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Albany Company Receives State Grant To Develop Technology Created In Clarkson Laboratory

One of Clarkson University’s industrial partners has received a $50,000 grant to commercialize measurement instrumentation originally developed in a Clarkson laboratory.

New York State Assemblyman William Magnarelli (D-Syracuse) announced recently that Rupprecht & Patashnick Co. Inc. of Albany in collaboration with Clarkson University was one of four companies to receive a grant offered through the New York Indoor Environmental Quality Center (NYIEQ) Inc.’s Commercialization Assistance Program (CAP).

The grant was received for commercialization of the Ultrafine Particle Counter, an instrument that is capable of measuring the concentrations of aerosol particles down to two nanometers in size. The Ultrafine Particle Counter was developed in the Clarkson University laboratory of world-renowned air quality researcher Philip K. Hopke, Bayard D. Clarkson Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry and director of the Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science at Clarkson.

Rupprecht & Patashnick Co. works with leading researchers worldwide to design, manufacture, and market technologically advanced instrumentation in the areas of ambient air quality, diesel particulate exhaust, power plant emissions, and catalyst research.

“The research project was launched through an Environmental Protection Agency STAR grant,” said Hopke. “It took about four years to develop a prototype in our laboratory with the more recent work done in collaboration with Rupprecht & Patashnick and with support and assistance from NYSERDA and Clarkson’s Center for Advanced Materials Processing. The CAP grant will enable the company to engineer a commercial prototype from our lab prototype.

“In the system we developed, air containing the particles to be measured is turbulently mixed with a stream of air saturated with condensable vapor so that the vapor cools and nucleates onto the particles. The resulting droplets then grow to a size where they can be effectively detected by light scattering. Our design provides better detection efficiency and greater ease of use.”

The collaboration is one example of Clarkson’s ongoing commitment to an entrepreneurial focus that turns research discoveries and intellectual property into business opportunities and jobs.

“By partnering with Rupprecht & Patashnick, we were able to produce a functional, stand-alone particle counting prototype system that could be the basis for a commercial product,” added Hopke. “The particle counter will then provide an economic benefit to New York State, where it will be manufactured and sold, as well as an environmental benefit as an effective tool for measuring small particle concentrations in air.”

CAP was established in partnership with the Metropolitan Development Association (MDA) and the Empire State Development Corporation with grants received under the auspices of Assemblyman Magnarelli. The $50,000 grants are designed to encourage innovation, product development and entrepreneurship in the field of indoor environmental quality (IEQ). CAP projects must demonstrate commercialization potential and economic benefit to New York State.

 “This year’s CAP winners represent the best of an outstanding field of candidates,” said Assemblyman Magnarelli. “The selected projects will have a significant impact on the growth of the IEQ sector of our economy, and could create over 300 new jobs in the region. I look forward to working closely with each of the four companies to help ensure economic prosperity right here in Central New York.”  

“We’re increasingly seeing the fruits of collaboration between industry and our Center of Excellence research partners,” added John Vasselli, NYIEQ’s executive vice president. “It’s our intention to continue to grow the program each year.”

The other CAP Award recipients for this year are: Air Innovations Inc. of Syracuse, in collaboration with Upstate Medical University, for commercialization of their Hospital Environmental Control Units (HECU), moveable isolation rooms; NuClimate Air Quality Systems Inc. of East Syracuse, for their “Q” Air Terminal Design Concept that addresses problems of poor indoor air quality, rising energy costs and health risks associated with spreading contaminants and odors; and OrthoSystems Inc. of Syracuse, in partnership with Syracuse University, for their novel, switchable molecular sensors for real-time detection of bioterror agents and naturally occurring organisms in drinking water.

The NYIEQ Center Inc. is an independent not-for-profit corporation established in July 2000 to pursue collaborative research and economic development projects related to indoor environmental quality, alternative energy technologies, and high performance building design. The NYIEQ Center serves as the technology transfer and commercialization organization of the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems (CoE). Working closely with the Syracuse CoE, the NYIEQ Center has assisted in securing more than $68 million in financial commitments from federal, state, and private sector sources to conduct its work.  An integral part of the Essential NY regional economic strategy, the NYIEQ Center is a partnership of more than 60 companies, academic and independent researchers, and medical institutions that comprise the Central New York environmental systems industry cluster.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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