The Neutrino Donut – Partnership – Texas Global Health Security Innovation Consortium (TEXGHS)

The Neutrino Donut is a partner of The Texas Global Health Security Innovation Consortium (TEXGHS). TEXGHS is a consortium organized by The University of Texas at Austin between academia, public sector, and private sector partners that will coordinate efforts to support companies working towards pandemic preparedness and response.

The goal is to coordinate existing resources in the Austin innovation ecosystem and to develop additional capacity to expedite research, development, and commercialization at the intersection of global health security and technology. Our intention is to be at the forefront of this issue in Texas, and to be prepared for what we anticipate will be significant interest in funding programs targeting pandemic preparedness and response.

Examples of coordinated efforts include company participation across incubator and accelerator programs, co-branding and co-marketing, direct funding for research, development, and funding, cross institutional research collaboration, cooperation across existing networks of global health security experts, representation to local, state, and federal governments, resource mapping across the innovation ecosystem, prototyping, engineering, and legal and regulatory support.

TEXGHS will support both the development of new technologies and the adaptation of existing technologies that address pandemic infectious disease threats. We believe that the COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated the immense scope of this challenge. This consortium is positioned to spearhead these efforts statewide.

The Neutrino Donut – Seminar – Innovation in the Times of the Covid-19

Innovation in the Times of the COVID-19 – THE GRANT PROCESS

We are focusing on the development of new ideas in the time of Covid-19. Right now, corporate innovation and licensing has slowed, as R&D budgets are being cut. New biotech developments have slowed as lab activity has been curtailed. The Angel and VC markets, already risk adverse, have become more conservative.

In these times, startups will need funding but, just as importantly, independent validation of their ideas via the grant processes. By leveraging these grant based resources and applications, startups can find validation of their ideas and processes as well as received undiluted funding to advance their technology. From there, the startup will be in a stronger position to negotiate exits with these partners. The SBIR process involved extensive reviews of your idea from science experts, business experts, and project development experts, all of which will provide opportunities to fine tune your idea to commercialization.

We will discuss the Phase I grant, where the technical merit of the project is discussed. In Phase II, we will discuss taking your idea to the marketplaces. Then you can talk to the Angels, VCs and corporate licensing folks from a position of strength.

For the startup, this means planning the entire life cycle of your idea and figuring out where the exit ramps are located.

After the session, we will have an open discussion of the business / technical / funding challenges of your companies. Bring your questions and problems, the answers may be of interest to other folks as well. Led by guest speaker Earle Hager, Managing Partner / The Neutrino Donut, LLC Mr. Hager has worked extensively on technology assessment, business development, and grant process for several hundred startups.  He has even does those Net Present Value spreadsheets required for financial planning on grants. He also knows almost everyone you may need to connect with in the corporate market. He comes to Los Angeles via Philadelphia and Austin.

The Neutrino Donut – Science Break

We are The Neutrino Donut, named after the Higgs Boson experiments in Cern. As such, we will provide the occasional update from CERN. It’s always about the science.

Exploring new ways to see the Higgs boson

The ATLAS and CMS collaborations presented their latest results on new signatures for detecting the Higgs boson at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.

The ATLAS and CMS collaborations presented their latest results on new signatures for detecting the Higgs boson at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. These include searches for rare transformations of the Higgs boson into a Z boson – which is a carrier of one of the fundamental forces of nature – and a second particle. Observing and studying transformations that are predicted to be rare helps advance our understanding of particle physics and could also point the way to new physics if observations differ from the predictions. The results also included searches for signs of Higgs transformations into “invisible” particles, which could shine light on potential dark-matter particles. The analyses involved nearly 140 inverse femtobarns of data, or around 10 million billion proton–proton collisions, recorded between 2015 and 2018.

The ATLAS and CMS detectors can never see a Higgs boson directly: an ephemeral particle, it transforms (or “decays”) into lighter particles almost immediately after being produced in proton–proton collisions, and the lighter particles leave telltale signatures in the detectors. However, similar signatures may be produced by other Standard-Model processes. Scientists must therefore first identify the individual pieces that match this signature and then build up enough statistical evidence to confirm that the collisions had indeed produced Higgs bosons.

When it was discovered in 2012, the Higgs boson was observed mainly in transformations into pairs of Z bosons and pairs of photons. These so-called “decay channels” have relatively clean signatures making them more easily detectable, and they have been observed at the LHC. Other transformations are predicted to occur only very rarely, or to have a less clear signature, and are therefore challenging to spot.

