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UGA named as NSF Innovation Corps Site

Friday, June 9, 2017 - 1:08pm

Turning research and discoveries by our faculty into new products and services that serve the public is a goal that touches several university priorities at once. And while this tranfer has been a reality at UGA for decades, the process has recently been enhanced by a National Science Foundation program that designates campuses as Innovation Corps Sites:

The I-Corps award will enable UGA to serve up to 30 new startup projects a year, adding to the university’s rapidly growing entrepreneurial ecosystem and assisting the campus-wide collaboration focused on helping all entrepreneurial projects move to the marketplace.

Innovation Gateway, the university’s arm for translating research discoveries into products and companies, will serve as the hub for I-Corps UGA, but collaborators will include UGA’s Entrepreneurship Program, College of Engineering and numerous faculty and staff across campus.

“The hardest steps in creating a startup are at the beginning,” said Ian Biggs, senior associate director of UGA’s Innovation Gateway and the program’s lead. “Becoming an I-Corps Site will allow us to provide more robust services, including financial resources. We’ll be able to help anyone with an entrepreneurial idea that needs testing in the marketplace. This also builds on the recent $500,000 award from the Department of Commerce to create a prototyping center focused on engineering and materials science.”

UGA is one of 50-plus I-Corps Sites, programs that are based at academic institutions to catalyze the engagement of multiple local teams in technology transition and innovation. Ideas or projects supported by I-Corps Sites must be focused in an area of science, technology, engineering or mathematics, but can originate from faculty research, student work, industrial projects or ideas from the community.

The work around academia to mimic good ideas in wider society, and to benefit society, continues. The funding that helps teams of faculty, staff and students will hopefully spur development of more such teams, as well as the creative dynamic that drives them. Good news from colleagues in the Office of Research.

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