ALBANY, N.Y. — CathBuddy, Inc., a client of the CNY Biotech Accelerator, and two instructors at Alfred University will use $50,000 grants for manufacturing projects.
The grants are among eight that Albany–based FuzeHub announced it has awarded to “collaborative” projects statewide.
Project categories cover adoption of new technology to enhance a process and/or product; prototype development, design for manufacturing; proof-of-concept manufacturing; certain equipment purchases; manufacturing scale-up; and other projects to advance manufacturing capabilities.
FuzeHub is a nonprofit organization providing small to medium-sized manufacturers with guided access to an extensive network of industry experts, programs, and resources to solve business growth challenges.
FuzeHub is the statewide New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program (MEP) center, supported by Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology & Innovation.
SUNY Upstate Medical University is the recipient of a $50,000 FuzeHub manufacturing grant on behalf of the CNY Biotech Accelerator (CNYBAC); its client, CathBuddy, Inc.; and CathBuddy’s catheter and insertion aid design for manufacture project.
CathBuddy, led by CEO Souvik Paul, was a CNYBAC 2019 Medical Device Innovation Challenge (MDIC) graduate and is now a client tenant.
While participating in the MDIC program, CathBuddy, also won a FuzeHub commercialization competition grant. The CathBuddy reusable urinary catheter technology provides a method for users to sterilize no-touch catheters between uses, reducing their catheter supply costs and potentially improving user health.
The ultimate goal of CathBuddy’s patented technology is to “improve long-term urinary health through the implementation of reusable smart catheters that can gather key bladder and urine diagnostics repeatedly on a daily basis, allowing physicians to make personalized recommendations for patients,” per a FuzeHub news release.
This project involves vetting manufacturers to complete design for manufacturing efforts and production of manufacturing molds. The effort seeks to complete the verification and validation testing process for CathBuddy’s regulatory submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Success in this project will directly translate to the allocation of annual manufacturing spend to NYS medical device manufacturers, increased CathBuddy employment, and investment in manufacturing capital equipment.
The project “forms the foundation of in-state efforts” to establish CathBuddy’s manufacturing capabilities in New York.
Alfred / Hillcrest
Professors Alexis Clare and William LaCourse will also use a $50,000 grant to develop two related processes that allow glass-powder waste to be reprocessed into retro-reflective beads and luminescent glass microbeads.
Clare and LaCourse — professors of glass science in the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University — are working with Hillcrest Industries of Attica on the project.
Hillcrest Industries is a manufacturer of glass beads used for highly reflective road markings.
Alfred University’s low-temperature process is expected to increase Hillcrest Industries’ profitability and employment through process changes that recycle the waste powder into currently produced reflective beads, as well as a range of new “glow in the dark” luminescent glass formulations.
The new compositions developed at Alfred cause the glass to emit light of a given color when exposed to ultraviolet light emitted by modern auto headlamps.
Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund
FuzeHub awarded the funding from the Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund.
Lawrence, who died in 2015, was a top executive at the Albany–based Center for Economic Growth, the manufacturing extension partnership (MEP) center for the Capital Region, and a supporter of New York manufacturing and entrepreneurial communities.
The manufacturing-innovation fund, which was established with $1 million annually for five years, supports activities designed to “spur technology development and commercialization” across New York state.
In addition, the fund is used to aid early-stage companies through an annual commercialization competition and an “innovation” challenge.
FuzeHub is administering the fund as part of its role as the Empire State Development (ESD)-designated statewide MEP center. As part of the fund, FuzeHub offers manufacturing-innovation grants. The awards are available to New York nonprofit organizations, including higher-education institutions, proposing “innovative” projects involving small and mid-sized manufacturers or early-stage companies, FuzeHub said.