October 2009

Off-Grid Low Power Home Heating System

Swarthmore College, 2000 - $17,900

This E-Team developed an energy-efficient home heating system capable of being powered by solar cells or backup power in a blackout situation. The product consists of a family of innovations in valve and control devices that reduce electric power consumption by a factor of at least 50%.

The team consisted of undergraduates from two institutions with faculty advisors in engineering and external advisors in market strategy, heating systems sales and related industries.


The team is incorporated as Heat Assured Systems of New York.

Griffin Analytical Technologies (GAT) MMS

Purdue University, 2000 - $15,500

Mass spectrometers are high-tech devices used to separate and analyze chemical substances at the molecular level, useful for a number of industries but especially defense and homeland security. The Griffin E-Team from Purdue developed an improved mass spectrometer that was smaller, cheaper, and better than existing systems. By using cylinders as the chemical analyzer, the device was made easy to miniaturize, thereby taking up less lab space, costing less, and making the device more sensitive and more accurate.

The team has gone on to successfully commercialize the technology, founding Griffin Analytical, Inc. and winning a number of grants and awards. As of 2007 the company has forty-five employees and is growing rapidly.

Creation and Commercialization of the Interactive Educational Software for the Sciences

Whitman College, 2000 - $12,000

This grant supported the development of currently unavailable interactive educational materials for teaching about chromatography, environmental analysis, and other chemical analysis techniques and equipment. The project employed students to create multimedia materials on specific topics that would be packaged and sold through the Web and other means. Battele Pacific lab (BPNL) was a partner and advisor to the project. Three teams worked on different products, each consisting of several students from varied backgrounds.

Technical Entrepreneurship Portable Insulin Cooler

University of Miami, 2000 - $6,500

This grant supported the development of a prototype for a small, portable, battery-powered cooler for transporting heat- and cold-sensitive materials such as insulin for periods greater than forty-eight hours. The device was designed to be cost competitive with existing coolers using cooler packs, and offer greater temperature control, longer storage, and additional features, such as a syringe and blood sugar measuring equipment compartment. The market projected to be 50-100k units based on diabetic usage in the US. The E-Team was composed of five biomedical engineering students and faculty advisors from the department. The team worked with two companies that manufacture the key components of the device, a thermoelectric cooling system and moldable paraffin insulation.

Teledaze Step-In Telemark Binding

University of Colorado - Boulder, 2000 - $11,500

This grant supported the development of a new step-in telemark ski binding. Using NCIIA funding, the team further developed and refined a design for a binding that improves on existing technology to provide a superior step-in binding with few moving parts, low weight and applicability to both lift area and backcountry situations. The members of the team included dedicated teleskiers and a group of advisors with appropriate experience and connections. The team built and tested prototypes, developed a market survey and business plan, and explored IP opportunities.

Monarch Team

University of Colorado - Boulder, 2000 - $6,500

This grant supported development of a commercial version of an educational plush toy that realistically models the life stages of the Monarch butterfly. The toy, which was developed in collaboration with scientists at a local butterfly farm, is highly accurate and interactive, allowing the user to physically transform it from larva to pupa to emergent adult butterfly. The team of engineering students enlisted faculty advisors in engineering and business, as well as mentors from The Butterfly Pavilion, a local nature museum. The team planned to develop patent protection, redesign the prototype for manufacturability and cost, and develop a marketing plan.


University of the Arts, 2000 - $12,325

This E-Team received a grant to design and prototype an outdoor "café" chair made from a new material called Supramics, a composite made principally of flyash and sawdust combined under pressure in the presence of supercritical CO2. The team leader is an advanced graduate student with substantial experience in furniture and materials design. He has put together a strong team and obtained the assistance of the owner of the technology to be used for design and prototyping. The target market is inexpensive outdoor furniture, a very large commodity market. The proposed product is designed to be more durable, heftier, and more attractive than existing products. The work plan involves design of the chair, prototyping in various materials, construction of molds and prototyping the finished product.

Combined Human and Electric Powered Vehicle (CHEPV)

University of Portland, 2000 - $13,200

This grant supported the development of a three-wheeled (2 articulating front 1 rear) recumbent electric bicycle designed to operate like a bike, feel like a car, and provide comfortable, easy commuting with minimal energy consumption and pollution. The team consisted of three mechanical engineering students working with advisors from business and entrepreneurship, and an external advisor in the industry. The team prototyped and tested a system, defined the market opportunity, and developed a business plan.

Electroluminescent (EL) Bicycle

University of Florida, 2000 - $16,350

This grant supports the development of a safety lighting system for bicycles that uses electroluminescent strips on the frame and wheels of the cycle to create a highly visible, easily recognizable shape. The PI is recruiting two mechanical engineering undergraduates to work intensively on the project, developing refined prototypes, filing patents and preparing the product for commercialization.

The team has recruited the CEO of the company making the EL panels and components as a mentor. He is enthusiastic about the project, and close collaboration is planned. Prior to submitting a grant proposal to NCIIA, substantial background work established the technical feasibility of the project, determining costs and market opportunities. The product works as well as or better than existing technologies.

Screening Probe System for Coronary Artery Disease

Case Western Reserve University, 2000 - $20,000

This grant supported the prototyping, further development, and commercialization planning of a gamma imaging system to assess the risk of coronary artery disease. The system, based on new gamma imaging sensor technology, is intended to compete with existing technologies such as stress testing, EKG and ECT imaging by providing a lower-cost, higher-resolution test.

Update: The team has incorporated as NeoMed Technologies, secured two patents and received over $700k in funding.