In the journey from laboratory into the hands of an industry partner, an important step in technology transfer is the proof of concept process. This is the way of proving out that what works in the halls of our research campus is feasible in the real world.
VCU Innovation Gateway provides promising inventors with funding to support their work. Our Commercialization Fund, established in 2015, awards up to $50,000 for projects, with the intent of de-risking and setting the stage to acquire more funding or a licensing partner. We give these awards twice a year (in the spring and fall), and we announced the latest recipients just this week.
You will get to know a few of those researchers and others in this issue of Launchpad. We’re releasing these stories at the same time as VCU’s latest economic-impact report that shows our university and health system generates $9.5 billion in economic activity and supports 58,000 Virginia jobs. A significant portion of this impact comes through VCU and VCU Health’s contribution to the innovation ecosystem. In the past year, for example, Innovation Gateway nurtured 14 start-ups based on university intellectual property.
VCU research creates technologies and products that improve health and enrich quality of life within our communities. But we don’t operate alone — we know external partnerships are critical to our success, which is why we are focused on finding ways to collaborate with companies, investors, and entrepreneurs in our communities to nurture our innovations and startups.
We invite you to meet some of the VCU minds who are changing the world. And if you want to talk to any of them, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
Ivelina Metcheva, Ph.D., MBA
Assistant Vice President for Innovation
VCU Innovation Gateway