Antimicrobial Materials Inc. (AMI) was awarded a competitive Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which enables early-stage testing of novel nano-material coatings to prevent microbial infections of and within the food supply chain.

“This award supports our ongoing investment to develop patented polymers and coatings that prevent the growth and spread of dangerous bacteria and viruses. SBIR is a very competitive program and receiving an SBIR Phase I award means that our approach to this problem is unique and worth the investment," said Greg Bertsch, founder/CEO of AMI and the principal investigator on the grant.

In Phase I, AMI will adapt a proprietary biomaterials technology developed by researchers at USD and currently used successfully to create antimicrobial socks and other textiles for the food processing industry. The application is intended to make food processing safer and free from harmful pathogens that might infect the food supply chain.

“Part of our mission is to develop research that can be used for the common good. AMI has a very impressive commercialization plan and we’re excited about the direction they’re taking with this particular technology," said Mary Berry, interim VP of research & sponsored programs in USD's Department of Chemistry. She has overall responsibility for USD's research function for the SBIR Phase I grant.

AMI is building toward targeted application of its patented nano-materials with a goal of growing early-stage sales. The company’s growth will benefit the Sioux Falls community and the state.

“They’ve put together a solid team with strong technical capabilities and the expertise to commercialize products. We’re excited to be working with AMI and have them as part of the innovation community in Sioux Falls," said Rich Naser, USD Discovery District and SD Technology Business Center president.

Antimicrobial Materials, a privately held bioscience company, has licensed patent-pending technologies from the University of South Dakota for imparting rechargeable antimicrobial properties into commonly used materials and products. The company’s vision is to develop surfaces that can improve lives by proactively solving problems caused by microbial growth.

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