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Mtech's Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program Supports ECE Innovation

Mtech's Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program Supports ECE Innovation

The Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program (MIPS) -- an initiative of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) at the University of Maryland -- has announced 16 new high-technology and biotechnology product development grants worth $3.7 million.

MIPS fosters technology innovation and creates jobs in Maryland by funding commercially promising product development projects that partner Maryland companies with University System of Maryland researchers. Both companies and MIPS contribute money, all of which supports the work of faculty and graduate students.

"As Maryland transitions into the new economy, programs like MIPS are proof that by investing in innovation, we can move forward by creating high-tech jobs," said Governor Martin O'Malley. "Together, we can continue to make the choices that spur innovation, choices that promote education and achievement, and choices that advance the creative capacity of our people."

Three of the 16 MIPS projects involve faculty researchers from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering:

Frederick-based Cerona Networks ( and John Baras, professor, electrical and computer engineering and Institute for Systems Research, University of Maryland, College Park ($268,600): developing a broadband Internet-via-satellite system with two-way performance approaching terrestrial Internet connections that saves costs for providers and can be retrofit to existing systems.

College Park-based FlexEl LLC ( and Victor Granatstein, professor, electrical and computer engineering, University of Maryland, College Park ($141,025): developing an integrated battery management system for FlexEl's thin-film batteries incorporating upstream energy scavenging circuitry and downstream load management circuitry to give end-users an ultra-thin, plug-and-play power solution.

College Park-based OmniSpeech LLC and Shihab Shamma, professor, electrical and computer engineering, University of Maryland, College Park ($135,000): improving the performance of software that separates speech from background noise for clear cellular and other communications.

This is the 47th round of MIPS funding. The program has supported research projects with more than 450 different Maryland companies since 1987. For more information, visit

February 19, 2011

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