FuzeHub Connections: Triton Ceramics and Binghamton University SPIR

Since 2008, Nick Dosch, founder of Triton Ceramics, has been working hard to develop a new revolutionary water filtration solution for the launch of his young company’s first product line. Made from specially-coated ceramic materials, Triton’s high-tech water filter will present a ground-breaking, cost-effective solution for the developing world. As a result of his self-funded efforts, Nick has crossed a major start-up hurdle with the successful development of his “lab-bench” working prototype. But as any start-up entrepreneur like Nick will tell you, this is just one of many hurdles to overcome on the path to building a successful business.

In April of 2017, Nick applied to FuzeHub’s Innovation Fund for a Manufacturing Grant. Through this process it became clear that Nick would benefit from a connection to a resource partner that could perform microbiological testing and validation of a prototype that he could not perform “in-house”. Nick was introduced to the University of Binghamton at a FuzeHub Solutions Forum.  Through Binghamton’s Strategic Partnership for Industrial Resurgence (SPIR) program, Nick was introduced to Dr. Kaiming Ye. Dr. Ye and an assigned graduate student have been working with Triton Ceramics and are performing the microbiological work and testing validation necessary for investor and customer acceptance.

SPIR was established at Binghamton in 1994 to help New York State’s small and mid-sized businesses with applied technology solutions and expertise.  Binghamton is one of only three universities in New York State offering this program. The SPIR program at Binghamton works through its Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, which provides student and faculty staffing and expertise to these business partnership projects and leverages its vast laboratory and equipment resources. Typical projects involve problem-solving tasks normally requiring the application of engineering, information technology, Biomedical Engineering, Material Science or System Science. Examples of project work include new product and process development, analytical and diagnostic laboratory services, 3D prototype printing, modeling and simulation, thermal or vibration/shock testing, manufacturing process definition/improvement, and finite element modeling and analysis. Additionally, SPIR provides services and resources to assist companies in developing product “demonstrations” or “prototype” level products suitable for attracting venture capital or strategic/licensing partner agreements.

Companies seeking assistance through the SPIR program must complete an on-line application. On average, SPIR works with about 20 companies per year on projects primarily in hardware/software product development, information technology services, and manufacturing support. SPIR will work with companies to define an affordable funding arrangement to cover project costs and contributes a significant portion of costs to help companies position themselves for growth and competitiveness.

“Out of the 64 schools in the SUNY system, Binghamton University is honored to be one of three universities who offer the SPIR program to New York State small businesses, said Michael Testani, Director of Industrial Outreach at the Watson School of Engineering. “Our SPIR program aligns the deep expertise of our Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering with the unique technical challenges faced by our business partners to help them retain and grow jobs within the great state of New York. We are truly excited about the work we are conducting with Nick Dosch, the Founder of Triton Ceramics; where we are helping to develop a novel water filtration system using a ceramic particle-based bed impregnated with silver nanoparticles to filter and destroy harmful microbes living within the water.  Applications for this new product are exciting as the system help rural areas, developing regions as well as disaster and flood stricken areas to meet their clean water needs.  We expect to be publishing the results of this important work in the very near future. It is a privilege and honor to be supporting Triton Ceramics with this exciting research and we are committed to seeing the company and its products realize great success!”

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