RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced 26 small technology-based businesses and four universities will receive incentive grants to commercialize their research in clean energy, cybersecurity, data analytics, life sciences, and unmanned systems. The new Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) grants award $2.48 million in funding and leverage more than $13 million in matching investments to drive progress in emerging technologies.

“These entrepreneurs and innovators are on the front lines of bringing new products and technologies to market, while driving job creation and supporting Virginia’s economic recovery efforts,” said Governor Northam. “I am pleased that the Commonwealth is able to support these growing companies as they develop high-potential solutions in emerging industries and build businesses from research started right here in Virginia.”

Administered by Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), CRCF invests in priority research and commercialization activities through the private sector, academia, and nonprofit research institutes. The fund accelerates innovation and economic growth in Virginia by advancing solutions to important state, national, and international challenges through technology research, development, and commercialization. Since it began in 2011, CRCF has awarded more than $30 million to help launch nearly 380 early-stage technology projects in strategically important industries.

“Virginia’s public and private institutions of higher education, tech companies, federal labs, and nonprofit research organizations must have early-stage funding and support to launch and grow their ideas,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “We congratulate the recipients, and I look forward to watching them thrive in the Commonwealth.” 

“Investing in research today is important for the future of Virginia’s technology economy, and these awards pave the way for continued innovation leadership,” said Ed Albrigo, President and CEO of CIT. “These award recipients are advancing a number of new technologies, such as therapeutics, including those for infectious disease; unmanned systems for agriculture, utilities, and smart buildings; and increased cybersecurity for the healthcare industry. We are very proud of our role in helping to bring these innovative solutions to market.”

The CRCF programs help Virginia companies, higher education institutions, and nonprofit research institutes commercialize early-stage technologies that offer significant potential for economic benefit to Virginia. Awards are in technology sectors strategically important to Virginia. For more information about the CRCF program, visit

The following CRCF projects will be awarded, contingent upon acceptance of award terms and conditions:

Commercialization Program

Commonwealth Trading Partners, Inc. | Mr. Tom Fergus

Cloud Search Tool for Export Commodity Classification, $74,705, Data Analytics, Alexandria

Cowden Technologies, LLC | Mr. Mickey Cowden

A Smart Docking Station for Drones, $75,000, Unmanned Systems, Blacksburg   

Eksdyne Inc. | Mr. Joshua Eckstein

A Magnetohydrodynamic Actuator System for Robotics, $74,915, Unmanned Systems, Blacksburg

GATACA LLC | Dr. Johanna Craig

GAT for NGS: A Bioinformatics Tool for Hepatitis B Virus Quasispecies – Incorporating Machine Learning, $75,000, Data Analytics, Newport

Lumin | Mr. Michael Hibshman

Promoting Residential Solar PV Development Through Curtailment of Excess Production Off-Grid, $64,917, Clean Energy, Charlottesville

Meru Biotechnologies, LLC | Mr. Daniel Rodenhaver

Development of the Minimum Viable Product for a Free Solution Biomolecular Characterization Device, $75,000, Life Sciences, Richmond

Onclave Networks, Inc | Mr. James Taylor

Secure IoT: A Zero-Trust Platform for Elimination of OT Attack Surface, $75,000, Cybersecurity, McLean

Organizing4Innovation | Dr. Floor Blindenbach

Using Team-Learning and Teamwork-Quality Indicators as Objective Performance Assessments to Vet Early-Stage Innovation Teams, $50,450, Data Analytics, Vienna          

SCOUT Inc. (formerly Eighth Continent Technologies, Inc.) | Mr. Sergio Gallucci

Demonstrating Small Satellite Technology to Enable Satellite Health Inspections in Geostationary Orbit, $74,816, Unmanned Systems, Alexandria     

Sentinel Robotic Solutions, LLC | Mr. John Robinson    

Sentinel Aerium: American-Made Class I UAS with Disruptive Flight Endurance Technology, $75,000, Unmanned Systems, Wallops Island

