Monday July 2, 2007

License to Create Jobs

A UD technology that already has attracted the attention of two cell phone makers will be the first to be licensed as part of the Institute for Development and Commercialization of Advanced Sensor Technology. IDCAST is part of Ohio's Third Frontier initiative to create more technology jobs in Ohio.

Beavercreek-based Analog Bridge Inc. will license a University of Dayton communication technology being noticed by cell phone makers Motorola and Nokia. The company is the first to license an invention through the Institute for Development and Commercialization of Advanced Sensor Technology (IDCAST).

Analog Bridge President and CEO Gregg Steinhauer hopes to parlay the commercialization of that technology into more than 25 jobs during the next four years.

Steinhauer is licensing UD electrical engineering professor Guru Subramanyam's tunable varactor technology that allows cell phones to carry more features without increasing the cell phone's size or decreasing the battery's power (see sidebar about varactor technology).

Subramanyam's technology and Analog Bridge also have attracted attention at two forums — World's Best Technologies and TechConnect — that focus on the world's most promising technologies.

Analog Bridge's employees will work in the 36,000-square foot IDCAST facility on which the city of Dayton broke ground Monday in Dayton's Tech Town. IDCAST is part of Ohio's Third Frontier initiative to create more technology jobs in Ohio.

"IDCAST will work to create and grow Ohio companies as well as work with out-of state companies to move to Ohio to bring sensor technology to market through an alliance of university researchers, the U.S. Air Force and industry," said IDCAST Director Larrell Walters, who anticipates that the UD-led IDCAST will generate more than 350 jobs in Ohio.

Blair Barbour, a 1986 UD electro-optics graduate and owner of Alabama-based Photon-X, has plans to open a branch in the IDCAST facility with three employees and eventually add three additional jobs. Barbour has created technology that reads facial characteristics that could be used to gauge people's intent in terrorist situations.

"Several other companies have asked for IDCAST assistance," Walters said. "We are working hard with the other universities for ways to make our collective technologies and expertise available to Ohio companies. We have the strength of six universities and can help these companies gain significant and sustainable advantages. Companies understand their weaknesses and reach out to us. All they have to do now take a short trip to IDCAST and leverage its equipment, expertise and test facilities."

The Ohio State University, Miami University, University of Toledo, University of Cincinnati and Wright State University are the other universities participating in IDCAST.

Walters also pointed out that IDCAST will provide Ohio's college students opportunities to work on research similar to Subramanyam's varactor technology. Walters hopes the chance to solve real-world problems will excite students about science and technology and help restock the dwindling numbers of students in those fields.

For interviews, contact Shawn Robinson at 937-229-3391.