Seed Funding

Previous CISF funded innovative research

Immediate Innovation for Coronavirus Projects

During Spring 2020, Center ICE put out a call for proposals focused on innovative technologies focused on the coronavirus pandemic. Below are three highlighted projects supported under the CISF. For more details on these innovative projects and the disclosed technologies, please contact David Park at UAF’s Technology Transfer Office (OIPC), @

researchers discussingRothman trains Mindy Lagonergo, nursing supervisor for Fairbanks Correctional Center, on how to use the UV disinfection unit (UAF Photo by JR Ancheta).

Rothman: Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation Device

Jeff Rothman of the Geophysical Institute built an ultraviolet (UVC) germicidal irradiation device for N-95 filtered facial respirators. Rothman’s design is an aluminum box with 16 germicidal UVC light tubes inside. The tubes surround a clear fused quartz tube in the middle of the chamber. He used quartz for the tube because it is transparent to UVC radiation; ordinary glass would block it. During the summer of 2020, Rothman delivered a disinfection unit to the Fairbanks Correctional Center, the second unit that they had produced with the first having gone to the Fairbanks Pioneer Home earlier in the summer.

inovative maskLawlor Alaska Micro Mask w/ Goggles on test head

Lawlor: Personal Protection Equipment Development and Testing

UAF Computer Science Faculty Dr. Orion Lawlor and his rapid fabrication team designed and built personal protective equipment (PPE) for immediate use to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Fairbanks. Several undergraduate students worked on PPEs for an enormous and poorly-met need by hospital staff, first responders, and the general public. They gained experience working with an interdisciplinary team on a critically important real-world problem. Lawlor and his team provided same-day 3D printing prototype fabrication, to help tune in the CAD designs for adapters for Positive Air Pressure Respirators (PAPR), as used for aerosol protection by Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and other local first responders.

John Harley SVI Results.png
(A) Statewide derived products from Harley’s IICP research with Alaska SVI visualized by block group (B). Users can interact with the data and select specific communities and groups to show regional and local SVI derived products.

Harley – Community based evaluation of at-risk population distributions

The third IICP project was based out of University of Alaska Southeast (UASS), Juneau, Alaska. Then UAS post-doctoral researcher Dr. John Harley put his skills to work to model the spatial distribution of at-risk populations in Alaska. Harley saw a need, during the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Alaska, to quantify relative risk and vulnerable populations at the community level. Harley’s interactive tool provides an Alaska-specific methodology to classify the vulnerable communities across the State. His process and workflow can be applied to additional U.S. states with a large rural population and/or those with numerous small communities that are often aggregated into larger borough and census-level indices. While his Alaska SVI approach was developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic during its early impact to Alaska in early 2020, it can also be applied to other large statewide hazards and be updated as new demographics and community population data is available.