JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The State of Mississippi is helping fund ten university research projects through a total $1.27 million SMART Business Accelerate Initiative award.

The SMART Business Accelerate Initiative is an extension of the Strengthening Mississippi Academic Research Through (SMART) Business Act. It was adopted by the Mississippi Legislature in 2013 to encourage Mississippi companies to engage with public universities to conduct research. The Act provides $3.5 million a year for a rebate to businesses that contract with a university for research. A company can receive 25% of the cost of the research back as a rebate up to $1 million a year.

The Act was amended in 2021 to allocate $1.5 million a year for SMART Business Accelerate Initiative grants.

The projects funded this year include:

  • Jackson State University – Handheld Raman Imaging Probe for Early Dental Caries Detection and Development of Therapeutics Against Alphaviruses
  • Mississippi State University – Scalable Manufacturing of Lignin-based Graphene Nanomaterials for Concrete Property Enhancement and Renewable Fuel Production from Biogras on a Mobile Trailer.
  • University of Mississippi – Wireless/Wearable Vibrotactile Prosthetic Device for People who Stutter.
  • University of Mississippi Medical Center – Virtual Immersive Sensorimotor Testing Device and Efficacy and Immunogenicity of ELP-VEGF.
  • University of Southern Mississippi – Infrared Photoresponsive Conjugated Polymers and Devices for Emerging Optoelectronics and Advanced Aerospace Matrix Polymerization Reactor
  • University of Southern Mississippi Research Foundation – Enhance Oral Suction Device