In October 2019, the MSU Technology Transfer Office made its debut CATalyst Gap Funding Opportunity Announcement, for funds to support the pre-commercialization activities around faculty inventions exhibiting strong market potential.  These gap funds were made possible by an award from the US Economic Development Administration’s Regional Innovation Strategies i6 Challenge program. Proposals were evaluated by MSU TTO, The Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship, and Next Frontier Capital.  

Since then, each Fall and Spring, another round of Gap Funding has been awarded. 

Fall 2019 awards:

  • Stephanie McCalla (Chemical & Biological Engineering) -- Customized Microfluidic Device Temperature Controller And Thermocycler For Use Within A Microscope ($19,140)
  • Ed Dratz (Chemistry & Biochemistry) -- Chemically Defined Cell Culture Supplements for Superior Results ($59,048)
  • Mark Jutila (Microbiology & Immunology) -- Use of immune modifiers to enhance bovine resistance to scours ($19,346)
  • Indika Kahanda (Computer Science) -- ClearCareAI: An Effective AI-powered CPG-based Treatment Recommendation System for Psychiatrists ($19,966)
  • Blake Wiedenheft (Microbiology & Immunology) -- Novel system for delivery of designer RNA cargos for treating monogenic diseases ($50,000)

Spring 2020 awards:

  • Heather Grifka-Walk and Seth Walk  (Microbiology & Immunology) -- Personal probiotics for gut microbiome health ($15,000)
  • Bernadette McCrory (Mechanical & Industrial Engineering) and Rexanne Wieferich (Nursing) -- REXSIM: Cost-Effective Electrocardiogram (ECG) Didactic and Manual Skills Training Platform for Novice Trainees and Advanced Training ($14,500)
  • Joe Shaw (Optical Technology Center) -- Transitioning a Low-Cost Cloud-Phase Imager to Commercialization
  • Mike Wittie and David Millman (Computer Science) -- Yardstick: A Gas Price Oracle for Performant and Economical Blockchain-based Services ($61,657)

Fall 2020 awards:

  • Anja Kunze (Electrical & Computer Engineering) -- Advancing static magnetic field gradient technology towards the drug screening market ($15,000)
  • Brock Lameres (Electrical & Computer Engineering) -- Transitioning a Radiation Tolerant Computing Technology (RadPC) to Commercialization ($15,000)

Spring 2021 awards:

  • Stephan Warnat (Mechanical & Industrial Engineering) -- Sensor system to detect biofilm growth in CNC machines ($20,000)
  • Stephen Sofie (Mechanical & Industrial Engineering)  -- Microstructurally Ordered Catalyst Supports for Satellite Monopropellant Thrusters ($20,000)
  • Frankie Crutcher (Eastern Ag Research Center) and Yaofa Li (Mechanical & Industrial Engineering) -- Mechanization for high-throughput pea tissue removal to improve the efficiency of marker assisted selection
  • Benfang Lei (Microbiology & Immunology) -- Chemically Defined Cell Culture Supplements for Superior Results ($66,640)

Fall 2021 awards:

  • Wan-Yuan Kuo (Health & Human Development) -- Commercializing Bonbon Bouye, a Senegalese Indigenous nutrition bar ($19,975)
  • Tricia Seifert (Education)  -- Simulating the Transition: Digital Games for College Success ($16,313)
  • Anja Kunze (Electrical & Computer Engineering) -- Developing Next-generation Biomarker Profiling Maps for the Neurodiagnostic Market ($20,000)
  • Eric Sproles (Earth Sciences) -- Integrated Snow Observations ($18,862)

Spring 2022 awards:

  • Elizabeth Johnson (Nursing) -- TrialWear: A Wearable USB Device and Novel Embedded Software Package for Clinical Trial Participant Safety Management ($15,500)
  • Brock Lameres (Electrical & Computer Engineering) -- CyberShield: Malware-Resistant Edge Computing for Critical Applications ($20,000)
  • Anja Kunze (Electrical & Computer Engineering) -- Magneto-mechanical topography for advancing tissue engineering through versatile gene expression gradients ($20,000)

Fall 2022 awards:

  • Stephanie McCalla (Chemical & Biological Engineering) -- Automating neurodegenerative biomarker profiling within a microfluidic platform for disease modeling and drug candidate screening ($19,956)
  • Joe Shaw (Optical Technology Center) -- Low-Cost Multispectral Imager for Operational River Water Quality Monitoring ($20,000)
  • Eric Booth (Mechanical and Industrial Engineering) -- Stretch Broken Carbon Fiber ($20,000)


Questions should be addressed to Daniel Juliano in the Technology Transfer Office.


Phone: (406) 994-7483