CompRex Receives $1.2 Million Award from U.S. Energy Department to Develop Advanced Heat Exchangers for High Temperature High Pressure Applications

October 24, 2018, De Pere, WI – CompRex, LLC, a Wisconsin-based small business that specializes in the provision of compact heat exchanger and reactor solutions, announced that it has received a $1.2 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office(SETO) to advance concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) research and development. 

CompRex was selected as a part of the Energy Department’s FY2018 SETO funding program, an effort to invest in new projects that will lower solar electricity costs and support a growing solar workforce. CompRexis one of several CSP projects that will develop materials and designs for collectors, power cycles, and thermal transport systems that can withstand high temperatures and resist corrosion.

The two-year project will be conducted in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Special Metals Corporation. Using advanced 740H alloy and CompRex’s proprietary compact design, the project aims to develop highly efficient and cost-effective heat exchangers for high temperature and pressure applications such as CSP.Successful completion of this project can help addressa currently unmet need for recuperators and salt-to-sCO2 heat exchangers that can withstand high stresses due to thermal loads in CSP systems. 

 “CompRex is honored to have been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to further develop its compact heat exchange technology,” said Dr. Zhijun Jia, Chief Executive Officer of CompRex.  “Removal of the current performance and cost bottlenecks in these key components is not only critical to accelerating commercialization of CSP systems but also beneficial for various applications across the power industry.”

 

About CompRex, LLC
CompRex, LLC, of De Pere, Wisconsin, specializes in the design, engineering, and manufacture of compact heat exchangers and heat exchange reactors targeted for high temperature and pressure applications such as Brayton-cycle supercritical CO2 power systems, treatment and recycling of fracking wastewater, and process intensification for the energy and petrochemical industries. 

About the Solar Energy Technologies Office
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office supports early-stage research and development to improve the affordability, reliability, and performance of solar technologies on the grid. Learn more at energy.gov/solar-office.

$625,000 in State Matching Grants Advance 8 High-tech Small Businesses

MADISON – Eight innovative small businesses in Wisconsin will receive matching grants to commercialize their innovations, thanks to the SBIR Advance program’s latest round of funding. Seven businesses, selected for Phase I, will receive up to $75,000 each, and one Phase II business will receive up to $100,000.

The state matching grant program provides assistance to companies in the process of completing a project in the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. This is the 12th round of SBIR Advance funding since this collaboration by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the University of Wisconsin System Administration’s Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC) began in 2014.

Since then, 78 awards have been given, equaling nearly $6 million throughout the state. Those businesses reported hiring more than 175 employees and obtaining over $24 million in additional capital since receiving the grants.

Phase I recipients:

  • Calimetrix, LCC of Madison is dedicated to the development of advanced quantitative MRI test objects (“phantoms”) that meet the needs of the MR clinical and research community. Their mission is to build phantoms that facilitate clinical trials, quality assurance, and the development and testing of new quantitative imaging biomarkers;

  • Comprex, LLC of DePere specializes in the design, engineering and manufacture of compact heat exchangers and heat exchange reactors targeted for high temperature and pressure applications such as Brayton-cycle supercritical CO2 power systems, treatment and recycling of fracking wastewater and process intensification for energy and chemical markets;

  • CyteGen of Wauwatosa develops and commercializes innovative biologic therapies against mitochondrial and neurodegenerative diseases. A massive unmet medical need exists for patients afflicted with these diseases;

  • DataChat Inc. of Madison is building an advanced AI+data technology so that everyday business users can get meaningful insights from data by simply holding a conversation in English with the platform. DataChat democratizes the power of data and AI to everyone, including and especially to those who are not majors in statistics, math or computer science;

  • NanoAffix Science, LLC of Wauwatosa has been devoted to developing various nanotechnology-based electronic sensors since 2009. NanoAffix is currently working to empower citizens with a low-cost, easy-to-use handheld tester for rapid testing of lead in tap water;

  • SafeLi, LLC of Shorewood aims to help power the wireless world while making it a safer place for users of lithium ion batteries. SafeLi’s novel, patented material, Graphene Monoxide, has the potential to disrupt the lithium battery market by doubling the lifetime of these batteries and charging them six times faster; and

  • Voximetry, LLC of Middleton is an early-stage healthcare technology company that specializes in commercializing improvements related to nuclear medicine dosimetry. The patient-specific approach can accurately predict efficacy and adverse effects of radiopharmaceutical therapy.

