Ryzing Technologies awarded $1.05 million U.S. Army grant

Ryzing Technologies, a local research and development firm in Downtown Staunton specializing in engineered textiles, was awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) to continue the development of an Adjustable, Reusable Platform for expeditionary military Shelters.

The U.S. Army basecamp provider, Force Provider, deploy their 150-man basecamp in less than 4 hours.  This sets the army’s basecamp apart with respect to their agility.  However, the shelters are typically deployed on wooden decks that take days to deploy, require special crews of engineers and carpenters, and must be disposed of after the base camp is moved.  While the wooden platform materials are inexpensive, the life cycle cost is significant and they impair the army’s ability to move swiftly.

The objective of this program is to develop a platform system that can be deployed in hours by soldiers and be packaged to be redeployed with the basecamp several times.  This system will save the army money, reduce the army’s response time, minimize the transportation burden, and reduce the amount of waste produced.  Beyond the initial target customer, Force Provider, this product will look to serve military hospitals, command and control units, and the basecamps of other military branches.   In addition, there are several commercial applications.

Ryzing Technologies opened their doors in August 2015 in the small but accommodating garages at 162A Greenville Avenue.  The founders, Ryan Gundling and Ryan Long both took part in the BRIGHT REWIRED Business Plan Competition, completing the training to create their business plan.  Since opening, they have implemented projects and provided consulting services for the military, universities, other businesses, and municipalities.

Projects have included a deployable hull system for amphibious armored vehicles for the department of the Navy, consulting on structural analysis of air-supported domes, and development of soft, inflatable robotic technologies.  The later was partially funded by the State of Virginia through the Center for Innovative Technologies (CIT), as part of the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) grant. The goal of this technology is to be an articulating, robotic structure that can safely work alongside humans in medical, industrial, and military applications. The technology’s feasibility has successfully been demonstrated with a series of prototypes. The technology is still in the development stages and Ryzing is looking for market applications.

The $1.05M SBIR grant is significant for the company’s growth because the revenues will enable Ryzing Technologies to continue the trend of doubling revenues every year through 2018 and will create local jobs. They will be hiring one to two positions for engineering/technicians in February 2018.  Ryzing Technologies is committed to mentoring young talent and are working with a Lee High School senior who is interested in engineering/architecture field.  She is currently aiding in the research of improved materials for inflatable structures and will support the work of the ARPS project.

“Our goal was to develop a cutting-edge research and development company in the City of Staunton.  We believe that Staunton is a place that has existing talent and can attract outside talent.  This SBIR grant gives us the opportunity to further build our team and continue to make our goal a reality.” says Ryan Gundling, CEO/Engineer at Ryzing Technologies.

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