A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Covington’s innovative Gen Nine Inc. receives one of seven state grants to high-tech KY companies

Seven innovative Kentucky companies — including one in NKY — will receive nearly $900,000 in state matching grants to support high-paying jobs and further grow the state’s technology industry, Gov. Andy Beshear announced.

The $899,070 in grants are part of the Commonwealth’s nationally recognized Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Matching Funds Program. The funds, in part, will match $8.71 million in federal grants the businesses will collectively receive.

“Innovative companies are growing at an impressive rate in Kentucky, and we must ensure that continues by investing in the resources, people, and companies that are tackling the problems of tomorrow,” said Gov. Beshear. “Our SBIR-STTR Matching Funds Program provides Kentucky companies with an incredible opportunity to turn their game-changing ideas into cutting-edge products, while also creating quality jobs in some of our country’s most high-paying fields. To continue the economic momentum we are currently experiencing, we must invest in our future. Congratulations to this latest round of awardees. I am extremely excited to see your future success in the commonwealth.”

Monique Quarterman, deputy executive director of KY Innovation’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Innovation, is encouraged by the SBIR-STTR program and what it can bring to companies in the Commonwealth.

“The federal SBIR/STTR grant program pumps over $3 billion per year into U.S.-based small businesses,” said Quarterman. “These are non-dilutive capital sources that grow Kentucky businesses and enable them to produce higher wages and innovative solutions that save our nation and world. KY Innovation is thrilled to support more Kentuckians to learn about and leverage this key, accessible resource in America’s research profile.”

The seven Kentucky-based businesses that were awarded matching funds are using technology to advance multiple fields, from environmentally friendly construction methods to Alzheimer’s care. Recipient companies are:

Gen Nine Inc. (Covington)

Gen Nine is developing a new platform designed to support the independence and safety of seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders and other dementias of aging. The platform, Auracle, provides low-cost, easy-to-use, secure, autonomous sensor tracking and cellular communication functions. These innovative developments, supported by advanced artificial intelligence hardware, have not previously been employed in this field. Gen Nine is located in Covington’s RiverCenter.

3P Biotechnologies Inc. (Louisville)

3P Biotechnologies’ main technology development is a method of using exosomes derived from cow milk to deliver drug treatments for inflammatory diseases. The company’s new technology development creates a cost-effective way to isolate clinical-grade exosomes from the milk in large volumes, impacting both industry use and academic research.

Aviation Safety Resources Inc. (Nicholasville)

Aviation Safety Resources has developed the ASR eXtreme Rapid Deployment (XRD) system for electric Vertical Take Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft and other Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) vehicles that can take off and land vertically with no runway. AAMs are not suited for ejection seats, but the XRD system employs lifesaving technology and a series of innovations to create an extremely rapid parachute canopy inflation on extraction, which allows occupants to survive and self-extricate from the vehicle after landing.

CreoSalus Inc. (Louisville)

Millions of Americans are affected by neurodegenerative and malignant diseases, along with injuries to the central nervous system. These injuries can be difficult to treat, as drug delivery has been poor, ineffective and even toxic. Creo Salus has developed a Porous Brain Infusion Catheter (PBIC) for improved drug delivery, utilized for small and large dosages and short to long durations of medical treatments.

Invictus Informatics LLC (Louisville)

Invictus Informatics is developing a solution to manage genetic data for agricultural animals that would provide a web-based data management system capable of inexpensively storing, managing and analyzing data. This technology will allow small-scale farmers to produce, manage and use whole-genome genotypes for their animals, aimed at improving production traits and efficiency.

ORB Technologies LLC (Lexington)

ORB Technologies is developing a panelized construction system for passive and zero-carbon buildings. The system is designed to simplify the process of building high-performance building envelopes, reduce builder risk, reduce building ownership costs and has the potential to draw down atmospheric carbon dioxide by storing it in the building materials. The system is made of rapidly renewable biomass crops that can be grown on marginal land, including reclaimed strip mines. ORB Technologies plans to manufacture the building materials in Kentucky.

Pascal Tags Inc. (Louisville)

Pascal Tags is continuously developing and optimizing the chip-less inventory tag industry. Their unique technology uses a resonator to enable a magnetic field to be created when in the environment of radiofrequency waves. The tags are made to be a way to get radiofrequency identification functionality with a cost-effective tag. The tags can be directly printed and embedded into a product, acting as a universal serial number for the life of a product.

Kentucky’s SBIR/STTR program, overseen by KY Innovation within the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, provides critical non-dilutive capital for promising early-stage tech companies by matching all or part of federal SBIR/STTR awards received by Kentucky-based businesses or companies committed to relocating to the state.

To date, Kentucky SBIR/STTR-awarded companies have leveraged the state’s matching program to receive $8 in federal or private capital for every $1 in state funds. These businesses also have created more than 700 well-paying jobs, 45% of which have annual salaries over $50,000.  Match recipients have 218 patents and generated more than $42 million in sales and licensing revenue. Kentucky has made 302 match awards to 140 unique companies since the program’s inception, leveraging $147.9 million in federal funding coming into the state.

More information on Kentucky’s SBIR/STTR Matching Funds Program and awarded companies awarded is available at kyinnovation.com/sbir.

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