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University-Industry Engagement Advisor

U of New Mexico to launch I-Corps site with $444,000 NSF grant

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: August 16th, 2017

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has provided the University of New Mexico (UNM) with a five-year $444,000 grant to help start-ups turn academic research into successful products.

The grant is part of the NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program, which is devoted to boosting tech transfer at research universities across the country. UNM plans to use the funding to convert its Lobo Rainforest building at Innovate ABQ, a research and development site, into an official “NSF Innovation Corps” site.

By utilizing the grant, UNM’s tech transfer office, known as the Science and Technology Corp. (STC), will be able to offer funding to nearly 120 teams of students, faculty and business mentors in the effort to commercialize UNM innovations.

“We’ll have two cohorts of ten teams each this first year, starting with one in the fall and another in the spring,” says Lisa Kuutilla, CEO of STC. “That will grow to 25 teams annually by the third year of the grant.”

In addition to funding support, each team will receive business mentoring as they develop their technologies for commercialization over the course of three months. Those with the highest commercial potential will be eligible to apply for NSF grants of up to $50,000 to continue their projects.

Rob DelCampo, executive director of UNM’s start-up accelerator Innovation Academy, calls the NSF grant “excitement funding.”

“It will help us draw a lot more students and faculty into technology transfer,” he says.

Source: Albuquerque Journal

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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