Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ann Arbor company one of two to receive first Small Company Innovation Program grants

The Ann Arbor-based company PicoCal will receive a $40,000 Small Company Innovation Program (SCIP) grant to support research at U-M to improve the manufacturing process of nano-structured materials and nano devices.

The award is one of the first two SCIP grants given through the Michigan Corporate Relations Network (MCRN), a collaborative effort among six public universities working to connect businesses with university resources that will help to drive innovation and commercialization. It is funded by the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

The SCIP was created to help small Michigan companies attack technological and commercialization issues by providing them access to top research university resources and talent that they otherwise would not be able to afford.

Through a competitive process, MCRN will award SCIP grants for this round of funding to PicoCal and the Michigan startup DeNovo Sciences Inc.

The PicoCal research has potential to benefit nanotechnology-based applications for science, health care, energy, and the environment. DeNovo Sciences will receive $27,750 to support research at Wayne State University for the development of technology that will provide a less-invasive alternative to biopsies via a novel microfluidic device to detect Circulating Tumor Cells in blood.

"The Small Company Innovation Program grantees will help to advance research and technology development in our state while building long-lasting relationships with Michigan universities," said Mike Finney, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. "We look forward to supporting research projects through SCIP that will help to accelerate the business development goals of Michigan companies."

SCIP's next application deadline is Nov. 1. Companies outside a university are encouraged to apply. Prior to submitting an application, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact a university representative within their region to discuss potential programs and to refine the program target and plans prior to submission of application.

A general information webinar on SCIP will be July 16. Additional information about the program and application process may be found at

Besides U-M and Wayne State, other MCRN collaborators are Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, UM-Dearborn, and Western Michigan University.