At LHCP, ATLAS presented the latest results of their searches for one such rare process, in which a Higgs boson transforms into a Z boson and a photon (γ). The Z thus produced, itself being unstable, transforms into pairs of leptons, either electrons or muons, leaving a signature of two leptons and a photon in the detector. Given the low probability of observing a Higgs transformation to Zγ with the data volume analysed, ATLAS was able to rule out the possibility that more than 0.55% of Higgs bosons produced in the LHC would transform into Zγ. “With this analysis,” says Karl Jakobs, spokesperson of the ATLAS collaboration, “we can show that our experimental sensitivity for this signature has now reached close to the Standard Model’s prediction.” The extracted best value for the H→Zγ signal strength, defined as the ratio of the observed to the predicted Standard-Model signal yield, is found to be 2.0+1.0−0.9.

CMS presented the results of the first search for Higgs transformations also involving a Z boson but accompanied by a ρ (rho) or φ (phi) meson. The Z boson once again transforms into pairs of leptons, while the second particle transforms into pairs of pions (ππ) in the case of the ρ and into pairs of kaons (KK) in the case of the φ. “These transformations are extremely rare,” says Roberto Carlin, spokesperson of the CMS collaboration, “and are not expected to be observed at the LHC unless physics from beyond the Standard Model is involved.” The data analysed allowed CMS to rule out that more than approximately 1.9% of Higgs bosons could transform into Zρ and more than 0.6% could transform into Zφ.While these limits are much greater than the predictions from the Standard Model, they demonstrate the ability of the detectors to make inroads in the search for physics beyond the Standard Model.

The so-called “dark sector” includes hypothetical particles that could make up dark matter, the mysterious element that accounts for more than five times the mass of ordinary matter in the universe. Scientists believe that the Higgs boson could hold clues as to the nature of dark-matter particles, as some extensions of the Standard Model propose that a Higgs boson could transform into dark-matter particles. These particles would not interact with the ATLAS and CMS detectors, meaning they remain “invisible” to them. This would allow them to escape direct detection and manifest as “missing energy” in the collision event. At LHCP, ATLAS presented their latest upper limit – of 13% – on the probability that a Higgs boson could transform into invisible particles known as weakly interacting massive particles, or WIMPs, while CMS presented results from a new search into Higgs transformations to four leptons via at least one intermediate “dark photon”, also presenting limits on the probability of such a transformation occurring at the LHC.

The Higgs boson continues to prove invaluable in helping scientists test the Standard Model of particle physics and seek physics that may lie beyond. These are only some of the many results concerning the Higgs boson that were presented at LHCP. You can read more about them on the ATLAS and CMS websites.

Technical note

When data volumes are not high enough to claim a definite observation of a particular process, physicists can predict the limits that they expect to place on the process. In the case of Higgs transformations, these limits are based on the product of two terms: the rate at which a Higgs boson is produced in proton–proton collisions (production cross-section) and the rate at which it will undergo a particular transformation to lighter particles (branching fraction).

The Neutrino Donut – SBIR Grant – TABA Funding

The Neutrino Donut has joined an SBIR grant as the provider of business development services in their TABA funding. If the grant is awarded, The Donut will provide services to assist in the commercialization services. The technology relates to marine shipping technologies.

TABA stands for Technical and Business Assistance and is an item in the SBIR funding process.

The Neutrino Donut – Project – Commercializing Medical Device via NSF and NIH SBIR grants

The Neutrino Donut is working with a startup seeking SBIR support for their technology. The Donut will be developing the commercialization report as well as finding business opportunities for the company. The company has reached research agreements with several universities.

The Neutrino Donut Project – Member, White Paper on the 2020 R&D Agenda and the Future of Innovation

The Neutrino Donut was one of a group of companies / individuals asked to contribute thoughts to a a white paper on the future of R&D. The discussion, initially based on world view pre-pandemic, has changed considerably post-pandemic.

China will be a questionable member of the supply chain. Price and manufacturing manipulation, particularly in the area of rare earth metals, will be challenged as companies will pay a premium for stability versus the lower cost only standard. I have always viewed the economic race between China and India as favoring India.

Other Southeast Asia countries and Africa will benefit as economic development will expand to more options for supply chain.

Remote work will become standard. The impact of this will be higher paying salaries for remote workers who will move to smaller towns, upsetting the local property costs. CA workers moving to Idaho and Montana are not popular, as they are able to easily afford $300K homes, which were out of reach based on local salaries. These remote workers will create challenges for schools and consumer services (restaurants and food supply) for more diverse offerings.

