SBIR success story – unique writing tool for communicating in the dark

Battle Sight’s CrayTac technology

CRG teamed with Battle Sight Technologies to develop and mass produce a special crayon for warfighters, first responders and disaster-relief workers.

Dubbed CrayTac, this device allows troops to write messages or draw complex figures on walls, sidewalks and other surfaces. The markings are invisible except to someone wearing night-vision goggles. Troops can use CrayTac to mark vehicles and other equipment so they can be identified in low- or no-light situations. It also can be used in place of a glow stick to mark a room as cleared.

To achieve Battle Sight’s longer-term goals, it needed more manufacturing capacity, prompting them to team with CRG. The collaboration ultimately resulted in Battle Sight gaining enough production capacity to shift from building CrayTacs by hand to making them in large batches. CRG’s improvements to manufacturing included formulation changes as well as novel process development.

In 2019, the Air Force SBIR program awarded a Phase II contract for this project. The funding has allowed Battle Sight and CRG to progress from making CrayTacs by hand to developing the ability to produce hundreds in an hour.

Read the SBIR Success Story here.

CRG makes Inc. 5000 Regionals Midwest 2021 list

Inc. magazine revealed that CRG was one of three Dayton-based businesses to make the Inc. 5000 Regionals: Midwest 2021 list of 250 fastest growing companies. The Midwest region covers a 12-state territory that includes Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

The Inc. 5000 rating looked at revenue growth from 2017 to 2019. CRG ranked No. 152 with a growth rate of 93%.

Read the Dayton Business Journal article here.

New FAA drone rules favor Lectratek’s ducted systems

The FAA is coming out with new rules requiring that drones have no exposed rotating parts — good news for Lectratek’s ducted fan propulsion systems. The final rules will be released in January.

Under the Operation of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Over People rules, drones will be required to have no exposed rotating parts that could potentially lacerate human skin. For example, if the propellers that provide lift and thrust for the small unmanned aircraft are internal to the unmanned aircraft, such as in a ducted fan configuration, and are incapable of making contact with a person as a result of an impact, then the parts would not be exposed, and the aircraft would satisfy this proposed requirement.

Lectratek is poised to provide the suitable propulsion systems as well as lightweight batteries required for electric flight.

Lectratek makes list of 10 startups to watch in 2021

Launch Dayton, Dayton’s on-line startup community of entrepreneurial “ecosystem builders,” announced the top 10 startups to watch in 2021. Lectratek was listed among them.

Lectratek LLC is looking to power the world’s first flying cars. The startup is focused on powering eAviation technologies for an industry poised for dramatic growth in the coming years. A spinout of private aerospace and defense firm Cornerstone Research Group, Lectratek leverages two decades’ worth of federally sponsored research into electric aviation for applications from commercial and industrial drones to mid-tier commercial airliners. The current team is actively recruiting for executive leadership and business development positions.”   –Launch Dayton

Read Launch Dayton’s full article here.

The DBJ publishes article about Lectratek

The Dayton Business Journal published an article titled, “CRG Venture Studio launches new electric aviation company” about the formation of Lectrataek LLC.  An excerpt below:

Cornerstone Research Group Inc. (CRG), a privately held aerospace and defense firm based in Miami Township, announced Monday its new company — Lectratek LLC. The new business, launched by CRG’s Venture Studio unit, is an electric aviation technology company. It is focused on powering “eAviation” tech for an industry the company says is poised for dramatic growth in the coming years.”

Read the full Dayton Business Journal article here.

DDN publishes article about the launch of Lectratek

The Dayton Daily News published an article on the formation of Lectratek by CRG’s Venture Studio, titled “Miami Twp. defense contractor announces new aviation spinoff.” An excerpt is below:

“Creating new businesses and divisions is all in a day’s work for Cornerstone. Lectratek will take advantage of CRG-developed technologies, including engineering services and aircraft parts related to electric propulsion, advanced composites and safe energy storage, the company said in a release,” says an excerpt from the article.

Read the full Dayton Daily News article here.

