design, build, and test a laboratory prototype high-purity oxygen generator for industrial, medical, and other uses using ceramic membranes that can separate oxygen from air and compress the gas to high pressure.

Requested ATP funds: $2,000 K
Est. project budget: $5,805 K
Announced: July 1995

Technology Development for the Smart Display - A Versatile High-Performance Video Display Integrated with Electronics

FED Corporation, Hopewell Junction, NY

  • Analog Devices (Greensboro, NC)
  • BFGoodrich Avionics Systems (Columbus, OH)
  • Cetek Technologies, Inc. (Poughkeepsie, NY)
  • InfiMed, Inc. (Liverpool, NY)
  • Kaiser Electronics (San Jose, CA)

Develop technologies based on multi-layer ceramic modules to integrate computer functions and a high-performance field emitter array display in a single, compact, cost-effective Smart Display.

Requested ATP funds: $7,870 K
Est. project budget: $15,739 K
Announced: July 1995

Novel Synthetic Fused Quartz for Semiconductor Manufacturing

General Electric Company Corporate Research & Development, Schenectady, NY

Use ultrapure synthetic sand and fundamental studies into how this sand fuses into solid glassy forms to develop a new, ultrapure synthetic quartz technology to meet the stringent cleanliness demands of next-generation semiconductor manufacturing.

Requested ATP funds: $482 K
Est. project budget: $1,153 K
Announced: July 1995

Low-Cost Amorphous Silicon Manufacturing Technology

General Electric Company Corporate Research & Development, Schenectady, NY

  • EG&G; Reticon (Sunnyvale, CA)

Develop an improved, low-cost, high-yield manufacturing process for fabricating large amorphous silicon devices for use in medical imaging systems and other applications.

Requested ATP funds: $1,575 K
Est. project budget: $3,438 K
Announced: July 1995

Non-Chromatographic Enantiomer Separation and Purification with High Separation Factors

IBC Advanced Technologies, Inc., American Fork, UT

Develop a novel technology to separate, recover, and purify enantiomers (left- handed or right-handed molecules) from mixtures, with applications in pharmaceuticals and other speciality chemicals.

Requested ATP funds: $2,000 K
Est. project budget: $3,042 K
Announced: July 1995

Oleaginous Yeast Fermentation as a Production Method for Squalene and Other Isoprenoids

Mycogen Corporation, San Diego, CA

Use modern genetic technologies to modify oleaginous yeast to stimulate the overproduction of isoprenoids, a commercially important class of lipid, initially producing squalene, an important biodegradable lubricant.

Requested ATP funds: $1,043 K
Est. project budget: $1,337 K
Announced: July 1995

Precision Optoelectronics Assembly

Precision Optoelectronics Assembly Consortium, Ann Arbor, MI

  • Adept Technology, Inc. (San Jose, CA)
  • AT&T; Bell Laboratories (Princeton, NJ)
  • Boeing Company (Kent, WA)
  • Ford Motor Company (Dearborn, MI)
  • Motorola, Inc. - Phoenix Corporate Research Laboratories (Tempe, AZ)
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology Center for Manufacturing Systems (Newark, NJ)
  • National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (Ann Arbor, MI)

Develop key technologies to enable fast, flexible automated assembly of optoelectronics systems.

Requested ATP funds: $4,936 K
Est. project budget: $10,181 K
Announced: July 1995

RNA Binding Protein Technology for Identification of Novel Therapeutics

Symphony Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Malvern, PA

Develop assays and other molecular technologies to identify compounds that can modulate production of specific proteins, by intervening in the action of RNA binding proteins, for the treatment of diseases, including CNS disorders, cancer, and viral infections.

Requested ATP funds: $1,707 K
Est. project budget: $2,284 K
Announced: July 1995

Novel X-ray Source for CT Scanners

Teledyne Electronic Technologies, Rancho Cordova, CA

Develop a novel cooling technology for the X-ray tubes used in computed tomography scanners to permit longer continuous use of the scanning equipment, greatly reducing costs and increasing use of this important diagnostic tool.

