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DOE SBIR Success Story

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DOE SBIR Success Story
Source: DOE Success Story ( click here to go to the source)

Featured firm in this article: Cerahelix Inc of Orono, ME

Susan MacKay has used SBIR funding to move Cerahelix's filtration R&D efforts forward without interruption.

Cerahelix focuses on research and development in ceramic materials. The company produces nanoporous ceramic coatings that are used to make high purity ceramic filters. Filters are used in a variety of process industries (point-of-use water treatment, food and beverage manufacturing, oil and gas/water treatment, biofuel and bioproducts processing).


- An improved prototype design based on feedback from first customer trials developed using DOE SBIR funds to support engineering and R&D activities
- Got first three US patents issued on core technology (using DNA to make molecular separation membranes used for filtration)
- Closed first round of seed financing and currently raising additional seed financing to support expanding management team (business development executive)

How the DOE SBIR Helped

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SBIR is supporting Cerahelix' major R&D effort. DOE SBIR funds are also being used to support our early customer testing. It currently has nine customer/partners lined up who wish to evaluate our prototype. DOE funding will enable Cerahelix to work with these early decision makers and help us determine the best path to market.

"The SBIR funding has been critical in that it helps stabilize our technical workforce, allowing us to build up a body of knowledge, and move ahead with key R&D efforts without interruption..."

"It has also helped us in securing external investment as it lends validation to the scientific and technical potential of our work. Many Angel investors rely on programs like SBIR to help 'vet' technology companies if they themselves do not have extensive knowledge in the field to determine if the technology is viable."


Mass High Tech "Woman to Watch" in 2011
Founder/CEO: Susan MacKay
Industry: Filtration