The 12 NJ Tech and Life Sciences Companies Awarded CSIT Innovation Economy Grants

The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (CSIT) announced that 14 early-stage companies will receive funding through the New Jersey Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Support programs.

The grant programs are designed to enhance New Jersey’s innovation economy by providing technical and financial support to small businesses in New Jersey that are pursuing, or participating in, the federal SBIR and STTR grant programs.

The New Jersey SBIR/STTR Support Program offers a total of $400,000 in matching grants to small businesses in the state that have been successful in the federal SBIR/STTR program.

During this round of the support program, the CSIT is awarding $25,000 in matching grants to cover general business operating costs to 12 businesses that have received a federal Phase I SBIR/STTR award, and $50,000 bridge funding grants to two small businesses in New Jersey that have successfully completed Phase I and have applied for Phase II of the federal SBIR/STTR program.

Recipients of the $25,000 matching grants:

  • Bezwada Biomedical LLC (Somerset County) Bezwada Biomedical is a drug device research company specializing in absorbable polymers and polyurethanes.
  • Bright Cloud International Corporation (Middlesex County) Bright Cloud International is researching, developing and marketing computer-based rehabilitation technology.
  • Cascade Biotechnology Inc. (Middlesex County) This company uses protein engineering and gene therapy to identify, develop and deliver new inhibitors that act on the complement systems for nervous-system, ophthalmic and hematologic diseases.
  • CloudJuncxion Inc. (Somerset County) CloudJuncxion’s patented scheme uses multiple heterogeneous public clouds — such as Amazon Web Services, Google and Azure — for secure storage of sensitive data. Documents are encrypted, fragmented and dispersed across multiple clouds for security.
  • GreenBlu (Mercer County): GreenBlu solves the toughest challenges facing desalination and wastewater management: high electricity use and liquid waste discharge. It does this by (1) providing purified water anywhere from any water source, (2) offering wastewater treatment with zero liquid discharge (including brine from reverse osmosis), and (3) recovering aqueous biochemicals and minerals via desiccation.
  • NangioTx Inc. (Essex County): NangioTx has optimized its injectable hydrogel formulations for healing diabetic wounds.
  • 7. OculoMotor Technologies (Essex County): The company is developing virtual reality-based vision therapy, and combining it with on-board eye tracking to provide a therapeutic effect for patients suffering from convergence insufficiency.
  • Plumeria Therapeutics (Mercer County) Plumeria Therapeutics is developing a companion diagnostic to support the development of a non-opioid drug treating painful diabetic neuropathy.
  • Prokaryotics Inc. (Union County): Prokaryotics is committed to bringing forth innovative therapeutics that address the problem of multidrug-resistant bacteria, and to combating the emerging global crisis of antibiotic resistance.
  • Spreadsheet Lab Manual LLC (Gloucester County): ​Spreadsheet Lab Manual (SLM) is a federally funded professional learning community.  It started out as a grassroots organization for educators dedicated to propagating the benefits of spreadsheet modeling. SLM can add value to STEM education for all students. 
  • Twinleaf LLC (Middlesex County): A sensor company, Twinleaf has created a breakthrough: microSAM, a microfabricated, ultra-compact, total-field optical magnetometer with an integrated control unit. Its small size and low power consumption enable a wide range of new precision magnetometer applications.
  • Viocare, Inc. (Mercer County): Viocare works with the National Institutes of Health, top universities and healthcare organizations to create research and clinical nutrition-based solutions that are shaping the future of healthcare. 

Recipients of $50,000 bridge funding grants:

  • Chiral Photonics, Inc. (Morris County): Founded in 1999, Chiral Photonics designs, develops and produces fiber-based components and assemblies.
  • Visikol, Inc. (Hunterdon County): Visikol is a contract research organization that specializes in advanced drug discovery solutions, including 3D cell culture assays and tissue imaging utilizing high-content screening and confocal microscopy, as well as digital pathology and artificial-intelligence solutions for histological analysis of tissue sections. 

“New Jersey has all the ingredients to lead the nation in innovation and supporting young companies from their earliest stages is essential to achieving that goal,” said CSIT Chair Gunjan Doshi.

 “Alleviating some of the financial burdens these companies face as they compete for SBIR and STTR grants is critical to strengthening their competitiveness in the marketplace. This has always been the case, and is even more significant as our economy begins to reemerge and reopen from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The federal SBIR and STTR grant programs provide more than $3 billion each year to small businesses in a variety of research areas that propose innovative ideas that meet specific federal research and development needs.

“Several of the companies selected to receive funding are working on technologies that are directly related to addressing health, economic and societal challenges caused by the COVID19 pandemic,” said Judith Sheft, CSIT executive director.

 “Since March, New Jersey’s innovation ecosystem has been at the forefront in the fight against the virus. The SBIR/STTR funding will help early-stage companies strengthen their position in the marketplace, as they work toward commercializing potentially life-saving and life-enhancing therapies and technologies,” she added.

“What we hear [about] time and again from members of the technology and life sciences community is the need for capital for early-stage businesses to fuel their growth,” said New Jersey State Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, who chairs the Assembly’s Science, Innovation and Technology Committee. “Today we have taken an important step to ensure that these 14 New Jersey early-stage companies have the funding they need to succeed.”

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