Requested ATP funds: $1,165 K
Est. project budget: $1,739 K
Announced: July 1995

Cost-Effective Planar Solid Oxide Fuel Cells for Power Generation

The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, MI

  • IBM Microelectronics (Hopewell Junction, NY)

Develop high-temperature ceramic and manufacturing technologies for a cost-effective 1- to 2-kilowatt planar solid oxide fuel cell that generates efficient and environmentally sound electric power from natural gas.

Requested ATP funds: $2,070 K
Est. project budget: $4,225 K
Announced: July 1995

Non-Contact Optical Metrology of Complex Surface Forms for Precision Industrial Manufacturing

TROPEL Corporation, Fairport, NY

Develop a unique interferometric measurement technology based on diffractive optics to enable rapid non-contact measurement of complex shapes such as cylinders and cones.

Requested ATP funds: $924 K
Est. project budget: $2,039 K
Announced: July 1995

ATP Competition on DNA Diagnostics, 1995

Self-Contained Cartridge Integrating Nucleic Acid Extraction, Specific Target Amplification, and "Dip Stick" Immediate Detection

Immunological Associates of Denver, Denver, CO

A cartridge-based method of detecting specific DNA sequences will be developed in which DNA in a sample will be extracted, probed for medically relevant genetic sequences, and only then made visible via a series of reactions that agglutinate dyed beads into colored particles.

Requested ATP funds: $1,581 K
Est. project budget: $1,671 K
Announced: July 1995

An Integrated Microelectronic DNA Diagnostic System

Nanogen, Inc., San Diego, CA

To speed the entry of cost-effective DNA analysis into the clinical diagnostic laboratory, an integrated system is proposed that will carry out all necessary sample preparation and analytical procedures in a linked series of microfabricated sites that sum into a microlaboratory on a single chip.

Requested ATP funds: $2,000 K
Est. project budget: $3,500 K
Announced: July 1995

DNA Diagnostics Using Self-Detected Target-Cycling Reaction (SD-TCR)

NAVIX, Inc., Camarillo, CA

Develop a rapid, low-cost DNA diagnostic system that detects DNA sequences associated with disease, and automatically triggers complementary cascade reactions for DNA amplification and signal generation using current clinical laboratory instruments.

Requested ATP funds: $2,000 K
Est. project budget: $3,116 K
Announced: July 1995

Real-Time Micro-PCR Analysis System

Perkin Elmer Corporation – Applied Biosystems Division, Foster City, CA

  • EG&G; IC Sensors (Milpitas, CA)
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, TN)
  • Cornell University Medical College (New York, NY)
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, LA)

A combination of microfabricated elements for sample preparation, amplification, and detection will be integrated for DNA-based analyses in a system that will allow the use of minimal sample volumes.

Requested ATP funds: $7,281 K
Est. project budget: $14,659 K
Announced: July 1995

Arrayed Primer Extension (APEX): The Next Generation DNA Analysis System for Sequencing in DNA Diagnosis

Pharmacia Biotech, Inc., Piscataway, NJ

  • Identigene, Inc. (Houston, TX)
  • BioImage Systems Corporation (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, TX)
  • Duke University (Durham, NC)

A biochemical strategy known as "arrayed primer extension" is proposed as the basis for a cost-effective and accurate genetic sequencing method intended for detecting and diagnosing genetic disorders.

Requested ATP funds: $5,785 K
Est. project budget: $11,598 K
Announced: July 1995

Generation and Development of Novel Nucleic Acid Binding Proteins and Their Use as DNA Diagnostics

Sangamo BioSciences, Ross, CA

Develop a versatile and robust means of generating protein-based agents capable of binding and cleaving DNA at any predetermined site as the basis of a mutation-detection system intended for diagnosing genetic and pathogenic human diseases as well as for human therapeutics, research reagents, and veterinary/agricultural products.

Requested ATP funds: $2,000 K
Est. project budget: $2,456 K
Announced: July 1995

Development of Bar Code Diagnostics for DNA Analysis

Vysis, Inc., Downers Grove, IL

Develop a generic DNA diagnostic technology, called Bar Code Diagnostics, in which up to 100 DNA tests for infectious or genetic diseases can be performed simultaneously in a miniaturized system that may not require amplification of the sample DNA.

Requested ATP funds: $2,000 K
Est. project budget: $4,274 K
Announced: July 1995

Released July 13, 1995, Updated November 27, 2017