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Rice launches grant initiative to help faculty members bring their innovations to market

Rice University has launched a new initiative to support faculty members developing technologies with commercial potential.

The One Small Step Grant — named for Niel Armstrong’s famous quote, which he delivered just a few years after JFK’s “We choose to go to the moon” speech at Rice — will provide selected researchers with up to $100,000, with as many as five awards given out each year.

The program aims to help researchers turn their promising innovations into successful products and companies.

“The One Small Step Grant is a beacon of hope by providing support to enable critical experiments that pave the way for groundbreaking start-ups or licensing breakthrough tech,” reads the university’s website. “We seek projects within 12-18 months of forming a spin-out or embarking on a licensing event.”

Paul Cherukuri, vice president of innovation at Rice, says the initiative will meet the demand among faculty members for commercialization support — a demand he has observed since he took on his role a year ago.

“As soon as we announced [the grant], in the same day we had five professors fill out the form,” Cherukuri says.

Source: Innovation Map

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