Phase II recipient:

  • Microscopy Innovations, LLC of Marshfield  provides sample preparation technologies used in microscopy laboratories for clinical pathology, drug development and basic research. Their mPrep™ System has improved workflows for specimens from Ebola virus to renal biopsies.

“SBIR Advance will play a vital role in enabling these eight businesses – and others like them in future rounds of funding – to take the next important steps toward commercialization for their innovations,” said Aaron Hagar, WEDC Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. “This program serves to bridge that gap between laboratory research and a market-ready product, which is crucial to creating an environment that welcomes new business development and attracts global investors to our state.”

The U.S. government created SBIR/STTR programs to stimulate domestic high-tech innovation, providing $2.5 billion in federal research funding each year. Because those funds cannot be used for commercialization activities, the SBIR Advance program fills the gap. Funds can be used to pursue market research, customer validation, intellectual property work or other areas that speed commercialization.

SBIR Advance grant recipients receive CTC staff support available throughout the commercialization process, including Lean Startup training, business plan review and other consulting.

“SBIR Advance has allowed companies to validate their business hypothesis that can lead to their ultimate success. As one of the few states that provide this assistance, we have garnered interest not only from other states but also from outside companies who are interested in moving to Wisconsin because of this program,” stated Dr. Todd Strother, Program Manager.

For more details on the SBIR Advance program, visit www.wisconsinsbir.org/sbir-advance or e-mail wisconsinctc@uwex.edu. The next solicitation opens in January.

SBIR Advance is part of a Start-Seed-Scale (S3) initiative WEDC is pursuing with the help of the UW System and other business leaders throughout the state to remove barriers to high-tech commercialization. Under the S3 umbrella, WEDC and its economic development partners are implementing financial and operational assistance programs designed specifically to address Wisconsin’s business startup and seed-funding challenges. Another S3 collaborative effort between WEDC and the UW System is the Ideadvance Seed Fund, also managed by UW System Administration’s CTC. Selected SBIR Advance participants undergo Ideadvance Lean Startup training that is modified to assist with their SBIR Phase II applications.

About The Center for Technology Commercialization

The Center for Technology Commercialization is a unit in the University of Wisconsin System Administration’s Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship. CTC provides one-on-one expert consulting to early-stage emerging technology businesses throughout Wisconsin. CTC has collaborated in acquiring more than $100 million in federal and other funding for clients. Learn more at www.wisconsinsbir.org; follow @WisconsinCTC on Twitter.

About The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing and maximizing opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities and people to thrive in a globally competitive environment. Working with more than 600 regional and local partners, WEDC develops and delivers solutions representative of a highly responsive and coordinated economic development network. Learn more at http://inwisconsin.com; follow @InWisconsin on Twitter.

https://www.wisconsinsbir.org/content/625000-state-matching-grants-advance-8-high-tech-small-businesses



State Matching Grants to Elevate 8 High-tech Small Businesses

MADISON – Eight small high-tech businesses in Wisconsin will receive up to $75,000 each to commercialize their innovations, thanks to the SBIR Advance program’s latest round of funding. 

The state matching grant program provides assistance to companies in the process of completing a project in the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. This is the 10th round of SBIR Advance funding since this collaboration by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC) began in 2014.

Since then, 64 awards have been given, equaling $4.7 million throughout the state. Those businesses reported hiring more than 173 employees and obtaining $16.5 million in additional capital since receiving the grants.

The recipients:

  • Cellara of Madison. Seeks to accelerate scientific discoveries via a global standard software solution, CultureTrax, that directly addresses the critical challenges of stem cell research management, reproducibility and electronic data storage;

  • CompRex, LLC of De Pere. Specializes in the design, engineering and manufacturing of compact heat exchangers and heat exchange reactors targeted for high temperature and pressure applications such as Brayton-cycle supercritical CO2 (sCO2) power systems and process intensification for energy and chemical markets;

  • NCD Technologies of Madison. Specializes in engineering and optimizing new diamond and diamond-like carbon (DLC) coatings for improving new application across many industries, including medical device, aerospace, defense and oil/gas;

  • SciArt, LLC. Spun out of UW-Madison. Rethinking design through state-of-the-art generative design technology that includes high-performance design analysis and next generation topology optimization;

  • Flexcompute of Madison. Provides high-throughput, high-performance computing software solutions in computer-aided engineering; and

  • systeMECH Inc. of Fitchburg. Developing innovative and scalable small-scale manufacturing processes based on bonding and layer transfer for fabricating advanced flexible electronics, photonics, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and semiconductor devices.

