Grants awarded for homeland security technologies

The Center for Commercialization of Advanced Technology awarded grants worth about $260,000 to five companies and individuals for the development of homeland security technologies, officials of the San Diego organization announced today.

The technologies are meant to improve antiterrorism force protection, port and border defense and security and maritime and land logistics security.

"The technologies of all of our new award winners have great potential to ? protect and secure our borders and ports and support first responders," said CCAT Chairman Lou Kelly.

CCAT is a public-private partnership between academia, industry and government. It is funded by the Defense Department, and its partners include the San Diego State University Foundation and Entrepreneurial Management Center and Lockheed Martin ORINCON Technologies Inc.

These organizations and individuals won awards from CCAT:

20/20 GeneSystems Inc. of Rockville, Md., got a $75,000 grant and market study to extend the capabilities of its BioCheck kit, which is used by first responders to screen powders suspected of containing anthrax or other bioterror agents.

Energetics Inc. of Pomona, Calif., won a $75,000 grant to develop of anionic membranes for use in the company's development of a carbamide-fueled battery. This battery could replace lithium batteries used by the military, saving money and improving the environment, according to CCAT.

Dr. David Lapota of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in San Diego got a $35,000 grant and market study to develop his QwikLite technology, which assesses toxicity in water and sediments. Conventional sediment testing takes up to 13 days to see results. QwikLite can measure toxins within 24 hours, CCAT said.

Harbor Offshore Inc. of Ventura, Calif., won a market study to help position the company's Port Security Barrier system to the military and commercial marketplaces. Harbor Offshore's system has an energy absorbing protective netting, and is the only tested and implemented security barrier of its kind, according to CCAT.

Trex Enterprises Corp. of San Diego won a $75,000 grant and market study to develop handheld prototypes of its passive millimeter-wave camera contraband detection system. This technology complements metal detectors, which do not detect ceramic explosives and other non-metallic threats, CCAT officials said.

Since it launched in July 2001, CCAT has awarded grants worth more than $13 million for the development of 123 technologies by private companies, government laboratories and universities.

CCAT's next solicitation is expected to open in October, the group said.

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