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State gives companies $1.5M for nanotechnology growth

By Jim Stafford Published: April 23, 2008
Breath-analysis lasers made with nanotechnology components would make the technology smaller, simpler and more cost effective, said Patrick McCann, chief executive officer of Norman-based Ekips Technologies Inc.

Tuesday, Ekips won a $350,252, three-year nanotechnology applications award to do just that.

Ekips was one of eight Oklahoma companies or researchers awarded a total of $1.25 million in state funding to apply nanotechnology to their manufacturing processes.

The Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology announced the winners of the Oklahoma Nanotechnology Applications Project, which is in its second year. The nanotechnology project was created by the Legislature and administered by OCAST.

Ekips has developed a laser-based breath analysis system that can detect and analyze diseases in both humans and animals. The company applied for the nanotechnology funding to use to develop an improved laser in collaboration with the University of Oklahoma, McCann said.

"What that means for the breath analysis product is that we would be able to reduce the size and cost of that product tremendously,” said McCann, an OU engineering professor on whose groundbreaking research into laser technology was spun off into Ekips.

Pratyuma Kamat is listed as the principal investigator on the Ekips award.

Other award winners and the amounts won from the nanotechnology project were:

•Imtec Dental Implants, Ardmore, $229,250 over three years; Mauricio Sanchez is principal investigator in a project to use nanotechnology to modify a dental implant system.

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