Small Business Innovation Research Program Provides Seed Funding for R&D
Columbus, OH, September 28, 2020 – ZeoVation, an Ohio State startup has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II funding for $1,000,000 as a follow-on from its $225,000 Phase I to complete the research and development (R&D) work on an antimicrobial and antiviral agent to combat the proliferation of antibiotic resistant bacteria and viruses, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus. ZeoVation will use the NSF funding to scale manufacturing and complete the testing necessary to bring the product to market.
COVID-19, currently causing havoc on the entire planet, is a highly contagious disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and has infected 30 million people and caused over a million deaths. Bacterial infections also continue to cause much havoc in peoples’ lives. Many bacteria have become antibiotic-resistant, and hospital acquired bacterial infections are on the rise, with 100,000 deaths in the US and costs of $50 billion. Foodborne illnesses in the US, many from bacterial infections, result in 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,200 deaths.
To address these problems, ZeoVation has developed a controlled release antimicrobial and antiviral particle with very high potency. These particles are invisible, odorless and colorless with high thermal stability. They can be incorporated into sprays, coatings, packaging, plastics, paper and textiles. Surfaces with these particles will remain pathogen free until the particles are physically removed. Diverse methods can be used to deliver these particles to a surface, including as sprays and paints. Plastic formulations with these particles can be readily developed. Considering the ease of different formulations with this smart particle, and potential for widespread consumer and medical applications, the technology will be a game changer in the antimicrobial, antiviral world.
“NSF is proud to support the technology of the future by thinking beyond incremental developments and funding the most creative, impactful ideas across all markets and areas of science and engineering,” said Andrea Belz, Division Director of the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF. “With the support of our research funds, any deep technology startup or small business can guide basic science into meaningful solutions that address tremendous needs.”
“We are enormously honored to receive this grant. It will allow us to build upon our pursuit of helping our customers make products cleaner, safer and more effective by eliminating harmful pathogens” says Steve Jones, CEO of ZeoVation, and Bo Wang, co-founder of ZeoVation and Principal Investigator on the NSF award. “With this funding, we will be able to work closely with our partners to scale our manufacturing and bring our product to market in the next 12 to 18 months.”
Once a small business is awarded a Phase I SBIR/STTR grant (up to $256,000), it becomes eligible to apply for a Phase II grant (up to $1,000,000). Small businesses with Phase II grants are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in additional matching funds with qualifying third-party investment or sales.
All proposals submitted to the NSF SBIR/STTR program undergo a rigorous merit-based review process. Startups and small businesses with deep science and technology solutions, and commercial potential are encouraged to apply. To learn more about America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF, visit: https://seedfund.nsf.gov/
About the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Programs: America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF awards $200 million annually to startups and small businesses, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. Startups working across almost all areas of science and technology can receive up to $1.75 million in funding to support research and development (R&D), helping de-risk technology for commercial success. America’s Seed Fund is congressionally mandated through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $8 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.