Today, Gov. Steve Beshear announced that Kentucky awarded funding to six high-tech small businesses from across the commonwealth, including one in Louisville. The companies are receiving funding through the state’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Matching Funds programs.
The commonwealth handed out a total of $1 million in the program that matches all or part of federal SBIR-STTR awards received by Kentucky-based companies or companies willing to relocate to Kentucky.
Bert Thin Films, based in Louisville, is a company that came out of University of Louisville’s Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research. They have developed a conductor for solar cells made from copper ink that could lower the cost of solar cells by replacing the current standard silver conductors.
The company was awarded a $225,000 National Science Foundation grant earlier this year. The Kentucky match is a Phase 1 for $150,000.
The Kentucky SBIR-STTR program was launched in 2006 to try to improve Kentucky’s rankings in the number of companies receiving federal funding. We were ranked 42nd in the country in 2006; now we are 27th.
Other Kentucky companies awarded grants were (descriptions from the Cabinet for Economic Development):
• 3P BioTechnologies Inc. (Oldham County): The company is working to develop improved cancer-fighting oral drugs that 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.
• 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.