Decon Blend is mixed for use at a fire and police training session. The product was developed at tested at the CCDC Chemical Biological Center and transferred to a civilian partner for commercialization. It is lighter and takes up less space than most conventional liquid decontamination products like bleach or hydrogen peroxide-based products.
Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD – The Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Chemical Biological Center received two awards from the Federal Laboratory Consortium during the organization’s annual national meeting Aug. 31.
Members of the Center’s Technology Transfer (T2) Office and staff from partner organizations were awarded the 2020 State and Local Economic Development Award by the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) for the Maryland Defense Technology Commercialization (DefTech) Center initiative collaboration with the Maryland Department of Commerce, the Harford County Economic Development Office and CCDC Army Research Laboratory.
DefTech is a free program of the Maryland Department of Commerce (MDC), funded by the MDC Office of Economic Adjustment to support connections between Maryland businesses and Department of Defense (DoD) laboratories. DefTech facilitates business networks and partnering between businesses and the Chemical Biological Center and other federal labs who can leverage technology transfer mechanisms to offer patent licenses, test services and collaborative research and development opportunities with industry and academia. The collaboration has successfully allowed businesses to remain competitive by helping them leverage cutting-edge technology, facilities, equipment and expertise.
Founded in 2018 through a grant from the DoD Office of Economic Adjustment, in partnership with the Harford County Office of Community & Economic Development and U.S. Army labs at Aberdeen Proving Ground, the DefTech Center, has served 58 clients and four new startup companies. As a result of the program, 170 client jobs have been retained and more than $19 million was raised in client investment capital.
According to DefTech officials, the DefTech Center “created a state-specific database of defense-related patents and has to date identified more than 150 patents matched to the needs of its client businesses.” The DefTech Center has been awarded $750,000 in additional federal funding through the Federal Economic Development Administration under its i6 Innovation grant program.
The Center’s T2 staff and researchers, along with and partners from other organizations, were also recognized for their work in commercializing a decontamination powder originally developed by the Army.
The Maryland Defense Technology Commercialization Center opened in 2018 as a partnership between the DoD, the State of Maryland, and Harford County to provide opportunities for local businesses to partner with DoD laboratories at Aberdeen Proving Ground.
A collaborative research team created by the Chemical Biological Center developed and tested the Solid Decontamination (Decon) Blend as part of the laboratory’s ongoing search for an easy-to-use product to protect against the harmful effects of chemical and biological agents. The product, which addresses many of the limitations of liquid decontaminants, was commercialized through multiple technology transfer agreements with a start-up, MQM Solutions Inc. of Cleveland. A patent license agreement and a cooperative research and development agreement, both signed in early 2019, quickly led to further research and development and field testing. MQM Solutions is producing both military (JGPD-HME M333) and commercial (Decon PLUSTM) versions of the decontaminant.
Each Decon PLUS Kit comprises three laminated-foil pouches of decontaminant powder, stable for at least five years if unopened. The powder is easily reconstituted with any water source, including saltwater or brackish water. Decon PLUS is available in a range of sizes to produce as little as 18 fluid ounces of solution (for personal protective equipment or other small pieces of equipment) or up to 25 gallons (for vehicles or large-scale decontamination lines).
The unique decontaminant chemical formulation is lighter and takes up less space than most conventional liquid decontamination products like bleach or hydrogen peroxide-based products. In addition, many liquid decontaminants are corrosive to multiple materials, are incompatible with materials like plastics or paints, are complicated to use, or require special packaging.
The transferred technology expands federal security strategies against potential biological and chemical weapons beyond the defense arena to environments like public transport or manufacturing. Civilian users include law enforcement, fire and rescue, and emergency preparedness.
The Army’s Technology Transfer Program supports the commercialization of technologies developed by Army laboratories. According to Amanda Hess, Office of Research and Technology Applications in the Center’s T2 office, “The DefTech Center initiative has been an exciting partnership and continues to demonstrate how important it is for us to break down traditional barriers of partnering that exist with the federal government.”
The Federal Laboratory Consortium is a formally chartered, nationwide network of more than 300 federal laboratories, agencies, and research centers that fosters commercialization best practice strategies and opportunities for accelerating federal technologies from out of the labs and into the marketplace.
Since June 2020, the CBC’s Technology Transfer office has partnered with DefTech to create an educational series for laboratory scientists and engineers that has included a workshop on how to pitch their innovations to commercial businesses and investors. In the future, the DefTech Center will provide seed funding for companies commercializing lab intellectual property, a customized pitch program to connect lab scientists and local entrepreneurs, and new entrepreneurship resources at local community colleges
“The success of the DefTech Center has been the fruit of outstanding partnership between the federal labs, Maryland Department of Commerce and the Harford County Economic Development Office,” said Hess. “We are excited to see what the future brings to the synergy that has been created within these networks.”
For more information on the DefTech Center or to learn how the T2 office can support your growing business, visit deftechmd.net or contact Amanda Hess at email@example.com