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CONTACT: TOM BAUER
Oakdale News
109 Technology Innovation Center
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-4067
e-mail:thomas-bauer@uiowa.edu

Release: Immediate

Two software companies to affiliate with UI Technology Innovation Center

VINTON, Iowa -- The State Board of Regents today (Wednesday, May 20) approved leases that will enable Centaur Technologies, Inc. and Optimal Electronics Corporation of Coralville to become corporate affiliates of the University of Iowa (UI) Technology Innovation Center (TIC) on the Oakdale Research Campus in Coralville.

The leases for space in M105 Oakdale Hall (Centaur) and 206 TIC (Optimal) are effective June 1.

Centaur Technologies, Inc. is a software development and consulting company that aims to develop expertise in embedded software development for high-resolution displays using the Java programming language on Rockwell's Java chip (JEM-1).

The company was established in June 1997 by Balkrishna Ramkumar of Coralville. Centaur's president, Ramkumar received a doctorate in computer science from the University of Illinois and was a University of Iowa faculty member in electrical and computer engineering from 1992-97.

"We intend to position our company as a major subcontractor for the avionics and communication industries. Our long-term goal is to develop new embedded Java products in other application domains," he said.

Optimal Electronics Corporation develops and markets innovative software solutions for the electronics industry with a focus on optimization for printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing.

The company was established in March 1998 by Ranko Vujosevic of Iowa City. In addition to serving as president of Optimal, Vujosevic also heads another TIC corporate affiliate, Integrated Engineering Solutions. Vujosevic received a doctorate in industrial engineering from the University of Iowa and was an associate research scientist in the UI Center for Computer-Aided Design prior to founding his first company in 1996.

"We are confident that our proprietary technology provides a solid foundation for development of software to serve the electronics industry," said Vujosevic.

One of the university's technology transfer programs, the TIC was established in 1984 to nurture new technology-based business ventures and to encourage those companies to establish relationships with the UI.

With the addition of Centaur Technologies, Inc. and Optimal Electronics Corporation, the TIC will have 18 tenant companies. Thirteen TIC "graduate" firms remain in business after leaving the incubator.

5/20/98