GAP awards to help FSU faculty push research into marketplace

Julie Harrington, director of FSU’s Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis
Julie Harrington, director of FSU’s Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis

Two teams led by Florida State University faculty members have received funding from the university to adapt pioneering research into cutting-edge commercial products.

The researchers have been awarded targeted financial support following their successful presentations at FSU’s biannual GAP competition, an event organized by the Office of the Vice President for Research where entrants pitch their ideas to a committee of state and local businesspeople.

Successful proposals from the 2018 spring GAP competition include a refined economic forecasting model capable of yielding high resolution data at unparalleled levels of granularity, and a novel oxidization treatment for superconducting magnets that could allow compact, economical superconductive materials to produce powerful magnetic fields.

“The innovative work produced by researchers at Florida State is helping to solve important problems around the world,” said Vice President for Research Gary K. Ostrander. “The GAP program provides instrumental support and mentorship to researchers as they marshal their ideas through development and into the marketplace.”

Over the past 10 years, the GAP program has awarded university researchers more than $2 million for projects designed to develop new cancer treatments, wearable phototherapeutic products and advanced tools for educational assessment.

The competition’s winning proposals are:

  • A state-of-the-art tool for advanced economic analysis: Julie Harrington, director of FSU’s Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis, developed a system for economic impact research that produces comprehensive economic data with unprecedented levels of depth and accuracy. Economic impact studies are used frequently around the world to predict and examine the effects of discrete events on specific areas of the economy. Harrington’s products, called Citrones & Citronem, far outperform existing models, facilitating considerably deeper and more precise evaluations of inter-industry economic relationships. Harrington and her team will receive $46,000 in funding.

    Jun Lu, a researcher at the FSU-based National High Magnetic Field Laboratory
    Jun Lu, a researcher at the FSU-based National High Magnetic Field Laboratory
  • A breakthrough treatment system for next-generation superconducting magnets: Jun Lu, a researcher at the FSU-based National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, introduced a novel method for using oxidization to treat rare-earth barium copper oxide (REBCO) superconductors, a revolutionary class of potentially high-powered superconductors manufactured as long spools of tape. At present, REBCO superconductors are hampered by long magnet charging times, high energy consumption and magnetic field drift — all of which preclude the technology from being broadly applied. Lu’s oxidization process, which coats the superconductors in a thin layer of surface oxide and helps to modulate contact resistance, mitigates the technology’s drawbacks without sacrificing its many advantages. Lu and his team will receive $30,315 in funding.

Funding was provided by the Office of the Vice President for Research. For more information about the GAP competition, visit the FSU Office of Commercialization.