In my personal experience, moving from Philadelphia to a small Texas town, these challenges were obvious. A large amount of the property taxes were raised against farmers, who where not happy with tax increases that burdened them more heavily.

Corporations have a one year view on incomes. The recent tax cut was targeted at job creation, when the overall unemployment rate was very low and the jobs which were leaving the country (manufacturing) were still leaving even with tax cuts (Carrier). The tax cut had to be spent, and it was spent on stock buybacks and automatically triggered bonuses. Fast forward a year, and the tax cut money would be better served in retaining workers.

We have had three once in a century economic shocks to the system since 2001. We are not prepared for the economic management of these problem.

The net effect is tax cuts may not be an effective tool to economic development at this point. Other solutions may be needed.

In the same way, the Keynesian model (C+I+G), which was key to getting us out of the recession of 2008, may not work in this space. President Trump’s economic stimulus will not have the same effect, as the world has changed.

Jack Welch, former CEO of GE and corporate blowhard, felt you should fire the bottom 5% of your organization every year. He was an idiot. But, we are about to see the bottom 5% of our economy come to an end. Malls are an obvious target.

We will come through this and we will be stronger.

Presentation – Market Research and Competitive Landscape – Agriculture Markets

Our goal is to help companies understand their markets, distribution and partnership opportunities, develop an understanding of strengths and weaknesses and allow the company to target their efforts toward the appropriate customers. 
Market research is about defining your market and identifying individual players in the market. The competitive landscape includes direct and indirect competitors, as well as “doing nothing.” They key to a successful market entry process is the identification of specific companies and individuals for contacts.
Competition is about challenging the market against the companies’ strengths and their weaknesses. We will focus on an understanding of the value and distribution models.

Navy strengthens defense industrial base with new small business funding opportunity

To support the national response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Department of the Navy (DoN) must leverage and sustain its research-and-development industrial base–and attract new small business partners.

The Navy and Marine Corps are doing so by harnessing the DoN’s agile Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs–both located at the Office of Naval Research (ONR). The programs announced today $30 million in rapid-funding opportunities through a new Broad Agency Announcement (BAA), which is a request for scientific or research proposals. The BAA can be viewed at

“During this national emergency, the Naval Research Enterprise must engage all activities to ensure we accomplish our current workload, make sure vital naval partners survive current economic conditions, and bring in new partners,” said DoN SBIR/STTR Director Bob Smith. “I’m proud the DoN SBIR/STTR programs are taking bold steps to maintain the defense industrial base through accelerated funding awards.”

The new BAA, titled DoN SBIR FY20.4, will close on May 28. It seeks proposals from innovative small businesses and startups for high-impact, scalable technologies that address both naval requirements and the needs of the commercial market. Areas of interest to the Navy and Marine Corps include:

  • Modernization and sustainment (maintenance and repair of military assets)
  • Digital logistics (security, analysis, management and flow of digital information and data)
  • Deployable manufacturability (rapid, on-demand manufacturing of deployable systems supporting diverse payloads and missions)
  • Resilient communications (expanded communications capabilities for fast, coordinated response during a global crisis)

BAA FY20.4 is just one facet of a broader DoN SBIR/STTR effort to sustain the defense industrial base during the COVID-19 response, by awarding more than $250 million in funding over the next 90 days.

SBIR provides the Navy and Marine Corps with innovative advances in technology created by small businesses–while STTR transitions products developed by both small businesses and research institutions.

Navy SBIR/STTR and NavalX

In addition to promoting BAAs like FY20.4, the DoN SBIR/STTR programs also look to strengthen new approaches, like serving as technology enablers for the Naval Expeditions (NavalX) Agility Office–created by the Hon. James Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition.

NavalX gives Sailors, Marines and DoN civilians tools to put good ideas into action. This enables naval organizations like ONR and SBIR/STTR to better connect warfighters with experts and small businesses.

SBIR/STTR also provides expertise at NavalX’s multiple Tech Bridge locations nationwide.

A partnership between ONR, NavalX, the Navy’s Technology Transfer Program Office, and all naval systems commands, Tech Bridges are regional innovation hubs where warfare centers, government, academia and industry can team up and work together on technology research, evaluation and commercialization–as well as economic and workforce development.


Learn more about the DoN SBIR/STTR programs and BAA FY20.4 at