$10M Available to Support Academe-Industry Partnerships on Smart Systems

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is entertaining proposals to support “academe-industry partnerships, which are led by an interdisciplinary academic research team collaborating with at least one industry partner in order to carry out research to advance, adapt, and integrate technology(ies) into a specified, human-centered smart service system.” Through the Building Innovation Capacity (BIC) element of the Partnerships for Innovation program, NSF intends to make up to $10 million in grants to support research partnerships working on projects that operate in the post-fundamental or translational stage of development with a “clear path to commercialization.” For this program, NSF requires letters of intent by December 2. Read the opportunity..

VA Gov Set to Sign Package of ED Bills Including New Research Fund

On April 20, the Virginia General Assembly sent three economic development-focused bills (HB 1343, HB 846, and HB 834) to Gov. Terry McAuliffe. The bills include the creation of a new research fund and the creation of a network of regional economic development councils. Although the bills have yet to be signed, Gov. McAuliffe has publicly supported each of them. This package of economic development initiatives was originally proposed in the governor’s economic development strategy as well as his recent budget proposal. However, it took some compromise between the governor’s original proposals and the General Assembly to reach a final package.

NSF Announces Funding to Establish, Sustain I-Corps Nodes

The National Science Foundation (NSF) released a solicitation to establish and sustain Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Nodes as part of I-Corps’ National Innovation Network that builds upon fundamental research to guide the output of scientific discoveries closer to the development of technologies, products, processes and services that benefit society. NSF will commit up to $8.5 million to support seven I-Corps Nodes to foster understanding on how to:

DOE Issues Call to Help Commercialize Energy Technologies From National Labs

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) announced that it will commit up to $20 million for the first round of the DOE’s Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF) – a matching fund that helps bring promising energy technologies developed at DOE-funded national laboratories to market. In addition to helping advance promising energy related technologies with commercial potential, the TFC is intended to strengthen partnerships between the national labs and private-sector companies that can deploy energy technologies to the marketplace.

DOE Releases Second Quadrennial Technology Review on S&T Energy Efforts

The Department of Energy (DOE) released the 2015 Quadrennial Technology Review (QTR), a more than 500-page report examining the status of foundational energy science and technology (S&T). The QTR also highlights the research, development, demonstration, and deployment (RDD&D) opportunities with a focus on technologies with commercialization potential in the mid-term and beyond. DOE intends to use the QTR in assisting decision makers as they set priorities, within budget constraints, to fund RDD&D and commercialization efforts that will develop more secure, affordable, and sustainable energy services.

Tech Transfer Approach, Institutional Characteristics Influence Academic Research Commercialization

While there has been a significant amount of focus on identifying and cultivating academic entrepreneurs, two recent studies indicate that the environmental factors are equally important in the commercialization of academic research. These studies find that the commercialization approach of the tech transfer offices (TTOs) and institutional characteristics were vital in the success of academic research commercialization.

DOE Launches New Office to Expand Commercial Impact of Energy Research

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the launch of the Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) to serve as a DOE-wide functional unit that coordinates the commercial development of DOE’s research outputs and administer the Energy Technology Commercialization Fund – a nearly $20 million fund that will leverage the R&D funding in the applied energy programs to pursue high-impact commercialization activities. OTT will focus its efforts on coordinating technology transfer activities carried out at all 17 DOE national laboratories, as well as other DOE research and production facilities, to actively support private sector commercialization activities. To increase commercialization, OTT will engage and collaborate with industry during each step of the commercialization process for products and services with near-term commercial viability. Read the release…

DOE Combines Three Programs Into New $45M Program for Disruptive Solar Technologies

The Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced that it will combine three existing programs (Incubator, SolarMat, and SUNPATH) into the Sunshot Technology to Market Program – a new funding program to support startups and other for-profit organizations as they bring disruptive solar innovations to the market place. Historically, the three programs that comprise the new program were separated by stage of technology development. In the interest of optimizing the application and selection process, the new program will focus on disruptive solar technologies at all stages of development and offer six tiers based on the type of product (hardware or non-hardware) and product maturity. Concept papers are due Feb 24; applications are due Apr 22. For more information, read the announcement (DE-FOA-0001225)…

Federal Lab Consortium Launches Interactive Tool for Businesses

Last week, the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) announced the launch of FLCBusiness, an all-inclusive search database that shares information about funding, equipment, know-how, and resources available from the federal lab network for private and public utilization. In a 2011 presidential memorandum, Accelerating Technology Transfer and Commercialization of Federal Research in Support of High-Growth Businesses, President Obama emphasizes the importance of facilitating tech transfer and commercialization through regional public-private partnerships.  In light of this, FLC hopes that FLCBusiness will encourage technology transfer and increase the competitiveness of U.S. private industries by offering an interactive tool that helps them better understand which resources are made available. Read the press release …

Universities, Public-Private Partners Launch Commercialization Funds in IN, LA, PA, WA

Purdue University, the University City Science Center, and Washington State University announced the creation of new investment funds to support the growth of university-affiliated startups in their respective communities. These three recently announced commercialization funds all share a common trend – they will be managed or assisted in the management process via public-private partnerships. In Baton Rouge, LA, the Research Park Corporation also announced the creation of a fund to assist Louisiana State University researchers compete for commercialization funding from the university.


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