November 18, 2013
KNOXVILLE – Treatment for age-related macular degeneration, technology to alert nurses when a newborn patient’s endotracheal tube tip is out of position and a sensor to check for contaminates in jet fuel are among the recipients of funding from the University of Tennessee Research Foundation.
The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) kicked off Global Entrepreneurship Week by announcing the recipients of its annual maturation funding program. UTRF is a not-for-profit organization responsible for commercializing and licensing technology discovered by faculty across the UT System.
This year, UTRF is awarding $120,000 to eight groups of faculty inventors. Each team receives $15,000 to further develop their technology.
“Technologies that are matured toward a viable product stand a greater chance of being licensed and long term commercial success,” said UTRF President & CEO David Washburn.
Some technologies invented at the University of Tennessee need additional development in order to make it to the marketplace. To help inventors move their technologies closer to licensing and commercialization, UTRF awards grants each year through its annual maturation funding program.
Since the maturation funding program began in 2007, $840,000 has been awarded to more than 60 projects and resulted in more than 30 commercial licenses.
In 2012, Yu Liu and Randall J. Nelson of UTHSC’s Anatomy and Neurobiology Department were recipients of a maturation grant, and their technology is now the basis of a Memphis-based startup called HandMinder, Inc. The company is developing a product designed to help patients regain hand and finger control after a stroke.
2013 recipients awarded by the UTRF Health Science Center office are:
2013 recipients awarded by the UTRF Multi-Disciplinary office include:
The program was open to all University of Tennessee campuses and institutes. The selection process included evaluation of three key areas: (1) demonstration of a path for commercial development, (2) market potential, and (3) stage of development. As part of the award process, UTRF will receive interim and final reports from the researchers that will describe increased knowledge and improvements in the subject technology. This information is expected to assist UTRF in better positioning the technologies for licensing.
A call for submissions for next year's Maturation Funding Program will be announced in October 2014. For more details on the program and past winners, visit utrf.tennessee.edu. In FY2013, UTRF helped establish four startup companies and received 145 new invention disclosures.
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