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Dayton, Ohio – The Ohio Federal Research Network (OFRN) program awarded a total of $6.85 million to six Ohio-based organizations representing industry and academia and their collaborators to advance science and technology innovation for U.S. national security initiatives. The funding comes from the Ohio Department of Higher Education and is managed by Parallax Advanced Research in collaboration with The Ohio State University. OFRN's primary goal is to enhance Ohio's research and development capabilities by fostering collaboration between academic institutions and businesses throughout the state. This collaboration is aimed at meeting the research needs of federal partners based in Ohio, ultimately contributing to the state's economic growth. The period of performance for the initiative is 18 months.

The Round 6 OFRN Opportunity Announcement, launched on March 1, 2023, sought science and technology innovations in Ohio aligned with federal partners' priorities, including hypersonics, human performance, high power energy conversion, digital engineering tools, commercial space in low earth orbit, and quantum sensing technologies. Additionally, input from industry, federal, and state stakeholders was incorporated to align these areas of interest with defense mission priorities and stimulate job creation in Ohio.

The Round 6 OFRN awardees and their research and development projects are as follows:
1.    GhostWave Inc. (Lead), in partnership with The Ohio State University, University of Dayton Research Institute, Converge Technologies, and Infleqtion, are working on the quantum sensing technologies project titled "Quantum Sensor System using Rydberg Atoms."  The objective of this project is to demonstrate the potential enhancements of GhostWave sensors by leveraging Rydberg atoms, operating at a lower noise floor and delivering higher fidelity with innovative quantum hardware and software.

2.    The Ohio State University (Lead), collaborating with the University of Dayton, Central State University, Agile Ultrasonics LLC, Lincoln Electric, and Nanoracks, is undertaking the commercial space in low earth orbit project titled "Structural Materials Joining in Space." This project focuses on development of autonomous metals and polymer welding technology for space applications, addressing fundamental challenges and constructing a prototype to support future research for the In-Space, Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing (ISAM) sector.

3.    The University of Akron (Lead), in partnership with Case Western Reserve University and PC Krause and Associates (PCKA), is working on the development of a "High Bandwidth Lightweight Modular GaN Based Utility Interactive DC Emulator." This high-power energy conversion project aims to develop a lightweight, compact, high-bandwidth DC emulator for Digital Engineering Systems.

4.    Kairos Research (Lead), in collaboration with Wright State University, Sinclair Community College, and Dayton Entrepreneurs' Center, is developing "Ocular and Physio-Temporal Indicators of Cognitive State (OPTICS)." This human performance project seeks to develop a software dashboard and analytics engine for displaying real-time ocular-physiological indicators of cognitive states, including fatigue/drowsiness.

5.    ARCTOS Technology Solutions, LLC (Lead), in partnership with Ohio University, University of Toledo, GoHypersonic, and Hyphen Innovations, is working on "Gradient Alloy Processing in Laser Powder Bed Fusion for Hypersonic Applications." The goal of this hypersonics project is to create gradient alloy parts with advanced laser powder bed fusion for hypersonic vehicles.  

6.    CFD Research Corporation (Lead), collaborating with the Air Force Institute of Technology and Wright State University, is pursuing the project titled "A Machine Learning Framework for Digital Engineering of Hypersonic Vehicles with Quantified Prediction Uncertainty." This digital engineering tools project involves creating a machine learning framework for digital engineering of hypersonic vehicles with quantified prediction uncertainty.

Project awardees will collaborate with experts from NASA Glenn Research Center, Air Force Research Laboratory, Naval Medical Research Unit-Dayton, and National Air and Space Intelligence Center during project period of performance. Project teams are encouraged to test, demonstrate, and showcase their projects to verify performance and ensure project completion. Additionally, project funding also covers a Student Experience and Engagement (SEE) initiative to offer experiential learning opportunities for STEM students at Ohio colleges and universities.

"These projects will grow Ohio's workforce, boost our economy, and reinforce our position as a leader in aerospace innovation,” said Mark Bartman, Parallax Advanced Research VP for Advanced Development, supporting the OFRN. “We eagerly await the successful results of each project and are thrilled to embark on an 18-month journey collaborating with each team.”

To date, the OFRN program has distributed over $51.4 million across 5 R&D rounds, leading to 35 research projects involving collaborations between 21 colleges and universities and 97 businesses in Ohio. These projects have garnered a total of $361 million in funding, including $35.8 million in industry-sponsored research, $321 million in federal funding, and $6.1 million from other sources. In 2022, an additional $150.9 million in follow-on funding was awarded. The program has had a significant economic impact, generating 359 jobs, retaining 96 jobs, and indirectly creating over 1,167 jobs. Furthermore, these projects have yielded 12 intellectual properties with 2 pending. Learn more about OFRN’s impact here.

If you are an academic or industry innovator with promising ideas or intellectual property you'd like to commercialize, are interested in collaborating with our network on research projects or need assistance and/or academic or industry partners in pursuit of federal funding opportunities, then we want to hear from you! Contact OFRN here.


About Parallax Advanced Research 
Parallax Advanced Research is a 501(c)(3) private nonprofit research institute that tackles global challenges through strategic partnerships with government, industry, and academia. It accelerates innovation, addresses critical global issues, and develops groundbreaking ideas with its partners. With offices in Ohio and Virginia, Parallax aims to deliver new solutions and speed them to market. In 2023, Parallax and the Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI) formed a collaborative affiliation to drive innovation and technological advancements in Ohio and for the Nation. OAI plays a pivotal role in advancing the aerospace industry in Ohio and the nation by fostering collaborations between universities, aerospace industries, and government organizations and managing aerospace research, education, and workforce development projects. More information about both organizations can be found at the Parallax and OAI websites.

About the Ohio Federal Research Network 
The Ohio Federal Research Network has the mission to stimulate Ohio’s innovation economy by building statewide university-industry research collaborations that meet the requirements of Ohio’s federal laboratories, resulting in the creation of technologies that drive job growth for the State of Ohio. The OFRN is a program managed by Parallax Advanced Research in collaboration with The Ohio State University and is funded by the Ohio Department of Higher Education.