Commerce Picks Projects for Research Millions

Commerce Picks Projects for Research Millions

By Nick Wakeman, Senior Editor

OCT. 4 ? The Commerce Department's Advanced Technology Program has tapped 54 projects to receive $274 million in research funds.

Among the projects are a $3.3 million grant to the Time Domain Corp. of Huntsville, Ala., to build an integrated communication and tracking system. Inc. of Menlo Park, Calif., received a $1.9 million grant to develop Internet enabled techniques for diagnosing and managing patients with arthritis.

The Advanced Technology Program provides funding for high tech research in areas that are considered too risky and long term for venture capital investment but not long term enough for National Science Foundation funding.

The grants typical cover research on projects that might not bear fruit for three to five years.

The program targets projects that have the potential to develop into real businesses and have a societal impact.

The program counts several success stories among its projects, companies such as CommerceOne Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif., a maker of electronic commerce software, and Aesthetic Solutions Inc. of Aliso Vieja, Calif., which develops virtual reality environments.

The ATP funding is usually matched by other funds that the grant recipient has raised.

Funding goes to projects in information technology, biotechnology, materials, chemicals and chemical processing, electronics and energy and environment.

Other IT related projects in the class of 2000 include a $1.9 million grant to Eternal Systems Inc. of Goleta, Calif., that is working on a software infrastructure to eliminate downtime of when systems using CORBA or Java are upgraded.

Other projects are working on better semiconducter devices and batteries that live longer.

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