UAB and the Birmingham Business Alliance are receiving a $600,000 Partnership for Innovation grant to fund research into synthetic diamonds.
The grant is supported by the National Science Foundation, and has potential to create more knowledge-based jobs in the Birmingham area through UAB start-ups and spin-off companies. The grant will support a synthetic diamond research project — "Innovations in Chemical Vapor Deposited Diamond Crystals and Nanostructured Diamond Coatings."
UAB and BBA will team with Almax-easy Lab, Onyx Optics and Vista Engineering new diamond-based sensors that can work in challenging environments like deep below ground in gas and oil drilling, or high above ground in space exploration. They could also be used for medical and industrial laser applications and biomedical implants with longer life spans.
"This grant is a great example of how a true partnership between our academic, industry and economic development communities can make us nationally competitive," said BBVA Vice President of Innovation and Technology Steven Ceulemans. "It will allow us to bring superior synthetic diamond technologies to market that might change the lives of people around the world, and do so in a way that promotes the economic growth of our region and provides high-quality jobs for Alabamians."
This one of only 17 PFI grants awarded this year, and the first ever given in Alabama.