Karman Space & Defense Acquires CRG’s MG Resins

Karman Space & Defense, backed by Dallas-based private equity firm Trive Capital, has partnered with CRG to acquire the MG Resin family of technologies formerly marketed through Mach 5 Materials. The acquisition of MG Resins represents a significant expansion of Karman’s core competencies in integrated composite systems for space and defense applications and assures their leadership in the carbon/carbon market.

CRG developed the patented MG family of resins to address the growing need for ultra-high-temp materials with higher char yields, improved processability, and reduced cycle times. CRG designed an innovative solution that enables the production of best-in-class, high-strength carbon-carbon parts at temperatures above 1200 °C.

Karman Space & Defense is one of the largest independently owned suppliers of mission-critical flight hardware and complex sub-assemblies to the space, missile, and hypersonic markets. They provide design and engineering, precision machining, large part forming, high-temperature and structural composite material processing, and sub-assembly services, while actively adding new capabilities in collaboration with customers.

Pat Hood, CEO of CRG, commented, “We are excited to partner with Karman and believe their set of differentiated capabilities, capacity and talented team makes them the right strategic partner to deliver the MG Resin value proposition to customers across the space, missile, defense and hypersonic supply chains. We believe joining forces with Karman will accelerate the commercialization of carbon-carbon technologies, and we look forward to creating value for customers.”

Read the press release here.

CRG lands $206K to fund new transformer tech

CRG has landed $206K in federal funding to develop a new solid-state transformer that aims to improve the resiliency of the nation’s power grid.

CRG is one of 259 grant recipients to receive a portion of the $53M total funding awarded by the Department of Energy (DOE) last week through its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

With this funding, CRG will develop a solid-state transformer with an embedded digital twin for predictive maintenance, a technique that can pinpoint repair or replacement of electronic components nearing the end of their useful life. Predictive maintenance reduces the total life cycle costs of the installed system, ultimately reducing the cost passed on to consumers. Additionally, this technology will improve the resiliency of the grid by reducing power outages, which cost the U.S. economy $150B annually.

Once demonstrated, this technology will be capable of  expanding to use in a wide range of products, including power conversion systems in electric vehicles and aircraft.

“Supporting small businesses will ensure we are tapping into all of America’s talent to develop clean energy technologies that will help us tackle the climate crisis,” said Steve Binkley, Acting Director of the DOE’s Office of Science.

Read the full Launch Dayton press release here.
Read the DOE announcement here.

CRG participates in DO STEM Virtual Career Week

CRG was excited to be a part of the Dayton Ohio STEM Ecosystem (DO STEM) Virtual Career Week, May 10-14, 2021, hosted by our community’s newest STEM champions at the Dayton Ohio STEM Ecosystem. The newly formed DO STEM is a collaboration of regional partners committed to leveraging resources and opportunities to engage students in STEM activities throughout the Dayton region.

This career exploration event allowed over 2,000 students from across the region to explore virtual exhibits and attend live Career Talks with professional partners from a variety of STEM industries. These valuable career connections showed  students just how many incredible future opportunities are available right in their backyard!

CRG hosted several talks over the course of three days on aircraft design careers, careers in battery engineering, and careers involving composites.

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.

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 Lectratek 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 launches new eAviation company: Lectratek

CRG’s Venture Studio today has launched an electric aviation (eAviation) technology company, Lectratek LLC. This new company is focused on powering eAviation technologies for an industry poised for dramatic growth.

Lectratek leverages core proprietary technologies developed over the years by CRG. Initial offerings will include engineering services and aircraft components related to electric propulsion, advanced affordable composites, and safe energy storage. Growth over time is anticipated to eventually touch virtually all aspects of electric aviation powertrains and some structural components. The new company is already off to a strong start, leveraging over $25 million of prior DoD/NASA investment at CRG, including three new Agility Prime contracts.

“Nothing could be more appropriate to the Dayton region’s inventive roots than growing a company to be a leader in the next wave of aviation,” said CRG’s CEO Patrick Hood. “Electric aviation is rapidly moving from something people dream about to something people will use every day, and Lectratek is positioned to be a leader in the field.”

Lectratek is the first new company coming out of CRG’s recently formed Venture Studio to gain critical mass, according to Andrew Cothrel, CRG’s Chief Venture Officer. “We are really pleased with how quickly customer demand is becoming tangible for Lectratek, particularly for our highly unique propulsion solutions,” said Cothrel. “While it is still early days in eAviation, this is a market forecasting to be worth $178B by 2040, and we think Lectratek has something to offer that can lead to enduring success.”

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.