UCF Wins the AUTM 2020 Better World Project Award

UCF’s Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) this month won the inaugural AUTM Better World Project Award for its efforts to bring Bold & Gold® water filtration media from UCF labs to the world marketplace. AUTM is a non-profit organization whose membership includes technology transfer professionals located in more than 800 universities, government organizations, research centers, hospitals and businesses worldwide. Its BWP award recognizes the efforts made by those who “support a better world through the commercialization of academic research.”

In late 2019, AUTM’s BWP committee selected UCF’s Bold & Gold® story out of 40 stories based on relevance, impact and collaboration. Read the Bold & Gold story.

Patented, manufactured and sold in the U.S., Bold & Gold® media is an innovative solution that removes environmental pollutants from wastewater. Made from natural and recycled materials including sand, clay, and compost, the Bold & Gold® product line delivers an eco-friendly biosorption technology that is effective, sustainable and affordable. The technology was developed by researchers at UCF’s Stormwater Management Academy. Studies show the media is effective at removing up to 75 percent of nitrogen and 95 percent of phosphorus among other pollutants found in wastewaters.

Following is the acceptance speech by Svetlana Shtrom, Ph.D., director of OTT.

“On behalf of our entire technology transfer team, I would like to thank the AUTM Board and the Better World Project Committee for selecting UCF’s innovative technology for this prestigious award.

This technology, which is trademarked as Bold & Gold®, consists of patented biosorption activated media and filtration systems that safely remove as much as 90 percent of pollutants from our most valuable natural resource: WATER.

One of the most remarkable aspects of this technology is that it consists largely of natural materials, such as sand and clay, and recycled materials, such as tire chips and compost.  The lead faculty inventor started a company, Stormwater Treatment Environments (STE), and licensed the underlying UCF patents and trademarks.  STE has since sublicensed rights to local manufacturers and distributors with national and international presence.

The current and exclusive manufacturer of Bold & Gold® media is also a Central Florida startup company called Environmental Conservation Solutions. ECS custom blends the Bold & Gold® media for a variety of uses, including green-roofs, site septic systems, stormwater retention or detention ponds, silviculture, agriculture, geothermal discharge, and aquaculture.

UCF’s Technology Transfer Office is proud of its partnership with STE and ECS and recently organized a field trip to ECS’ manufacturing facility. Invitations were extended to various senior UCF administration officials to witness UCF technology transfer first hand and in their own backyard! As the tour concluded, and as we lined up for a group photo, looking into the camera with smiling faces, we recognized that technology transfer plays a small but critical role in making our world a better place now and for generations to come.

Thank you, AUTM and the Better World Project Committee, for creating this annual award, which recognizes the impact of our daily work and makes us grateful to be a part of this amazing profession!”

Svetlana Shtrom, Ph.D.
Director of the UCF Office of Technology Transfer

Team members of the Office of Research with Environmental Conservation Solutions in Apopka, Florida, the exclusive manufacturer of B&G media. Left to right: Dr. Martin Wanielista, Christelle Dasny, John Miner, Jennifer McKinley, Sara Garrabrant, Kristin Timpson, Chris Bogdan, Nivedita Patel, Amanda Reno, Antony Rios, Kim Smith, Dr. Ikiensinma Gogo-Abite, Dr. Dorothy Yates, Nicole Phanstiel, Kristina Gomez, Dr. Svetlana Shtrom, Sandra Jaggernauth, Dr. Raju Nagaiah, and ECS  mascot “Molly the dog.”