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TECH COMMERCIALIZATION SUCCESS STORIES
CHARLES WYMAN Professor, Chemical/Environmental Engineering Biomass sources such as poplar wood and switchgrass are abundant and renewable because they come from non-food sources. Working in partnership with joint-venture partner MG Fuels, UCR chemical engineer Charles Wyman is pioneering new approaches involving the pretreatment of biomass to soften the plant material so the sugars can be more quickly extracted. Through this collaboration, UCR and MG Fuels are delivering real-world, cost effective solutions to reap profit from bioenergy crops, increasing production of renewable fuels, and protecting the health of the environment. Explore more at www.mgfuels.com
FRANK VAHID Professor, Computer Science/Engineering When Professor Frank Vahid created textbooks for online use, he didn’t just transfer text into pixels. He created web-based interactive textbook replacements, consisting of hundreds of learning questions, animations, interactive tools, and embedded homework, so students can learn by doing. Dubbed a “zyBook,” it became the central
product for Zyante Inc., a company Vahid co-founded in 2012 with software developer Smita Bakshi, a former UC Davis engineering professor. The company received three grants totaling about $1 million from the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovative Research program. Explore more at www.zybooks.com PHILIPPE ROLSHAUSEN Cooperative Education Assistant Specialist & Assistant Horticulturist Each year, California grape growers suffer an estimated $260 million in lost profits due to diseasecausing pathogens. These fungi colonize the plants after pruning, resulting in wide-spread diebacks and decreased yields. Many other types of fruit and nut trees are similarly affected. To address this challenge, UCR horticulturist Philippe Rolshausen and partners formed Agrobiomics, a company dedicated to creating alternative natural solutions to devastating trunk diseases. Their natural BeeZwax product possesses antimicrobial properties that can be used to seal the trunk wounds caused by pruning, creating a full cycle from bees to trees. Explore more www.agrobiomics.com
Published on Nov 13, 2015
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