SyracuseCoE gives Innovation Fund Awards to Partners to help commercialize innovative products and services

SyracuseCoE announced that it has selected nine companies from CenterState/Upstate/Central New York to receive awards from its 2019 SyracuseCoE Innovation Fund competition. SyracuseCoE’s Innovation Fund Program is designed to target specific barriers to the commercialization of potentially transformative innovations by companies who are members of the SyracuseCoE Partner Program.

The nine award-winning projects are:

Acumen Detection was awarded Innovation Fund support to expand the commercial use of their existing patented technology (the Acumen PCR®MYCOB assay) by development of a screening test to detect Mycoplasma bovis from deep nasal swabs of cattle. Early detection of Mycoplasma in cattle will aid in making timely and accurate herd management decisions and enable the farmer to increase their profits by saving the energy wasted on feeding, housing and treating sick and non-productive animals those can spread the disease to healthy animals.

LC Drives received an Innovation Fund award to support its development of the next generation of are smaller, lighter, more efficient electric motors.  This project will help the company scale the machine design and related manufacturing equipment on the path for use in utility scale wind turbines ultimately reducing the cost of wind power.

Cocoon construct is developing a prefabricated panelized system to unlock the market for whole‐building deep energy retrofits in New York State and create jobs at multiple manufacturers throughout the product’s supply chain. The proposed project will support the design of a proprietary attachment system for affixing Cocoon prefabricated wall panels to existing building structures, as well as modeling and simulation to validate the system’s performance.

Cocoon construct also received support in 2019 for a second project designed to develop a Certification Test Plan for their prefabricated panelized system. The project will include product compliance and testing protocols with the dual objectives of informing the work undertaken by a Syracuse University Mechanical Engineering Capstone project team and ensuring that the system can be tested, certified and warrantied for long‐term performance, thus enhancing its commercial readiness. Successful commercialization of the envisioned product promises to accelerate the market for deep energy retrofits and create jobs at multiple manufacturers throughout the product’s supply chain.

Ducted Turbines International (DTI) is commercializing a ducted turbine technology and received funding support to address the power electronics that connect the turbine to the grid and the manufacture of a robust blade system. With the focus on a quality supply chain that will enable a long-term reduction in the cost per unit energy ($/kWh), DTI hopes to remove these barriers, creating a ‘Turbine in a Box’ solution that will provide power everywhere to anyone. The project will demonstrate the development with a full-scale turbine test at the Clarkson Wind Turbine Test Site.

DTI also received an award in 2019 to help reduce the cost of its turbine duct by integrating a rotational molding manufacturing product that can significantly reduce the cost of the duct, speeding the path to commercialization.

Edison Innovative Power is developing the world’s first SMART, configurable, multi-output high-voltage system. The company received an Innovation Fund award to perform multiple iterations of advanced thermal simulation and analyses to drive design optimization and verification prior to moving to production.

Farm to Flame Energy has developed biomass-powered generators and grinders are smokeless, odorless and easy to manage. The company received an Innovation Fund award to develop a demonstration unit that will advance their path to commercialization.

Ramboll is in the process of establishing BloomOptix as a start-up and will enter the GeniusNY competition in October 2019. The Innovation Fund program funding will be used for the purchase of a hyperspectral sensor and unmanned vehicle technology that will contribute to the future commercialization of the BloomOptix team’s innovation.

tkFabricate was awarded an Innovation Fund project to support the design and construct a prototype “Integrated Mechanical Systems Pod (IMSP)” sized to provide space conditioning (heating and cooling) and domestic hot water for individual attached single-family homes in the Syracuse Housing Authority’s “Scattered Sites” residences. This packaged mechanical unit will include air-to-water heat pumps and be an integral part of full building deep energy retrofits targeting increased thermal comfort and indoor air quality while achieving 75% energy use reduction when measured from existing building loads, thus enabling the residences to be capable of net zero energy use with subsequent installation of photovoltaic panels.

Vistex Composites received funding to perform product trimming in-house at their manufacturing facility and improve safety & air quality (Helps meet OSHA Standard 1910.1000 (air contaminants)). This will eliminate the frustrations associated with the two current options which are: 1. Attempting to perform trimming manually with facemask and air filter which can be unsafe; or 2. Outsourcing this portion of the manufacturing process – causing the company to lose production opportunities (significant unnecessary costs make price non-competitive & drastically extends lead times).

“Central New York companies, like those in the SyracuseCoE Partner Program, have an entrepreneurial spirit and a history of pioneering innovation”, said Laura J. Steinberg, SyracuseCoE’s interim executive director. “The SyracuseCoE Innovation Fund awards help collaborating companies bridge gaps in the commercialization process and ultimately contribute to stronger companies and products that have a greater chance of success in the marketplace. ”

SyracuseCoE is New York State’s Center of Excellence for Environmental and Energy Systems. Funding for the SyracuseCoE Innovation Fund is provided by industry members of the SyracuseCoE Partner Program. The nine awards in the current round total $107,146. To date, awards from the program have totaled $467,345 and supported 43 clean energy projects at 27 companies throughout New York State. Eligibility for Innovation Fund awards is open to all current members of the SyracuseCoE Partner Program. The next call for proposals is expected in February of 2020. Applicants submit a proposal online and then pitch their project to a panel of reviewers from the region. To learn more about joining the SyracuseCoE Partner Program, contact Tammy Rosanio at