  • Varigen Biosciences of Madison. Developing revolutionary natural products (such as antibiotics) by leveraging proprietary BigDNA metagenomic processes to explore the vast biodiversity in our planet’s soil;

  • BrainXell of Madison. Offering human stem cell-based products and services in drug discovery for neurological and psychiatric diseases;

The U.S. government created SBIR/STTR programs to stimulate domestic high-tech innovation, providing $2.5 billion in federal research funding each year. Because those funds cannot be used for commercialization activities, the SBIR Advance program fills the gap. Funds can be used to pursue market research, customer validation, intellectual property work or other areas that speed commercialization.

SBIR Advance grant recipients receive CTC staff support available throughout the commercialization process, including Lean Startup training, business plan review and other consulting.

“SBIR Advance provides Wisconsin companies with a unique advantage over their national competitors,” said Dr. Todd Strother, Program Manager.

For more details on the SBIR Advance program, visit www.wisconsinsbir.org/sbir-advance or e-mail wisconsinctc@uwex.edu. The next solicitation opens in March, with applications due in April; details will be announced soon.

“SBIR Advance fills a critical role in bridging the gap between laboratory research and a market-ready product,” said Aaron Hagar, vice president of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at WEDC. “The business development efforts and learning supported by SBIR Advance are just as critical to the success of these companies as the initial research grant.”

SBIR Advance is part of a Start-Seed-Scale (S3) initiative WEDC is pursuing with the help of the UW System and other business leaders throughout the state to remove barriers to high-tech commercialization. Under the S3 umbrella, WEDC and its economic development partners are implementing financial and operational assistance programs designed specifically to address Wisconsin’s business startup and seed-funding challenges. Another S3 collaborative effort between WEDC and the UW System is the Ideadvance Seed Fund, also managed by UW-Extension’s CTC. Selected SBIR Advance participants undergo Ideadvance Lean Startup training that is modified to assist with their SBIR Phase II applications.

About The Center for Technology Commercialization

The Center for Technology Commercialization is a unit in the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Division for Business and Entrepreneurship. CTC provides one-on-one expert consulting to early-stage emerging technology businesses throughout Wisconsin. CTC has collaborated in acquiring more than $100 million in federal and other funding for clients. Learn more at www.wisconsinsbir.org; follow @WisconsinCTC on Twitter.

About The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing and maximizing opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities and people to thrive in a globally competitive environment. Working with more than 600 regional and local partners, WEDC develops and delivers solutions representative of a highly responsive and coordinated economic development network. Learn more at http://inwisconsin.com; follow @InWisconsin on Twitter.

https://www.wisconsinsbir.org/content/state-matching-grants-elevate-8-high-tech-small-businesses

CompRex Successfully Completes Thermal and Hydraulic Testing of a Supercritical CO2 Demonstration Heat Exchanger

CompRex Successfully Completes Thermal and Hydraulic Testing of a Supercritical CO2 Demonstration Heat Exchanger

Recently, the Naval Nuclear Laboratory completed the initial thermal-hydraulic performance testing of a CompRex heat exchanger and provided test results to CompRex.  The test results exceeded the expected design performance and provide additional proof that the CompRex design and construction methods are suitable for producing commercial size heat exchangers for supercritical CO2 service.

CompRex Successfully Completes Pressure Test of Supercritical CO2 Heat Exchanger

CompRex Successfully Completes Pressure Test of Supercritical CO2 Heat Exchanger

In August 2014 CompRex LLC (De Pere, Wisconsin) was awarded a contract to design, engineer, fabricate and test high pressure, diffusion bonded stainless steel heat exchanger for CO2 power cycle development. Today CompRex announces that they have passes a significant mile stone with the successful hydraulic pressure test of a fabrication demonstration unit representing the intended heat exchanger. A representative scaled-down unit was manufactured for pressure testing. Test results showed that the unit exceeded the expected burst pressure for the design.