SCRA’s SC Launch!® Awards $863,936 In SBIR/STTR Phase I Matching Grants To SC Knowledge Economy Companies

June 4, 2008

Ceremony Today at 11:30 a.m., University of South Carolina Innovista Discovery Plaza, 915 Greene Street

Ceremony Includes SCRA Knowledge Economist Award to Harris Pastides, Ph.D.

COLUMBIA, SC – June 4, 2007 – SCRA affiliate SC Launch! announced today that it has awarded nine SBIR/STTR Phase I Matching Grant awards, totaling $863,936, during the last 12 months to South Carolina Knowledge Economy start-up companies. The grants have been awarded to the following companies, which represent intellectual property from South Carolina commercial ventures and from all three research foundations at South Carolina universities: Clemson University, The Medical University of South Carolina and The University of South Carolina (USC):


·    Luke Ulrich, Agile Genomics, LLC – Charleston

·    Kelvin Brockbank, Cell & Tissue Systems, Inc. – North Charleston

·    Spenser Robert, First String Research, Inc. – North Charleston

·    Brian Morin, Innegrity, LLC — Greenville

·    Dr. Harold May, Microbial Fuel Cell Technologies, LLC – Mt. Pleasant

·    Rubina Asif Khan, Nitek, Inc. — Irmo

·    Michael Bolick, Selah Technologies,  LLC — Simpsonville

·    Remis Gaska, Sensor Electronic Technologies, Inc. — Columbia

·    Jeffrey DiMaio, Tetramer, LLC — Pendleton


A ceremony will be held today at 11:30 a.m., hosted by SCRA and USC, at the USC Innovista Discovery Plaza Atrium, to recognize the SC Launch! SBIR/STTR grant recipients.  Speakers at the event include:


·    Harris Pastides, Ph. D., Vice President for Research & Health Sciences, USC;

·    Doug Woodward, Ph.D., USC Director of Division of Research and Professor of Economics at the Moore School of Business. Dr. Woodward will announce the results from a recent study of the economic impact of SCRA in fiscal year 2007 (see separate press release, “SCRA Economic Impact is $1.4 Billion for 2007”);

·    Bill Mahoney, CEO, SCRA.

The SC Launch! SBIR/STTR program provides matching funds to South Carolina-based companies that have been granted a Federal Small Business Innovation Research Program or Small Business Technology Transfer Program (SBIR/STTR) Phase I award.  The program is expected to expand in duration and scope in a trailing time frame.

The SC Launch! SBIR/STTR Matching Grant Program is designed to foster job creation and the Knowledge Economy in South Carolina by increasing the competitive position of South Carolina small businesses in attracting SBIR and STTR grant funding. The program also provides incentives for companies that have been awarded Federal Phase I feasibility research support to participate in the Phase II program.

“These programs are important vehicles for the commercial technology emerging from our research universities,” said Dr. Pastides.  “Today’s announcement is a great example of how we are moving faculty knowledge down the path towards job creation in South Carolina. Much of this would not be possible without the SC Launch! program,” he said.

Each grant award in the Program may be up to $100,000. A total of $1,000,000 is available for the trial phase of the Matching Grant Program for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007. Grants will become available again as the program extends into its second year, through June 30, 2009, on a first-come, first-served basis.  To learn more about the Program and how to apply, visit to download the Match Solicitation, Program Guidelines and the Application form.

“Our intent for the SC Launch! Matching Grant Program is to further increase the number of South Carolina small businesses that apply for Federal research dollars within the state,” said Bill Mahoney, SCRA CEO. “This program can also increase the productivity of Phase I research for South Carolina start-ups, which can make them more competitive when they apply for Phase II funds,” he said. “Winning phase II awards allows start-ups to further develop innovative technology into expanded commercial offerings within the state.”

USC’s Dr. Harris Pastides Presented with SCRA Knowledge Economy Award Today at SBIR/STTR Ceremony

Also at today’s event, SCRA CEO Bill Mahoney presented a Knowledge Economist award to Dr. Harris Pastides.

The SCRA Knowledge Economist Award Program recognizes outstanding citizens who have made significant contributions to South Carolina’s Knowledge Economy “where the value of the mind shapes the successful profile of progress and great prospects for the future,” said Mahoney.

For more information about the SCRA Knowledge Economist Award Program and a list of persons who have been recognized as a South Carolina Knowledge Economist, please click on this link: or see Knowledge Economist information, next page.

About SCRA (

SCRA is a global leader in applied research and commercialization services with offices in Anderson,

Charleston and Columbia. SCRA collaborates to advance technology. SCRA provides technology-based
solutions with assured outcomes on behalf of industry, government, and research universities like
Clemson University, the University of South Carolina and the Medical University of South Carolina.

About SC Launch! (

SC Launch!, an SCRA collaboration, assists entrepreneurial start-up companies with up-front counseling, seed-funding, and access to a powerful resource network. The SC  Launch! mission is to help generate knowledge economy jobs in South Carolina, enhance the state’s quality of life and provide opportunity for all South Carolinians in the new economy.  For more information please visit

SC Launch! is a trademark of SC Launch!, Inc.   SCRA is a registered trademark of SCRA.

About The University of South Carolina

For two centuries, the University of South Carolina’s scholarship, research and outreach efforts have contributed to the greater good of society. With 39,000 students on eight campuses and more than 350 degree programs—including law, engineering, public health and medicine—and 240,000 alumni, the University is improving the lives of individuals in South Carolina and around the world. South Carolina has received the highest research designation awarded by the Carnegie Foundation, and the University’s undergraduate international business program is ranked best in the nation in U.S. News & World Report.

SCRA and SC Launch! Recognizes Knowledge Economists Around the State

What does it mean to be a Knowledge Economist?

SCRA and SC Launch! seek to recognize those outstanding individuals in our society who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the Knowledge Economy.

Primary to SCRA and its SC Launch! program is the understanding among key economic, society and political leaders for the need to build a competitive, dynamic Knowledge Economy that will invigorate South Carolina business.

In history, economists have explored the unknown in Homer’s “Odyssey”. These experts have created society’s structures for transactions, including inventing the first Greek coins. As Aristotle wrote, we have researched “the science which has a purpose to help the people to increase their revenue.” SCRA recognizes the individuals today who bring new life to t
his ancient heritage.

SCRA and SC Launch! leads growth as a global and regional leader of the Knowledge Economy by collaborating to advance technology with research universities, industry consortia and private enterprise. SCRA collaborates to shape the Knowledge Economy in South Carolina with successes in creating high-salaried technology jobs, nurturing new ventures and capital investment, and building equity in a globalized future.

What is the Knowledge Economy?

A knowledge-driven economy generates and exploits knowledge and plays the predominant part in the creation of wealth. In South Carolina, the Knowledge Economy is growing around high-technology industries such as life sciences, advanced materials and alternative energy.

More than 60% of US workers are knowledge workers.