Over the last two-plus years, the School of Engineering has regularly hosted a series of Innovation Connection networking functions at UConn and business locations that are intended to bring together small business technology owners, large company representatives and the best and brightest of UConn students and faculty in a relaxed environment that sets the stage for sharing ideas and building collaborative relationships.
Recently, John R. Fantry, Vice President of nzymSys, Inc., an East Hartford producer of environmentally friendly enzyme-based cleaning products, shared details of his experiences as an Innovation Connection participant.
“Associating with the Innovation Connection is among the very best things we have done as a company,” he said.
“But for the IC, we would never have become part of the Center for Clean Energy Engineering Sustainable Energy Department of Energy grant study now underway, which has been generating encouraging data relative to our ability to remove corrosive sulfur compounds from biofuels. This is critical to the fuel cell industry. This project has yielded introductions to potential collaborators, domestic and foreign, and produced a joint patent application as well,” explained Fantry.
Another bonus was the introduction to UConn faculty who can help the company improve and advance its product line. Fantry is collaborating with one faculty member in the Department of Chemical, Materials & Biomolecular Engineering on a research project aimed at controlling bedbug infestations. This capability, he noted, will enable nzymSys to submit an EPA registration application and “open a whole new and important global market.”
Furthermore, Fantry said that his participation in Innovation Connection events has opened the door to discussions with a global supplier of air filtration systems who is interested in infusing nzymSys’ odor control and disinfection technologies into its products.
Fantry is an avid supporter of the Innovation Connection functions. “Our enthusiasm for the work done by CI on our behalf cannot be overstated. We came to IC as an emerging consumer retail products manufacturer specializing in natural, green solutions, and now have industrial opportunities before us we had never considered. Since we have not yet commercialized these opportunities it is premature to place a dollar value on them, but it is not too early to state the strong positive impact on morale and corporate vision. IC has been nothing but good for nzymSys and we would certainly recommend Innovation Connections to anyone who might inquire as to our IC experience.”