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New lab extraction system among winners of commercialization prize


Toronto, ON – Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) fellowships were recently won by two inventors for commercializing their products. One has developed a lab extraction system that could revolutionize the billion-dollar pharmaceutical and food industries, while the other has designed a game changing control device that will significantly reduce vibration and noise pollution from helicopters and wind turbines.

Ameer Taha, co-founder of Certo Labs and Smart Rotor Systems founder Kostyantyn Khomutov are co-winners of OCE’s 2008 Martin Walmsley Fellowship for Technological Entrepreneurship. Each inventor will receive $100,000 to start a business venture to bring their inventions successfully to market.

The Certo-Ex is a fully automated lab instrument that allows scientists or technicians to simply and quickly extract samples in any lab setting at a fraction of the cost and time, while also eliminating cross-contamination between samples. By allowing scientists to work with multiple samples at once, in a fraction of the time now required, it’s estimated the Certo-Ex could reduce lab costs by as much as 90%. The extraction instrument was developed in part through OCE sponsored research at the University of Waterloo. The $2.2 billion addressable market is growing at 5% per year.

Khomutov’s “Active Pitch Link” system is a first of its kind technology that can simultaneously control vibration and noise produced by wind turbines and helicopter rotors, significantly cutting noise pollution and maintenance costs. The system will enable a “jet smooth ride” for helicopter passengers and crew, decreasing associated health risks and increasing pilot flying careers. For wind turbines, the technology will enable installation in closer proximity to populated areas and will markedly improve component fatigue life.

The Martin Walmsley Fellowship for Technological Entrepreneurship facilitates the transition of OCE-funded university-based research into innovative business ventures. An expert panel selects the recipients, who are judged on criteria including strength of technology, commercial viability and sound business planning. The Fellowship honours the vision of Dr Martin Walmsley, who was instrumental in founding the Ontario Centres of Excellence program in 1987.