Campus Life

Six Additional Teams Share $1.29 Million In ADM Innovation Awards

Now in its second phase, Advancing Discovery to Market provides funding to create new products from recent innovations or discoveries.
By Texas A&M University Division of Research March 6, 2024

Texas A&M University’s Advancing Discovery to Market (ADM) has selected six additional research teams to receive $1.29 million in innovation grants, completing the program’s first year of funding, the Division of Research announced today.

Grants from ADM support faculty-led efforts to transform recent discoveries or innovations into new products for the commercial marketplace. Launched in 2023, ADM has now awarded almost $5 million in innovation grants to a total of 22 teams at Texas A&M during its first full year of activity (2023).

ADM is open to researchers, faculty, staff and students of Texas A&M as well as three state agencies: Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station and Texas A&M Transportation Institute. For this second phase, ADM invited 12 research teams to present their discoveries and innovations to an external committee of investors, entrepreneurs and business leaders for evaluation.

“Our ADM program helps our researchers overcome the many obstacles they encounter between the workbench and the marketplace,” said Dr. Jack G. Baldauf, vice president for research. “These six teams have demonstrated their discoveries and innovations are ready to advance toward commercialization. We will watch their progress with great interest.”

Dr. Henry Fadamiro, associate vice president for research & strategic initiatives, served as the program lead and administrator. In addition to Baldauf, the program’s management team includes Greg Hartman, former chief operating officer and senior vice president, Office of the President; Dr. Joe Elabd, vice chancellor for research, The Texas A&M University System; Pete O’Neil, chief innovation officer, Texas A&M Innovation; and Blake Petty, executive director, McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, Mays Business School.

ADM receives funding from Texas A&M’s Office of the President and the Texas A&M System’s Office of the Chancellor. The program offers two award levels based on a discovery’s maturity.

Type One awards present $99,000 or less to research projects that have found an innovation but have yet to identify a specific application. Among the second-round recipients, principal investigators are:

  • James Batteas, College of Arts and Sciences, “Advanced haptics using photofriction,” with co-principal investigator Dr. Cynthia Hipwell, College of Engineering, $98,929.
  • Dhruva Chakravorty, Texas A&M High Performance Research Computing (HPRC), “Licensing synthetic applications benchmarks strategies to advance cyberinfrastructure (CI) technologies, composability, and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) frameworks,” with co-principal investigators Dr. Honggao Liu and Dr. Lisa Perez, HPRC, $85,803.

Type Two awards of $100,000 to $500,000 provide funding for refining an innovation and advancing it for commercial use. Among the second-round recipients, principal investigators are:

  • Waltram Ravelombola, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, “Advancing new short-season and high-protein blackeye peas to market,” with co-principal investigators Lileen Coulloudon and Sean Stephens, AgriLife Research, $127,663.
  • Zachary C. Grasley, College of Engineering, “Low carbon footprint pliant concrete for sustainable, affordable drainage structures,” with co-principal investigator Dr. Xijun Shi, College of Engineering, $230,712.
  • Angela Arenas-Gamboa, School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, “Development and evaluation of a vaccine against brucellosis,” with co-principal investigator Dr. Allison Ficht, School of Medicine, $250,000.
  • Wenshe Liu, College of Arts and Sciences, “Outshining Paxlovid: SR-B-103 and YR-C-136 as next-generation, standalone COVID-19 medications for treatment and prevention,” with co-principal investigator Dr. Shiqing Xu, College of Arts and Sciences, $500,000

On Feb. 23, ADM issued a 2024 request for pre-proposals with a deadline of March 28.

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