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February 20, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Techstars alum Silvis Materials secures $255,000 grant award

The start-up will also be moving its Knoxville lab space from Fairview Technology Center to Sky Nano due to cost considerations.

Several developments have been announced by Silvis Materials, a alum of the inaugural cohort of the “Techstars Industries of the Future Accelerator.”

The Boulder, CO-based start-up has been awarded a $255,810 Phase I grant under the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to invent sustainable materials that use cellulose, an all-natural material derived from plants and trees. The goal of the company, co-founded by Patty Ferreira and Scott Pearce, is to lessen dependence on plastics and other fossil fuel derived materials used in packaging and building products.

“We are thrilled to receive this NSF SBIR Phase I grant and continue our mission of reducing dependence on petroleum,” Ferreira, who serves as Chief Executive Officer of Silvis Materials, said in a news release. “With this support, we will continue to advance our technology and create sustainable and biodegradable emulsions for use in a variety of applications.”

The NSF announcement followed another recent award of $150,000 from the Colorado Department of Economic Development under its “Advanced Industries” program.

Separately, Ferreira updated us on her plans for a lab in the Knoxville area. As noted in this January 11 article, she planned to open a lab in the Fairview Technology Center. Due to cost considerations, she is now planning to locate in a portion of the space that Sky Nano LLC which recently leased space on Papermill Road in West Knoxville.


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