"If you're told it's impossible to do, we're the right place to come," says Patrick Hood, CEO and president of Dayton-based
Cornerstone Research Group.
Started in Hood's basement in 1997, Cornerstone is a research and development organization that takes advanced materials technology from molecule to commercial application -- what Hood calls "a for profit incubator."
Hood says the company, which has as many as 60 projects under way at any one time, bridges the gap between market needs and technology. While the company focuses on advanced materials, its solutions have been applied in virtually every industry segment except for IT and pharmaceuticals he says.
A good example of how Cornerstone works is Spintech Ventures
, a Cornerstone spinoff that takes advantage of Cornerstone's patented shape memory polymer technology and innovative tooling to make complex composite parts. The technology was developed at Cornerstone, but the early stage Spintech will give it legs.
Hood says that the typical cost of a complexly shaped carbon composite part is about $1,000 per pound. But the cost of the raw materials is only $25 to $50 per pound. The rest of the cost comes from labor and tooling, he says. Spintech's technology can reduce typical production costs by 85 percent, he says.
Cornerstone recently was one of 44 businesses nationwide that received the U.S. Small Business Administration's Tibbets Award, given to companies and individuals that drive innovation and create jobs through the agency's Small Business Innovation Research program.
In November, the company received the Dayton Business Journal's Business of the Year award in the Community Supporter category for its community involvement.
Over the years, the Cornerstone and Spintech have benefited from awards from the Ohio Third Frontier initiative, Hood says. Together, both companies currently employ about 100.Source: Patrick Hood, Cornerstone Research Group
Writer: Gene Monteith