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UT System funding to spur commercialization of projects

Friday, December 5, 2008

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Media Contact: Herb Booth, Office:817-272-7075, Cell:214-546-1082,

ARLINGTON - The University of Texas at Arlington received $275,000 in Texas Ignition Fund money from The University of Texas System to move six engineering research projects more quickly toward commercialization and the marketplace.

UT Arlington received more funding than any other UT System institution. UT Austin, which received $235,000 for six projects, was second in funding. In all, UT System awarded 39 projects a total of nearly $1.2 million. Locally, UT Dallas received $100,000 for two projects and UT Southwestern Medical Center had three projects funded at a total of $110,000.

In addition, UT Arlington is No. 3 statewide - behind UT Austin and Texas A&M University - when ranking for-profit investments in research.

The UT System Board of Regents approved the $2 million Texas Ignition Fund (TIF) grant program in December 2007. It's designed to stimulate commercialization of research discoveries at the 15 UT System institutions by providing very early stage grants for the development and maturation of those discoveries into marketable intellectual property, in particular to help bridge the gap between discovery and invention.

"These projects demonstrate that UT Arlington is on the cutting edge of research," UT Arlington President James D. Spaniolo said. "More importantly, the University is conducting research that the marketplace is hungry for."

Many of the research projects tabbed for the TIF grants have been under way for a number of years.

One project - Dr. J.C. Chiao's BESTTM GERD Batteryless Endoluminal Sensing Telemeter for Gastro Refluxed Detection - aims to accelerate production of prototypes and FDA approval of the device. The device could help millions of people with acid reflux when available on the open market.

The other UT Arlington TIF-awarded projects and the participating professors are:

  • Universal and cost-effective surface texture on solar cells, Dr. Meng Tao.
  • Liquefaction of Texas lignite to low-cost heavy crude oil, Dr. Richard Billo.
  • Prosthetic skin, Dr. Zeynep Celik-Butler.
  • Prototype sensor network with ultra energy efficiency for long-term monitoring applications, Dr. Yonghe Liu.
  • Development of a nanoporous membrane blood oxygenator, Dr. Cheng-Jen Chuong.


The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.