Press Release
December 12, 2014

Holland & Knight Represents Tech Start-Up in Successful Bid for Federal Grant to Fight Ebola

WASHINGTON/BOSTON (December 12, 2014) –  Holland & Knight represented technology start-up SPR Advanced Technologies in its successful bid for a major grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of the government agency's "Ebola Grand Challenge," which was launched in concert with the White House Office of Science and Technology, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Defense. The grant will fund the testing of a barrier technology developed by SPR which exhibits certain anti-microbial properties, including the ability to kill viruses and bacteria on several types of surfaces, to see whether it could help prevent the spread of Ebola.

SPR was one of three first-round winners of USAID’s "Ebola Grand Challenge," which were announced today in Washington, D.C. The challenge was a call to innovators around the world to submit ideas focused on improving the personal protective equipment and tools used by frontline healthcare workers in the fight against Ebola in West Africa.

Holland & Knight partners Michael Gaba, Matthew Mitchell and Jeff Seul and associate Ben Howe assisted SPR with the grant application, as well as with federal relations and its corporate formation earlier this year. The company focuses on the development of advanced materials for commercial and industrial use with a wide variety of applications including biomedical/hospital, clean technology, marine transportation and household use.

"I had the good fortune to work very closely with Matthew and Michael and their team of professionals on positioning our company and navigating the government funding process," said Jeffrey Horine, chief executive officer of SPR Advanced Technologies. "As an early stage company with limited resources, we could not have achieved this remarkable feat without their guidance and support." 

"It's been an amazing few weeks of whirlwind activity," reflected Mr. Gaba, who is the federal policy leader of Holland & Knight's Healthcare & Life Sciences practice. "I've been in this town for nearly 30 years and I have never seen the government move this quickly. SPR submitted its expression of interest on November 7 and now the start-up is a USAID award nominee. The sense of urgency involved reflects the fact that we are truly in a war against this killer disease."

Related News and Headlines