Orlando Tech Company Semplastics Wins $750,000 Grant to Develop Next-Generation Mirrors for Space Exploration

ORLANDO, Fla. — Semplastics, LLC, a graduate company of the University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program, recently earned a $750,000 U.S. Small Business Research and Innovation (SBIR) grant to develop lightweight, highly durable and highly precise mirrors for use in space exploration.

Semplastics CEO Bill Easter said the new mirrors represent the next generation of space exploration. This SBIR grant will fund development of mirrors that are approximately two feet in diameter.

“Semplastics has developed a novel, innovative ceramic material which is lightweight, low-cost, and ideal for mirrors in satellites or ground-based observatories,” Easter said. “This mirror material development is the first realization of our patented X-MAT™ technology.”

Semplastics’ sophisticated manufacturing processes can reduce the cost of space-age mirrors by an order of magnitude over current glass and glass-and-ceramic methods, Easter said. Their light weight and reduced costs make them preferable to older technologies.

Easter said the grant will enable Semplastics to develop its manufacturing process so that it can produce mirrors that are larger than one meter in diameter.

“Mirror technology plays a major role determining whether an exoplanet’s atmosphere contains water vapor or carbon dioxide, either of which might indicate life forms,” Easter said.

Beyond space exploration, Semplastics’ X-MAT™ technology will likely find applications in medicine, energy, automotive and military technologies, Easter added.

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For more information contact:

Bill Easter, Chief Executive Officer, Semplastics, Inc. wgeaster@semplastics.com or 407-353-6885

Carol Ann Dykes, Site Manager, UCF Business Incubation Program, 407-207-7426 carolann.dykes@ucf.edu

Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications Inc. 407-644-4142 Lvershelco@aol.com

About Semplastics, LLC  
Semplastics is a supplier of precision plastic components for the semiconductor industry.  Semplastics’ materials expertise is a key driver to providing customer value. Recent Semplastics’ R&D innovations have produced the X-MAT™ material product family.

About the UCF Business Incubation Program
The University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program is a community resource that provides early-stage companies with the tools, training and infrastructure to become financially stable, high growth / impact enterprises.   Since 1999, this award-winning program has helped hundreds of local startup companies reach their potential faster by providing vital business development resources.

With seven facilities throughout the region, the UCF Business Incubation Program is an economic development partnership between the University of Central Florida, the Corridor, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia Counties, and the cities of Apopka, Kissimmee, Orlando and Winter Springs.  Participating companies sustain more than 3,600 local jobs and have had a total impact of $1.51 Billion on regional sales and $2.48 Billion on regional economic output.  During the last fiscal year, the program has returned $7.95 for every $1.00 invested in the program. For more information, visit www.incubator.ucf.edu.