2 Tech Researchers Get State Small Business Innovation Grants

SCIP - Yoke Khin Yap
SCIP - Yoke Khin Yap
StabiLux Biosciences is producing high-brightness fluorophores, fluorescent dyes that enable medical professionals to detect diseased cells in blood.

Two projects involving Michigan Tech researchers and small companies are among 20 that have been funded by the Small Company Innovation Program (SCIP), part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).

The Petoskey Plastics project involves technology developed by Professor of Chemistry Patricia Heiden, and StabiLux Biosciences is a startup founded by Yoke Khin Yap, a professor of physics.

The Michigan Corporate Relations Network, a program supported by the MEDC in collaboration with universities in Michigan, funds SCIP. The number of companies that submitted project requests in 2017 was double that of 2015, SCIP said in a news release.

“This funding enables StabiLux Biosciences to access the state-of-the-art facilities and expertise in universities to accelerate our product development,” said Yap.

Universities and Business Drive Economic Growth

 SCIP and the MCRN program have been supporting business and university engagement since 2012. SCIP has funded 101company projects statewide at 12 different universities, created 256 high-tech jobs, attracted $102.4 million in additional federal and private funding and $164 million in new sales.

“Research and technology transfer collaborations between small businesses and universities, such as those supported by the SCIP program, are truly a win-win-win for the companies, researchers and the students involved,” said Jim Baker, executive director of Michigan Tech’s Office of Innovation and Commercialization.  “The researchers and students have an opportunity to apply their expertise to create novel solutions to challenging problems, and the companies get access to resources that could not be cost-effectively to develop internally.  Even students who are not involved directly in the project benefit from the involvement of faculty who work on the projects and bring their experiences into the classroom.”

The Michigan Corporate Relations Network Small Company Innovation Program is a key resource for small companies, connecting them to research in our universities," said Denise Graves, MEDC university relations director. "This collaboration highlights the need for important university resources in support of small companies and their critical need for assistance to continue their progress in the commercial market.”


Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.