A technology developed by researchers at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) has been recognized with a prestigious Excellence in Technology Transfer Award from the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC). The award, presented annually, recognizes outstanding work by laboratory employees in transferring technology developed in federal laboratories to the commercial marketplace.
The award-winning technology is a revolutionary, cost-effective coating process to protect metal products from corrosion. The process creates a protective barrier by electrodepositing aluminum in place of heavy metals, such as chromium and cadmium, which are expensive and environmentally harmful. The new, “green” process represents a major advancement over current technology, improving versatility, diminishing environmental impact, and reducing cost for corrosion-resistant coatings.
LumiShield Technologies, a Pittsburgh-based startup company, was established to advance the technology into a commercial process. NETL’s Technology Transfer Program Manager Jessica Sosenko praised LumiShield’s efforts. “The success of the technology transfer process was directly related to the ability of LumiShield to secure foundational seed funding from AECOM, one of NETL’s site support contractors,” said Sosenko. “These funds were instrumental in advancing the technology towards commercial readiness, allowing Lumishield representatives to successfully negotiate separate exclusive licenses with CMU and NETL.”
This novel fabrication technology has the potential to change the way the world handles metal corrosion. Commercialization of the LumiShield process will benefit many industries, including biomedical, automotive, aerospace, infrastructure, marine, electronics, and consumer goods. The simplified process and lower costs will likely result in a decreased cost to the end user, which will allow LumiShield to rapidly carve out a place in the $10 billion metal-coatings market.
The potential of the technology has been recognized by the local investment community, which has provided LumiShield with financial support and business-development services. In addition, the National Science Foundation has awarded LumiShield a $150,000 Small Business Innovation Research Phase I award.
Commercialization of technologies developed with stakeholder support will translate into job creation and improved products for America’s citizens. The transfer of this technology to the energy marketplace aligns with NETL’s mission to discover, integrate, and mature technology solutions to enhance the nation’s energy foundation and protect the environment for future generations.
FLC is a nationwide network of federal laboratories that promotes the rapid transfer of laboratory research results and technologies into the marketplace. NETL is one of more than 250 federal laboratories and centers that comprise the FLC. Applications for this prestigious award were reviewed by a panel of technology transfer experts representing industry, state and local government, academia, and the federal laboratory system.
The award will be presented at a ceremony on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, at the FLC National Meeting in San Antonio, Texas.