The inaugural iGrant program attracted 90+ MEMS and microsystems companies from all over the world. Sustainable Valley Technology Group (SVTG) and Rogue Valley Microdevices, who organized the competition, narrowed the semi-final round to the top 7 companies. Out of that semi-finalist group, the top two were invited for site visits. The top two finalists were Advanced Microsensors and Emitech, both based in Massachusetts. The iGrant is valued at $175,000 and includes up to a $25,000 cash award to help with the recipient’s implementation costs.
Advanced Microsensors has a patented breast cancer screening sensor for clinical use and Emitech has developed a patented bomb-sniffing technology. The winning company, Advanced Microsensors, was chosen based on the following criteria: technological compatibility, team, business development, market characteristics, iGrant potential impact and opportunities to develop in Southern Oregon.
Advanced Microsensors’ breast cancer detection device is based on photo-acoustic technology. It combines light and sound to go deeper into the tissue with higher resolution to more accurately record defects and abnormalities. “We add value by using MEMS technology in our device so we have better technology at a lower cost,” said Nena Golubovic, research scientist with Advanced Microsensors.
While Advanced MicroSensors already has manufactured other MEMS products for the industrial market, the company’s breast cancer screening sensor is a new product in pre-clinical stage.
Emitech’s bomb-sniffing technology would be manufactured as a hand-held device or a remote-controlled unit. The military could use it in a drone to detect land mines or explosive hazards; or, a homeland security officer could wand over airport passenger or packages for immediate analysis of any explosive substances. Emitech has a verified prototype and is now lacking only field and environmental testing before being ready to manufacture the product.
There are 5 to 8 patents related to Advanced Microsensor’s breast-cancer screening technology, and 5 patents related to Emitech’s bomb-sniffing technology.
The winner will receive access to the lab facilities and clean room at Rogue Valley Microdevices. Additionally, the winning company will receive mentoring and guidance in legal, financial and investment areas from veteran entrepreneurs connected to Sustainable Valley Technology Group. Further, the winner’s services package also includes support in the areas of engineering, business development, device design and consultation.
“The iGrant has been setup for technology start-ups, researchers, entrepreneurs, and university spin outs,” said Rogue Valley’s founder and CEO Jessica Gomez. iGrant’s focus has been on teams that are in the process of building technology start-up companies or developing new MEMS, nanotechnology or biomedical technologies. “We are primarily focusing on MEMS, semiconductor devices, microelectronics, biomedical, nanotechnology, and wafer fabrication technologies,” Gomez added.
The mission of the iGrant is to foster technology and business growth. Bringing new technology to market is difficult and the iGrant was designed to help individuals with good ideas see those ideas through to completion by providing funding, business support, equipment, facilities and expert consultation.
Specializing in MEMS and biomedical device fabrication, Rogue Valley Microdevices is a full service MEMS foundry that combines state-of-the-art process modules with the engineering experience and expertise to seamlessly go from custom design to device manufacturing. With our extensive list of process capabilities, all front-end processing is performed in house. Maintaining all MEMS process capabilities in house enables us to decrease manufacturing lead-times while improving device yield and performance.
Rogue Valley Microdevices offers over 50 unique MEMS manufacturing and thin film processes to support our worldwide customer base. Our MEMS and thin film processes are designed to handle silicon wafer substrates, as well as a variety of other material such as quartz, glass and aluminum nitride wafers. Our goal is to minimize process development time, keeping your cost and lead-time to a minimum. We have extensive MEMS manufacturing experience and understand how important it is to have a robust and repeatable process.
Rogue Valley Microdevices is based Southern Oregon. The company supplies services to customers with a wide variety of applications, including those in MEMS, semiconductors, biotechnology and nanotechnology. For more information, please go to: http://www.roguevalleymicro.com/contact.php.
Sustainable Valley Technology Group is a unique economic development initiative founded in July 2010 to create a more prosperous economy in Southern Oregon. Sustainable Valley is an independent 501c3 non-profit organization focused on supporting emerging industries commonly not funded by traditional VC and angel investors. Sustainable Valley manages an advanced business accelerator to support the growth of innovative, start-up companies in Southern Oregon. The accelerator is customized for each company that wins a spot. Sustainable Valley receives funding or donations from the Business Oregon, Jackson County, Medford Urban Renewal Agency, Meyer Memorial Trust, the Oregon Community Foundation and other foundations, agencies and businesses. For more information, contact Heather Stafford, Executive Director of Sustainable Valley, 541-414-0000, firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can also be found at: http://www.svtg.org/about-us.