TORONTO, ONTARIO and KINGSTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 26, 2013) - Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) is investing $200,000 in a Queen's University innovation that could soon make smudgey tablet and smartphone touchscreens a thing of the past.
OCE's investment will help Queen's and its industry partner, Lorama Inc., accelerate commercialization of the so-called "smart" coating technology discovered by Queen's chemists Dr. Guojun Liu and Dean Xiong.
"We're excited to partner with Queen's and Lorama to support this fantastic product," says OCE president and CEO Dr. Tom Corr. "With literally hundreds of millions of touchscreen devices being used daily, breakthrough technology that would make for a cleaner screen presents a huge business opportunity and would be an incredible showcase of a made-in-Ontario innovation that will create jobs and boost the local economy."
OCE's award was made through its Collaborative Research program which spurs innovation by promoting research partnerships (of up to two years) between industry and academia. These collaborations develop commercially viable technologies which can also result in new revenues and high-value jobs for Ontario. OCE previously invested $25,000 in this project through its Technical Problem Solving program.
"Ontario is home to some of the best researchers in the world. The work that they are doing today will bring the jobs of tomorrow," says Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation. "I'm proud that through OCE, we are able to bridge the commercialization gap and connect them with industry to turn their research into game-changing products like this smart coating."
The coating has shown promise in repelling undesired water- and oil-based deposits from a wide range of surfaces, including glass, metals, wood, ceramics, plastics, fabrics, fibres, and paper. It is being looked at for numerous applications including making walls graffiti-proof, making ship hulls resistant to marine organisms and as an anti-icing and anti-fogging agent.
"This super-amphiphobic technology is exciting because it has the potential to address a wide variety of industrial issues, while also benefiting the environment," says Lucy Su, Commercial Development Manager at PARTEQ Innovations, the technology transfer office at Queen's.
Lorama Inc., a leading Canadian manufacturer and supplier of novel additives to the paint and coatings industry, is working with the Queen's researchers to commercialize the technology.
"Lorama considers industry-academic collaborations vital in its drive to provide innovative products to the paint and coatings industry," says Alison Crumblehulme, Director of Business Development at Lorama. "Such collaborations facilitate Lorama's interaction with world-class Canadian researchers, allowing Lorama to tap into ground-breaking technologies stemming from our university campuses."
About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE)
Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc. drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research across key market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario's global competitiveness. In doing this, OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario's industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors and governments. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research, Ontario Centres of Excellence invests in sectors such as advanced health, digital media and information communications, advanced manufacturing and materials, and cleantech including energy, environment and water. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario's Innovation Agenda as a member of the province's Ontario Network of Excellence (ONE). Funded by the Government of Ontario, the ONE is made up of regional and sector-focused organizations and helps Ontario-based entrepreneurs rapidly grow their company and create jobs. For more information visit www.oneinnovation.ca.
About PARTEQ Innovations:
PARTEQ Innovations is the not-for-profit technology transfer office founded by Queen's University, and is a partner in the Rideau Commercialization Network. PARTEQ works with institutional researchers and the business and venture capital communities to bring early stage technologies to market. Since 1987 PARTEQ has been instrumental in the establishment of more than 45 companies developing a variety of products, from potential drugs for Alzheimer's, cancer and heart disease to automated bacteria detection for water systems, solar-powered appliances, and advanced materials used in the plastics, automotive, aerospace and household appliance industries.
The Lorama Group is a strategic partnership of several companies specializing in the research, development, manufacture, and distribution of sustainable raw materials and colour technology solutions for the paint industry. Skill, expertise and continued investment in the science of paint formulation ensures that Lorama Group customers benefit from cutting-edge innovation and product solutions designed to satisfy the demands of ever-changing industry regulations. Striving for a greener tomorrow, the Lorama Group works to reduce the environmental impact of our facilities, our customers and the paint industry. World-wide distribution capabilities are backed by an expansive sales and support network presently selling in over 67 countries. Owned by Lorama Inc., the growing group of companies has more than 100 employees, 30 of which are dedicated R&D chemists, and is presently comprised of: Lorama, Falcon Technologies, Falcon Specialties, Specialty Chemical Sales and Trend Quimica.