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Ohio launches tech commercialization effort based on NSF I-Corps program

A new program launched by the state of Ohio is organizing teams of faculty members and students to turn their research into commercial products and companies. The Innovation Corps (I-Corps)@Ohio is a seven-week program designed to help students and faculty determine if their innovations have market potential. Participating universities include Ohio State University (OSU), the University of Akron, the University of Cincinnati, Lorain County Community College, Ohio University and the University of Toledo.

“The ultimate goal is to help the amazing technologies that are developed at colleges and universities in Ohio to move out of the lab and into the marketplace,” says Michael Camp, executive director of the Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (TEC) Institute at OSU and program director of I-Corps@Ohio.

During I-Corps@Ohio, each research team will do an in-depth analysis of its technology and market potential to determine if it could be the core of a start-up company, backed by $15,000 in funding from day one. One of the key tasks will be to interview potential customers to see if the innovation actually answers a real need.

“We want to increase innovation and entrepreneurship among our faculty and students,” he adds, “and help them build their business acumen and contacts with industry.”

The program is based on (and approved by) the National Science Foundation’s successful I-Corps program. OSU will act as lead manager of the program, while NSF I-Corps will certify all of the program’s instructors. Ohio is the first to have a statewide collaboration based on I-Corps that is also fully funded by the state, specifically by the Ohio Department of Higher Education (DHE). 

Ohio Governor John R. Kasich has singled out research commercialization as a prime factor in sustaining job creation and has urged Ohio’s universities to make tech transfer among their top priorities.

Source: newswise

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