Biamonte bringing BNL data tech to market

BNL scientists working on the lab's ion collider developed TeraPaths to move giant data sets across limited bandwidth.

By GREGORY ZELLER // The CEO of Green Sulfcrete, an environmentally friendly concrete alternative, is looking to cement himself in the big-data industry.

Through Startup America – a White House initiative to celebrate, inspire and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation – Green Sulfcrete CEO William Biamonte has paid “a couple grand” for the option to license a proprietary Brookhaven National Laboratory technology developed to move massive amounts of data pouring out of the lab’s ion accelerator/collider.

Biamonte’s plan: To develop a commercially scalable version of the technology suited for large corporations, medical systems, universities and others who have lots of data to move, but can’t always get enough bandwidth to move it.

The TeraPaths technology was designed by BNL scientists Dimitrios Katramatos and Dantong Yu, with funding provided by the Department of Energy. The TeraPaths project investigates the use of various technologies in “data-intensive distributed computing environments,” according to the BNL website, with the goal of managing networks as a critical resource in the same way CPU resources are managed in multi-user environments.

SulfCrete CEO Bill Biamonte: Cementing a new way to move massive amounts of data.

Sulfcrete CEO Bill Biamonte: Cementing a new way to move massive amounts of data.

TeraPaths has been used to share the incredible amount of data coming out of the collider/accelerator and its ancillary projects with other laboratory offices. Biamonte envisions a commercialized version that can not only move large amount of data, but can reserve the bandwidth necessary to haul those loads.

“It’s like the Long Island Expressway,” he said. “On the LIE at 10 a.m., you’re flying. At 4:45 p.m., you’ve got a big problem.”

Many networks work that way, Biamonte added. “This technology can allow users to reserve the bandwidth they’ll need on the network they want at the time they want. Nothing else like this exists.”

After reserving the commercialization rights, Biamonte brought the technology to the Center for Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology at Stony Brook University, with whom the entrepreneur has collaborated on his Sulfcrete projects. While BNL has used the TeraPaths system “like 10,000 times” to move data internally, creating a commercialized product that can move data along outside networks – or the cloud or even the Internet – is “a whole different animal,” he noted.

So CEWIT, in conjunction with BNL scientists, will build a working prototype of a commercial application.

“Instead of moving 10 billion gigabytes or whatever, it will be able to move an X-ray package immediately or complete a currency exchange immediately,” Biamonte said. “Whatever has to be moved instantly, it will move.”

Biamonte said CEWIT quoted a price of $105,000 to develop the prototype and that he and his partners should have the funding in place by fall. Once the cash is in hand, it should take CEWIT about six months to do their thing, according to Biamonte.

Lawrence Weber, entrepreneur-in-residence and business development manager at CEWIT, said that six-month window is “Bill’s timetable,” though he’s “not in a position to dispute it.” However long it takes, Weber added, CEWIT will be able to “organize a demonstration that will show definitively the data-transfer advantages of the (TeraPaths) system.”

“CEWIT will be one of the nodes, and for the demonstration the second node could by Stony Brook’s medical campus or BNL,” Weber noted. “The idea is we will have the big-data capability and massively fast transfer capabilities, and we will be able to compare them side-by-side against standard (data transfer) methods.”

Weber – who doubles as business-development manager at the New York State Center for Advanced Technology in Diagnostic Tools and Sensor Systems, also located on the SBU campus – said the demonstration will prove to be a “meaningful test.”

“I have to reserve my opinion until the testing is done, but this certainly has a right to be tested,” he told Innovate LI. “CEWIT is very selective in the things we support. We only support things we think have a chance to succeed.”

Success, in this case, could prove to be a global game-changer in the high-stakes data-transfer realm. Biamonte cited three potential levels of commercialization, each more lucrative than the next.

“First you build it for a big corporation or a hospital to transfer their data – an internal network,” he said. “Then you put it on the cloud. The third level is to put it on the Internet, and once you get to that level, you’re talking about a really, really valuable property.”

The endgame, he added, is yet to be determined. Once CEWIT’s work is done and the commercialization potential is better understood, Biamonte and his partners will have some decisions to make.

“If we successfully commercialize this, we’ll have the ability to market it all over the world,” the investor said. “Most likely, we’ll have an interest in either selling it to someone or working with an existing software company.”