WMU News

WMU-affiliates are big tech funding winners

June 25, 2005

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University researchers and scientists at companies supported by the University were among the biggest winners June 15 when the latest round of Michigan Technology Tri-Corridor funding was announced.

As previously announced by the University, the College of Aviation nabbed the largest single award announced that day--$2.79 million for the Center of Excellence for Simulation Research. In addition, two local life sciences startups that are among the companies supported by WMU's Biosciences Research and Commercialization Center received significant awards. And the principals at another BRCC-supported firm are involved in research that also received funding. In all, WMU-affiliated researchers and the projects in which they are involved secured more than $5.6 million in support from the Technology Tri Corridor.

"The University and the community are making terrific strides in the life sciences," says Dr. Jack Luderer, executive director of the BRCC. "While we can't take direct credit for the work being done by local startups, the state's decision to finance their research and the careful peer-review process involved certainly validate our support for those companies and scientists and our investment in them."

More than $27 million in Michigan Technology Tri-Corridor funding announced this month is going to 24 different research efforts around the state, but mostly in Kalamazoo, Wayne and Washtenaw counties. The $5.6 million awarded to scientists affiliated with WMU amounts to more than 20 percent of the total.

Local companies securing funding include:

NephRx Corp., a BRCC-funded entity in the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center, which received $665,110;

ProNai Therapeutics Inc., another BRCC-funded entity in the innovation center, which received $1,735,520; and

zuSyn Inc., a Kalamazoo startup, won $403,330 for a project that is a collaboration with Kalexsyn, another firm that has BRCC support.

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Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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