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TechConnectWV Program to Offer Research Faculty Commercialization Grants

February 1, 2013

Faculty researchers at West Virginia’s undergraduate institutions of higher education have the opportunity to create partnerships with private businesses to convert innovation into product through a new grant program now available through TechConnectWV.

The Seed Grant Program for Research and Commercial Partnering offers matching grants of up to $5,000 to faculty who partner with the private sector to overcome the hurdle of bringing innovations to the marketplace.  TechConnect WV’s Innovation Transfer Consortium released an application package for the grant program on January 30 online at http://techconnectwv.org/seed-grant-program/.  The deadline to apply for funding is February 22.

“The program was engineered to create and accelerate cooperation between the West Virginia higher education community and the private sector to turn research ideas into viable products that eventually help put people to work,” said Jack Carpenter, director of the Innovation Transfer Consortium project under TechConnect, WV.

Carpenter said focus areas for the grants include: chemicals and advanced materials; medical devices/health care; biotechnology/life sciences; nanotechnology; identification technology; and energy.

Anne Barth, executive director of TechConnectWV, said, “West Virginia’s colleges and universities are treasure houses of innovation and ideas that can lead to job creation in each of these areas. We hope that by providing funds to help encourage these kinds of partnerships, we can create viable and robust new ways that others can follow in bringing innovations into the marketplace where they can add to the growth of the economy.”

Carpenter said the effort will enlighten both research faculty and business representatives to the concept of collaboration for commercialization.

“The Seed Grant Program is intended to support innovation between the higher education sector and private businesses,” he said. “The funding is intended to assist in the commercialization of a product, innovation or technology; test the feasibility of a technology or product very close to commercialization; and help a company to complete a commercialization project that will directly help it grow.”

TechConnect WV is also offering research faculty at the state’s primarily undergraduate institutions the chance to bring their specialties to the attention of potential private sector partners through a new database of expertise.  Carpenter said interested faculty can log on to http://techconnectwv.org/itc/ to make sure their areas of expertise are included on lists that will be available to the potential private sector partners.

For more information about the grant, contact Carpenter at jcarpenter@kickingstonesconsulting.com.

For more information about TechConnect WV’s Innovation Transfer Consortium, visit http://techconnectwv.org/innovation-transfer-consortium/.

TechConnect West Virginia is a statewide economic development organization dedicated to fostering and promoting innovation-based businesses and entrepreneurial activities across West Virginia. TechConnect encompasses a coalition of professionals dedicated to growing and diversifying West Virginia’s economy through innovation-based economic development.  With members representing education and research, private industry, and the public sector, the organization serves as a forum and facilitator to enhance awareness, spur collaboration, and raise the discussion of issues needed to strengthen the state’s innovation ecosystem.  For more information, go to www.techconnectwv.org.