~ Woman-led Chemistry Company is First Recipient of Funding from Delaware’s Pilot Grant Program for Wet Lab Space ~
Wilmington, DE — ThruPore Technologies Inc., a market-disrupting, woman-led company with locations in Delaware and Alabama that is known for its innovative Dr. Filter product, has chosen Newark, Delaware, as its site for expansion and continued innovation in chemistry and air filtration.
Poised for significant growth over the next three to five years, ThruPore will move its existing Alabama jobs to Delaware and add 55 new full-time positions ranging from skilled trade to management in Delaware by the end of 2024. Having the ThruPore team and operations under one roof will be vital for the company to set up seamless operations that will enable it to truly disrupt the air filtration market.
Supporting ThruPore’s plans are two grants totaling up to $564,090 that the company was approved to receive from the Delaware Strategic Fund by the state Council on Development Finance: a Jobs Performance Grant of up to $210,090 and a Lab Space Grant of $353,800. The Lab Space Grant will fund renovation of 7,076 feet of space for ThruPore’s research, development and manufacturing and is the first funding distributed by Delaware’s recently launched $3 million pilot program to help early-stage science and tech companies with expenses associated with building out lab space.
“Wet-lab-based companies provide great jobs and contribute to the valuable research and development activity that drives innovation economies such as ours,” said Governor John Carney. “The Lab Space Grant program was created to support companies like ThruPore, enabling them to scale up, deliver on their potential and create highly valuable long-term assets – including good-paying jobs in a key industry sector – for Delaware’s innovation ecosystem.”
“This spring, New Castle County’s CARES Act sub-committee on innovation chose to invest CARES Act funds in this women-led chemistry company, and product Dr. Filter, because they knew what ThruPore was doing was groundbreaking and innovative work, and I am thrilled they have chosen New Castle County to grow their operations,” said New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer. “They clearly understood the benefits of being able to attract and retain top chemistry talent here in New Castle County, and I couldn’t agree with them more.”
Dr. Franchessa Sayler, founder, president and chief executive officer of ThruPore Technologies, said that the heart of the company’s decision to grow in Delaware comes from the Delaware community itself.
“Delawareans joke about knowing everyone in the state, but the key here is that the people in Delaware take the time to get to know each other and keep that personal information at the top of their mind,” Sayler said. “They use this information to make decisions in their daily lives about where they can help others, whether that’s by providing expertise, resources or legislation. It is really a beautiful thing, and I am excited to become a bigger part of the Delaware ecosystem.”
ThruPore uses a highly valuable, proprietary manufacturing platform to make highly porous synthetic carbon catalyst products and sells them to large chemical companies. The company’s products enable new sustainable chemical reactions not possible with other commodity catalysts.
Pivoting during the COVID-19 pandemic, ThruPore applied its carbon technology to HVAC filters and created the Dr. Filter antimicrobial application – which kills 99.99% of airborne viruses. ThruPore has filed four patents related to this technology and expects United States Environmental Protection Agency approval this summer. The company plans to provide the product to offices, schools and other institutions to reduce the spread of airborne pathogens and, consequently, diseases like COVID-19.
Demand for “ready-to-go” laboratory space for growing companies whose work is based in wet labs – largely biology and chemistry companies – is extremely high throughout the United States. Late last year, Delaware approved its statewide lab grant program to address this issue and ensure that existing small companies can grow within the state and that the state can attract new businesses by increasing its inventory of ready-to-go lab space.
“Funding ThruPore epitomizes the goal of the Lab Space Grant program to support companies that need larger wet lab spaces so that they can scale up here in Delaware,” said Ariel Gruswitz, DPP Director of Innovation. “Their growth brings high-quality jobs and investment in priority industry and technology markets to Delaware’s economy and significant talent and mentoring to its community of science and technology innovators.”
About Delaware Prosperity Partnership
Delaware Prosperity Partnership leads Delaware’s economic development efforts to attract, grow and retain businesses; to build a stronger entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem; and to support private employers in identifying, recruiting and developing talent. The DPP team works with site selectors, executives and developers focused on where to locate or grow a business and helps with reviewing potential sites, cost-of-living analyses and funding opportunities, including available tax credits and incentives. DPP advances a culture of innovation in Delaware, working with innovators and startups to spotlight and celebrate successes and connect them with the resources they need to succeed. DPP and its partnerships throughout Delaware support and advance the missions of companies of all sizes and sectors.
About ThruPore Technologies Inc.
ThruPore Technologies is an innovative materials company that develops unique catalysts based on its proprietary synthetic carbon manufacturing platform. ThruPore was founded at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa in 2012 and was launched in 2014 after winning a National Science Foundation (NSF) SBIR Grant. ThruPore has created over 50 customized chemical catalysts for customers. In 2020, ThruPore created the first virus-killing spray-on air filter treatment, branded as Dr. Filter. ThruPore’s headquarters are in New Castle, Delaware.