Service Robotics & Technologies | Dr. Gregory Scott

A Software Command Center for Scheduling and Optimizing Robots and Humans in Smart Buildings, $75,000, Unmanned Systems, Springfield

Techulon Inc. | Dr. Nrusingh Mohapatra

PPNA-Based Antimicrobial Therapeutics Against Multi-Drug-Resistant Pseudomonas and Acinetobacter, $75,000, Life Sciences, Blacksburg

Matching Funds Program

Old Dominion University Research Foundation | Dr. Sachin Shetty

Blockchain-Empowered Cyber-Resilient IoT Security Solution, $150,000, Cybersecurity, Norfolk

University of Virginia | Dr. Leon Farhi

Machine Learning Technology for Prediction of Future Glucose Fluctuations to Enable a New Generation of Adaptive Glucose Control in Diabetes, $137,453, Life Sciences, Charlottesville

University of Virginia | Dr. Xi Yang

Novel Automated System to Measure Plant Health, $150,000, Unmanned Systems, Charlottesville

Virginia Commonwealth University | Dr. Frank Gupton

Development of Novel Heterogeneous Cross-Coupling Catalysts for Pharmaceutical Applications, $150,000, Life Sciences, Richmond

Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Matching Funds Programs

AgroSpheres, Inc. | Mr. Ameer Shakeel

AgroSpheres Enabled RNAi Delivery for Agriculture, $75,000, Life Sciences, Charlottesville

Aquasys LLC | Mr. Tyler Locke

Commercializing a Precision Agricultural System for Irrigation, Fertilizer, and Spray Scheduling, $75,000, Data Analytics, Alexandria

Azimuth1 | Mr. Jason Dalton

EnviMetric: Geospatial Statistical Tools for Environmental Screening of Commercial Real Estate Sales, $75,000, Data Analytics, McLean

Babylon Micro-Farms Inc. | Mr. Graham Smith

Designing a Disruptive Platform for Hydroponic Vertical Farming: Addressing Challenges in Effective Urban Farming and the Elimination of Food Deserts, $75,000, Data Analytics, Charlottesville

BEM Controls, LLC | Mr. Rasheq Rahman

WiseMrkt: A Platform for Transactive Energy and Demand Response Applications, $75,000, Clean Energy, McLean

Burnshire Hydroelectric LLC | Dr. R. Lee Harvey, Jr.

Inverter Controlled Multigenerator, $74,981, Clean Energy, Star Tannery

Federal Foundry LLC | Mr. Geoffrey Orazem    

Structured and Unstructured HR Analytics to Support Hiring, Staffing, and Partnership Decision Making, $73,140, Data Analytics, Arlington

ICBiome, Inc. | Dr. Srini Iyer

A WGS-Based Genomics Platform for Early Identification of MRSA Transmission in ICU Settings, $75,000, Life Sciences, Sterling

KeViRx, Inc | Dr. John Lazo

Development of Novel Small Molecule Inhibitors of the Oncogenic Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase PTP4A3 for the Treatment of Human Cancers, $75,000, Life Sciences, Charlottesville

Li Industries, Inc. | Mr. Nolan Schmidt

Effective Materials Separation for Low-Cost Lithium Ion Battery Direct Recycling, $75,000, Clean Energy, Blacksburg

Micro Harmonics Corporation | Ms. Diane Kees

Cryogenic Isolators for High-Frequency Ship Radar and Drone Inspection Systems, $75,000, Unmanned Systems, Fincastle

ReAlta Life Sciences | Dr. Neel Krishna

Peptide Inhibitor of Complement C1 (PIC1) as a Treatment for Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE), $59,446, Life Sciences, Norfolk

Tympanogen, Inc. | Dr. Elaine Horn-Ranney

Preparation of a 510(k) Application for FDA Clearance of a Gel Patch for Nonsurgical Eardrum Repair, $75,000, Life Sciences, Richmond

WynnVision LLC | Dr. Olga Zolotarskaya

Preventing Ventilator-Associated Infections, $75,000, Life Sciences, Richmond

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