Research Foundation News

April 30, 2018

$115,000 funding awarded to Purdue researchers, advance innovations to commercialization

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind – Four Purdue University researchers will share nearly $115,000 in funding from the Trask Innovation Fund to further develop their innovations and move life-changing technologies through the commercialization pipeline.

Twice annually the Trask Innovation Fund awards funds through an endowed development program that assists faculty and staff whose discoveries are being commercialized through the Purdue Research Foundation’s Office of Technology Commercialization.

“The Trask Innovation Fund fills an important gap between the research and development of a technology and its move to commercialization,” said Brooke Beier, executive director of the Office of Technology Commercialization. “The funding can be used to create a prototype, collect marketing data, support personnel and other prerequisites before a technology is ready to be commercialized. Often the funding provides researchers with the means and resources to apply for other grants and can often lead to the creation of a startup or license agreement.”

Funding recipients

*Jean Chmielewski, the Alice Watson Kramer Distinguisher Professor of Chemistry in the College of Science, received $25,000 of a Phase II Trask award for “Cell-penetrating Dual Antimicrobial Agents to Treatment of Hospital-acquired Pneumonia Infections.” The technology, a dual antimicrobial agent that enhances antibiotics through improved cell penetration and more targeted delivery, is effective against antimicrobial resistant bacteria, including MRSA infections, and shows promise in reducing hospital-acquired infections.

*Tamara Kinzer-Ursem, assistant professor in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, received $29,705 of a Phase II Trask award for “Portable Platform for Pathogen Detection.” The technology aims to increase the efficiency of infectious disease monitoring and response by providing rapid and accurate pathogen detection platforms at the point-of-care. Kinzer-Ursem is working on a commercial prototype detection platform designed to validate the detection efficacy of cholera and malaria pathogens using smartphone app capable of data capture, analysis and geotagging through a portable platform.

*Sunil Bhave, associate professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, received $35,000 for “Wafer Level Vacuum Packaging for Opto-mechanical Devices.” The technology uses micro-electro-mechanical systems for inertial navigation when conventional GPS signals are not feasible.

*Xiaoming Wang, assistant professor in the School of Engineering Technology, received $25,000 for “Additive Manufacture of High Strength Aluminum Metal Matrix Composites.” The technology strengthens aluminum alloys with the addition of composite materials that ‘stich’ together the alloy yielding a significantly stronger yet lightweight and temperature tolerant alloy that is compatible with the additive manufacturing or 3D printing process.  Potential applications for this material would be any application where a high strength and lightweight material is needed examples being aerospace and automotive applications.

Trask funds are awarded under the recommendations of an advisory council consisting of representatives from Purdue's Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships, Purdue faculty, Purdue Research Foundation and the local business community.

The spring Trask Innovation Fund proposal submissions are currently under review and the next submittal time for Purdue faculty and staff will be September 28. Information about submissions is available here

About Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization

The Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the U.S. Services provided by this office support the economic development initiatives of Purdue University and benefit the university's academic activities. The office is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2016 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Innovation from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Office of Technology Commercialization at For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at

Purdue Research Foundation Contact: Cynthia Sequin, 765-588-3340, 

Source: Brooke Beier, 765-588-3464,

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