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Nearly 20 years ago, Berkeley Lab researcher Alex Zettl synthesized in his lab a new material never before seen by nature: boron nitride nanotubes, the strongest, lightest, most thermally conducting, and most chemically resistant fiber known to exist. Now BNNT LLC, a startup based in Newport News, Virginia, has licensed this technology with the aim of manufacturing boron nitride nanotubes for commercial use in aerospace, biotech and other applications. For the complete story, go here.
Berkeley Lab startup Aeroseal LLC has acquired Comfort Institute, bringing together complementary business offerings to serve the HVAC industry. Aeroseal provides duct sealing for residential and commercial buildings while Comfort Institute offers equipment and training to improve performance of contractors and other HVAC professionals. For details about the merger, go here.
PolyPlus, a startup based on technologies developed at Berkeley Lab, continues to make progress on rechargeable lithium-sulfur and lithium-air battery solutions despite resisting funding offers from venture capital sources. The 27-employee company, awarded $4.5M from ARPA-E in 2013, has outlasted notable competitors and forged relationships with key industry players such as automakers and the U.S. military. For the complete update on PolyPlus technologies, go here.
Aeroseal, a company founded on Berkeley Lab duct sealing technology, was recognized with a 2014 Dealer Design Award for its benefits to both HVAC business owners and their customers. Said Tom Piscitelli, HVAC industry consultant, “Aeroseal duct sealing is a perfect example of a value-added service that can offer real growth opportunities. Adding Aeroseal as a component of a home performance solution or as a stand-alone remedy to comfort issues and high energy costs provides immediate benefits to the homeowner.” The annual award is sponsored by Air Conditioning Heating and Refrigeration News Magazine. For the complete story go here. Aeroseal is now offered in nearly all 50 states, with 300 dealers nationwide, plus Canada, Australia, France, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Read more about the company's recent successes here.
This year’s winners from Berkeley Lab include a fast way to analyze the chemical composition of cells, a suite of genetic tools to improve crops, and a bioinformatics platform for screening 3-D cell culture models. To learn more about these technologies, go here. DOE National Laboratories won a total of 31 awards this year.
“These awards recognize the tremendous value of our National Labs, “ said Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. “Research and development at the National Labs continues to help our nation address its energy challenges and pursue the scientific and technological innovations necessary to remain globally competitive.”
For information on all DOE winners, go here.
Berkeley Lab's Innovation and Partnerships Office (IPO - formerly the Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Management Office) welcomed its new leader, Elsie Quaite-Randall, on June 9. The Chief Technology Transfer Officer (CTTO) joins IPO following seven years as Executive Director for the Industry Liaison Office at McMaster University and earlier experiences as both a researcher and tech transfer officer for Argonne National Laboratory. Quaite-Randall holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Biochemistry and an M.B.A.. She is also a licensed U.S. patent agent. For more about Quaite-Randall, go here.
The Quantum Dot technology developed by Berkeley Lab startup Nanosys and incorporated into color-enhancing QDEF (Quantum Dot Enhancement Film) by 3M™ and Nanosys, will be used by Asus in its new NX500 Notebook PC. QDEF offers 50 percent more color, greater energy efficiency and more brightness than current electronic device displays. For the complete story, go here. QDEF also enables high color accuracy in the Kindle Fire HDX7 and has been demonstrated in HDTV displays at recent trade shows.
Earlier in the week, Nanosys announced LMS Co., Ltd. as the second major supplier of optical films based on QDEF. LMS will use the technology for its new Quantum Light Accumulation Sheet (QLAS) to improve brightness and vibrancy for LCDs. For this story, go here.
Quest, a national multimedia outlet, highlighted efforts by the Folium project to engineer tobacco for conversion into biofuels. Folium, which is available for collaborative research, is supported by a $4.8 million ARPA-E grant and combines the research of scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, UC Berkeley, and the University of Kentucky. Go here to read the Quest story. Quest is a collaboration of six U.S. public broadcasters that presents articles and other media on sustainability topics.
