Twelve startups and emerging firms in the Triangle and another in Wilmington are sharing in more than $640,000 worth of innovation grants from North Carolina.

The grants, which are one half of federal awards but max out at $50,000, are state matches based on federal funding through two programs:

  • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards
  • Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards

“These grants will help leverage public investment in research, producing new companies, products and jobs for future generations of North Carolinians,” said Governor Pat McCrory in a statement. “We want to get research and development to the commercial market.”

State awards come through One North Carolina Small Business Fund grants. 

The One North Carolina Small Business Fund grants are administered by the Office of Science, Technology & Innovation, part of the North Carolina Department of Commerce, and overseen by the Board of Science, Technology & Innovation.

The National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Army, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Aeronautics & Space Administration, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention made awards to the N.C. firms.

The grant winners and amounts awarded:

  • GridBridge, Inc. of Raleigh: $50,000 for a modular bidirectional power converter that offers versatile storage battery configurations necessary for the next generation of advanced battery and energy systems.
  • BioMarck Pharmaceuticals of Durham: $40,466 for aerosol N-terminal peptide inhibitors that prevent and reverse Acute Lung Injury and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndromes (ARDS), providing the first therapy for a condition that affects more than one million people each year.
  • Keona Health of Chapel Hill: $50,000 for a call management system for diagnosing issues involving the elderly or persons with dementia.
  • Dignify Therapeutics LLC of Durham: $50,000 to develop the first drug for bladder control of patients with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis and similar diseases that hamper bladder function.
  • EpiCypher, Inc. of Durham: $50,000 for developing a new protein process technology for cell research, enabling new detection methodologies for diverse human diseases such as cancer and immunodeficiency disorders.
  • Indexus Biomedical LLC of Morrisville: $50,000 for a new diagnosis and monitoring test for HIV, available at primary health providers’ offices and enabling earlier HIV detection and treatment.
  • Polarean, Inc. of Durham: $50,000 for a new compact Magnetic Resonance Imaging system providing local medical diagnosis in drug trials.
  • Triangle BioSystems Inc. of Durham: $49,982 to create wireless and implantable neural microsystems, capable of recording and stimulating the central nervous system, muscle tissues, and others systems.
  • Seatox Research Inc. of Wilmington: $50,000 to develop a less expensive, faster system for the detection of marine neurotoxins that cause paralytic and shellfish poisoning, thus improving the safety of the nation’s seafood.
  • Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc. of Chapel Hill: $50,000 for conducting preclinical and clinical development of gene transfer therapies to prevent cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • HealthSpan Diagnostics, LLC of Chapel Hill: $50,000 to create a new blood test that evaluates kidneys for transplant suitability.
  • Mycosynthetix Inc. of Hillsborough: $50,000 for development of new fungal therapies to address infections from soil transmitted parasitic worms such as hookworm.
  • Cell Microsystems of Chapel Hill: $50,000 to explore the feasibility of new technologies for the isolation of single cells for broad applications in health, forensics, and basic research.