Ignition Grant Winners!
Ignition Grant Information
The Ignition Grants are funds available to help a WHOI Scientist or Engineer to advance their idea or invention to a more commercial setting. The idea does not need to be in an advanced stage of development, but it does need to demonstrate a given commercial application or need in order to be funded.
Three Ignition Grant Winners Are Announced-- January 2013
“A High Resolution Interferometric Pressure Gauge for Deep‐Sea Measurements,” by Raymond Schmitt, Jason Kapit, and Norm Farr.
The propose work is to develop and demonstrate a highly sensitive (1 part in 10 million), extremely stable (depends on wavelength of light) pressure sensor for the detection of ocean height from the ocean bottom. Such a device would have use in detecting ocean basin phenomenon such as sea level rise, sea‐surface variance from ocean dynamics, and tsunamis. Commercialization potential exists in this and any other application where sensitive, stable pressure sensors are needed. The sensor is based on WHOI patent‐pending technology. The proposed work follows the recent successful development of a salinity‐depth sensor based on this technology by this same team.
“Mining Microbes for Novel Therapeutics to Combat Multidrug Resistance in Bacteria,” by Tracey Mincer and Kristin Whalen.
The proposed work is to search WHOI’s extensive collection of marine microbes and phytoplankton (>2000 species) for novel efflux pump inhibitors that can disrupt the mechanism used by drug resistant bacteria. Significant leveraging can be achieved by dovetailing with an ongoing cystic fibrosis program that screens hundreds of extracts for efflux pump suppressors. Specifically, extracts found to be negatively suitable in the cystic fibrosis assay will be screened for efflux pump enhancement activity. Funds will be used to hire a postdoctoral investigator to develop the assay and screen likely extracts.
“Optimization of Continuous Culture Protocols for Protozoa to Detect Toxins in Drinking Water: The Final Requirement for Commercialization,” by Scott Gallager, Matthew Johnson, and John Waterbury.
The proposed work is to develop a robust culturing protocol for growing and maintaining a stable community of osmophylic protozoa (ciliated, single‐cell organisms) for use in the Swimming Behavior Spectrometer. This new approach to feeding the protozoa directly through absorption of nutrients from solution differs from the current culturing technique requiring the feeding of particulate food to the protozoa, which is more complicated and produces extraneous particulate interference in the spectrometer. If successful, this will overcome the last technical hurdle in demonstrating a prototype instrument that can detect toxins in water at EPA required drinking water concentrations. The biological team is world‐class and highly experienced, suggesting a high probability of success.