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Projects at five area SUNY campuses receive funding to test commercial readiness

By Eric Reinhardt (


A faculty-led project at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry is among eight benefitting from an overall $300,000 investment from SUNY’s Technology Accelerator Fund (TAF). The funding helps the project organizers test their readiness for the commercial market. (Eric Reinhardt / CNYBJ)

ALBANY, N.Y. — Faculty-led projects at five area SUNY schools will benefit from Technology Accelerator Fund (TAF) investments that will test their commercial readiness.

Altogether, TAF invested a total of $300,000 in eight projects that SUNY says are “poised for commercial success,” according to a news release.

The recipients include projects at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) in Syracuse, Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Marcy, Binghamton University in Vestal, and SUNY Canton, SUNY said.  

In addition, projects at the University at Albany, the University at Buffalo, and Stony Brook University also received state money.

The lack of funding for “promising discoveries” — after government-sponsored support ends and before a licensee or venture-capital support is secured — is a “significant obstacle” to the commercial development of university technology, SUNY contended.

Recognizing the need, the SUNY TAF program was established over a decade ago to help bridge that gap for SUNY researchers.

TAF investments are awarded through a “rigorous” evaluation process, with input from external experts in various fields of science, technology, and business development. Factors in the evaluation process include the availability and strength of intellectual property protection marketability, feasibility, breadth of impact, and commercial potential.

SUNY TAF’s investment in these eight projects will provide each of the faculty-led technology development teams with the capital needed to further validate, advance, and enhance the commercial readiness of their technologies, per the release.

Regional SUNY TAF projects

Juntao Luo, associate professor of pharmacology and surgery at the Upstate Medical University, has invented novel materials that can effectively deliver various therapeutic drugs for targeted disease treatments, SUNY said.

Bandaru Ramarao, professor and chair of chemical engineering at SUNY ESF, has developed a polymer that can convert agro-industrial waste into novel bioplastics for use in packaging.

The project at SUNY Poly developed a novel power semiconductor device and packaging technology to “enable and provide more reliable, rugged, and efficient solution” for power electronics, according to the release. The faculty member involved is Woongje Sung, associate professor of nanoengineering.

Scott Schiffres, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Binghamton University, has developed a technology that can detect the age and quality of powders used in the additive manufacturing industry “in its original space without sacrificing printing speed and without significant hardware modification,” SUNY contended.

The project at SUNY Canton in St. Lawrence County developed a game-based platform for teaching K-12 students to protect themselves from cyberthreats. Kambiz Ghanzinour — associate professor at the center for criminal justice, intelligence, and cybersecurity at SUNY Canton — is the instructor involved.


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