CLEVELAND — A spin-off venture with its roots in advanced polymers research at Case Western Reserve University has been established, aiming to commercialize polymer technology.
PolymerPlus, LLC, has a license from the university for some of the intellectual property that has been developed at the university's Center for Layered Polymeric Systems (CLiPS), a National Science Foundation Science & Technology Center. It will seek to find specific applications for multilayered materials for which CLiPS is well known and carry out the research and development necessary to commercialize those applications.
There is a strong technology transfer aspect to PolymerPlus, said Jim Pae, Operations Director at Case Western Reserve's Institute for Advanced Materials. Films made of extremely thin and varying layers can produce unique, even unexpected benefits. Applications are being explored in such areas as optics and electronics.
"PolymerPlus provides a lower risk approach to developing long-range ideas that companies might have related to multilayer polymer film products and technology," said Charles Bush, PolymerPlus president. "Should the right opportunity present itself, we might manufacture a product, but at this point our strategy is primarily to be a research and technology company."
PolymerPlus has obtained an exclusive license to develop CLiPS gradient refractive index (GRIN) lens technology as part of a multi-million dollar development program centered on pilot-scale GRIN lens production for strategic lightweight imaging and energy collection devices. The lead production engineer of the new PolymerPlus LLC facility is Michael Ponting, a 2010 alumnus of the CLiPS graduate research program at Case Western Reserve.
The PolymerPlus laboratory is in CRADLE, the Sherwin-Williams Co. incubator in the Cleveland suburb Valley View. Sherwin-Williams established CRADLE (Creative Research And Development Laboratory Environment) in a 12,000 square foot facility primarily to accommodate startup companies that require laboratory space.
PolymerPlus is the second CLiPS startup. AdvancedHydro, founded in 2008, is in Austin,Texas, where it is utilizing polymer coatings to extend water filtration membrane lifetime and throughput by reducing membrane fouling.