Two startups based on Berkeley Lab technologies made key personnel announcements this week. TeselaGen Biotechnology named veteran investor Tom Baruch as a board member. (For more information, go here.) The startup offers a synthetic biology platform to enable efficient, rapid prototyping of recombinant molecules. ProGDerm, an Allied Minds business venture, named J. Michael Delmage, Ph.D., as its CEO. (For the complete story, go here.) ProGDerm is developing a natural skin rejuvenation approach for anti-aging as well as medical treatment of wounds and degenerative skin conditions.
Berkeley Lab’s scientific expertise and unique technical capabilities provide powerful tools for innovation in advanced manufacturing. We’re also adapting how we do business to be more responsive to private sector needs. We conduct non-classified research in a wide range of areas that can help your company be more competitive in the global marketplace. Go here for details.
The April 17 Innovation section of the Washington Post highlighted Berkeley Lab startup Second Genome and its work linking gut bacteria to allergies. Go here to read the entire article.
Acting Director Dr. Cheryl Martin of DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency- Energy (APRA-E) addressed entrepreneurial researchers at Berkeley Lab on Wed., Mar. 26. ARPA-E advances early stage, high impact energy technologies. Berkeley Lab ARPA-E funded projects include smart window startup Heliotrope and energy modeler RAPMOD, among others.
Energy-saving, ductwork sealing technology by Berkeley Lab startup Aeroseal was presented on the March 20 episode of Ask This Old House. Go here and select scene 4 to watch the segment.
A research team from Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley appeared on Capitol Hill Thurs., Feb. 27, to share RAPMOD -- a backpack-mounted system for quickly mapping building energy use and identifying ways to reduce it -- at a reception hosted by The Center for Clean Energy Innovation and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. The event followed the annual Energy Innovation Summit in Washington, D.C. held by ARPA-E, the federal Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. The agency, part of the Department of Energy, funds the backpack project along with other lab research. Read more here.
Indian company Luminous Water Technologies has licensed ECAR, an arsenic remediation technology developed by Berkeley Lab researcher Ashok Gadgil. The company will offer it for treating arsenic-contaminated groundwater in villages throughout India and Bangladesh. Read more here.
Royalty checks were presented to 126 Berkeley Lab inventors in the Lab's annual royalties ceremony, Feb. 19.The event highlighted the broad range of licensed Berkeley Lab technologies, software and published books now in the marketplace. Among them: a charge-coupled device licensed by both Digirad, for use in medical imaging, and Hamamatsu, for telescopes; process equipment incorporated by Veeco into devices for coating read/write heads; a low NOx emission burner technology used in industrial heaters sold by Maxon; quantum dots used as probes for biomedical assays by Life Technologies; and a robotics technology licensed by Takeda California for use in drug discovery. In addition, over 30 startups including Seeo, Aeroseal, Berkeley HeartLab and TeselaGen were founded on Berkeley Lab technologies.
Berkeley Lab startup Exogen Biotechnology raised over $50,000 in crowdfunding within ten days of launching its citizen science campaign on Indiegogo. The startup has developed a new test to measure DNA breaks, thought to be a key indicator for overall health conditions. Read more here.
Berkeley Lab startup Nanosys reached a milestone this fall by manufacturing enough material for its Quantum-Dot Enhancement Film™ (QDEF) to move forward with plans to produce televisions, computers, tablets and smart phones with more vivid color and lower power consumption than competitors. QDEF already enables the newly released Kindle Fire HDX7's high color accuracy.TVs utilizing QDEF technology were demonstrated at the 2013 CE Week consumer electronics show. Nanosys’ Milpitas plant is capable of producing enough quantum dots to build 5 million big-screen TVs annually.
Berkeley Lab Tech Transfer offers entrepreneurial and commercialization assistance to researchers interested in moving their technology to market. Learn more here.