NEWARK— ThruPore Technologies Inc., a market-disrupting, woman-led company known for its Dr. Filter product, plans on moving operations in Alabama to Delaware in one lab space in Newark.Spun out of the University of Alabama nine years ago, the company will invest $1 million in renovating 9,000 square feet in the Pencader Corporate Center on Route 896, with 7,000 square feet devoted to research, development and manufacturing of its HVAC filter that kills 99.99% of airborne viruses.
[caption id="attachment_36041" align="alignright" width="300"] Dr. Francessa Sayler, President and CEO of ThruPore | DBT FILE PHO[/caption]
ThruPore Technologies foresees growth in the next three years triggered by demand for HVAC air filters due to COVID-19, predicts creating 57 jobs in Delaware. That would include relocated positions from Alabama. These positions would have salaries ranging between $69,000 to $150,000, and would include roles in departments like sales and marketing, research and development, shipping logistics and in administration.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. ThruPore president and CEO Dr. Francessa Sayler said that Delaware’s intimate business community was also the main attraction to grow the company.“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 in a prepared comment. “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 has received two grants totaling nearly $564,000 from the Delaware Strategic Fund by the state Council on Development Finance, including a Jobs Performance Grant of up to $210,090 and a Lab Space Grant of $353,800.ThruPore first started as a way to manufacture new chemical processes for green technology, but later pivoted to air filtration during the pandemic. Dr. Filter uses a proprietary manufacturing platform to make highly porous synthetic carbon catalyst products, which it sells to large chemical companies. The company has focused first on installation in the commercial space, but Sayler noted that they are open about other markets.“We’ve worked with the U.S. Air Force before. We focused first on commercial space to get people back to work when occupancy was so limited, but it really can be used anywhere,” she told the Council on Development Finance on May 24.The newly-established Lab Space Grant includes $3 million, and ThruPore is one of its first companies funded by it. The Lab Space Grant was created to grow the lab space and keep innovators looking for it from leaving the First State, with funding up to 33% of lab fit-out or up to $50 per square foot.
“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,” Ariel Gruswitz, Delaware Prosperity Partnership director of Innovation said. “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.”