CRG a partner in developing space technologies

NASA has selected 17 U.S. companies for partnerships to mature industry-developed space technologies for the Moon and beyond through the Space Technology Mission Directorate’s 2020 Announcement of Collaboration Opportunity.

CRG will evaluate a 3-D printing method that makes use of slurry-based thermoset resins to fabricate thermal protective systems. CRG will partner with NASA centers to test and evaluate the material’s performance in flight-relevant environments, utilizing NASA facilities and experts at Johnson and Ames.

Other companies involved in these space technologies include Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin.

Read more here (NASA press release)
Business Insider article
Yahoo News article

CRG lands key zoning approval for new defense work

The battery production area of the new building

The Dayton Business Journal posted an article about CRG’s zoning approval to commence a battery manufacturing process at its new facility at 8821 Washington Church Road. CRG acquired the property in January, 2020, and it added 126,000 square feet of manufacturing or production space, 36,000 square feet of warehouse space and 12,000 square feet of office space.

“The [zoning] decision will enable CRG to outfit a 2,000-square-foot space inside the building to develop batteries for the Department of Defense that are approximately the size and thickness of a credit card,” said Jeffrey Bennett, CRG’s Vice President of Operations. “Five to eight of them will be put together in a pack, so it will be about the size of a deck of cards. It is then incorporated into body armor for troops on the ground.”

Upon completion and renovation, the new facility will be CRG’s third location in the Dayton region.

Read the DBJ article here.

CRG launches new Venture Studio

CRG announced today the formal launch of its Venture Studio. The CRG Venture Studio will be in charge of identifying and prioritizing commercial opportunities coming out of CRG’s innovations and then creating new startup companies.

CRG has established a successful track record of commercializing new technologies, spinning off five companies over the past 15 years, including Spintech Holdings  and Advantic. However, as CRG’s founder and CEO, Patrick Hood said, “The breadth and depth of technology and inventions that CRG’s employees have created over the years is mind-boggling. We needed a methodical way to more rapidly tap that potential for the benefit of future medical, consumer, and industrial customers as well as to more effectively grow the value of the business.”

The CRG Venture Studio is dedicated to identifying CRG’s most promising commercial opportunities and spinning off new companies to bring those innovations to market. “We investigated a lot of options, looking at the state of the art in business accelerators, incubators, studios, and other concepts for improving the odds of successful technology commercialization,” said Chris Hemmelgarn, CRG’s Chief Revenue Officer. “While we know there will be some lessons and pivots, we are confident we are on the right track to unlock an enormous amount of company value and societal benefit from the Venture Studio… we think we have already identified the next five new startup company opportunities.”

Collaborators within Southwest Ohio’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, including The Entrepreneur’s Center (TEC), are enthusiastic about CRG’s Venture Studio. “We are excited to work with CRG and its Venture Studio to translate ground-breaking defense technologies into broader commercial use,” said Scott Koorndyk, CEO of TEC. “This is a huge boost for the region’s ecosystem and a great opportunity for new high-tech companies to take root in the region.”

Read more about the CRG Venture Studio here.
Read Dayton Dayton News article here.

HEATCON announces manufacturing and licensing agreement with CRG

HEATCON®, Inc., a world market leader in composite repair solutions and material supply, has entered into an agreement with Cornerstone Research Group to license CRG’s Deployable Isolation Repair Technology (DIRT BagTM) products for manufacture and distribution.

“This new product is a game changer for those working in repair technology, and we are excited to partner with CRG to bring the DIRT BagTM to the composite repair market,” said Eric Casterline, President of HEATCON. “This product is an ideal complement to Heatcon’s portable composite repair equipment, further reducing the time needed to complete a repair.”

The DIRT BagTM is used by both military and commercial aircraft repair organizations, is listed in Boeing structural repair manuals and the F-35 General Use Consumables List (GUCL), and can be used for other applications where contamination control is needed. It can be set up in minutes and customized for each repair or coating removal situation.

Read more here.
Order DIRT BagTM products here.