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CIT Released the CRCF FY2015 Annual Report

Monday, November 16, 2015  
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The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) released the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) annual report for FY2015, which tracks investments in high-potential technology development and commercialization initiatives throughout Virginia.

In FY2015, CIT announced 38 grants to startups, universities and research institutes engaged in research and development projects totaling $2.8 million in key sectors such as life sciences, cyber security, advanced manufacturing and energy. This investment was leveraged to secure an additional $5.6 million from private sector and university matching funds.

The University of Virginia’s Dr. John Herr, a cell and developmental biologist and entrepreneur, and a recipient of CRCF grants, comments, “The Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund provided my team with access to capital at a critical juncture in our program, allowing us to achieve proof-of-concept milestones and develop data to file new enabling intellectual properties, while pushing the boundaries of our research and creating a strong patent foundation for commercialization. The grants have allowed our team to leverage follow on investments from private funding sources and helped us create vital strategic partnerships.”

Managed by CIT, the CRCF invests in projects that address serious challenges and unmet needs while also presenting promising opportunities for statewide economic development. Recently, CIT announced the latest investment opportunity through the Fund; the FY2016 solicitation is now open and the LOI is due December 4, 2015. A webinar to discuss completing the LOI will be held November 23 at 2pm. More information is available by clicking here.

Highlights of the report follow:

• Regulatory applications and approvals. In FY2015, at least nine clinical trials were completed, underway, or recently approved for CRCF-funded technologies. Two award recipients reported their device or drug had received FDA approval. Additionally, at least four awardees are engaged in pre-clinical research and investigational studies.

• Products/services introduced to market. At least five new products and/or services were brought to market, two additional products and/or services are anticipated for near-term release, and one platform has been developed for internal use that enables product development and commercialization. CRCF award recipients also reported numerous products in the beta phase. At least 150 licenses for CRCF-funded software have been sold. Nine companies have reported sales revenue, with four of those companies each recording sales over $1 million.

• Company growth. At least two new companies, both of which are university spin-outs in life sciences, were formed during FY2015 in the Commonwealth. Several companies have expanded their operations, including through the establishment of satellite facilities. At least 115 new hires were reported by CRCF award recipients; hires range from part-time to full-time and from students to senior-level executives.

• Intellectual property created and licensed. In FY2015, CRCF recipients reported 28 issued patents, more than 90 patents pending, and more than 30 patents under development, including provisional applications. Two organizations reported having licensed their intellectual property to other entities, and several additional organizations are engaged in active licensing discussions.

• Publications prepared and accepted. Articles by CRCF award recipients appear in respected industry journals, and recipients have given numerous presentations domestically and internationally about their novel technology. Fund awardees reported more than 200 total publications and presentations.

Ed Albrigo, President and CEO of CIT, said, “As we look for ways to counter the adverse impacts of sequestration and federal budget cuts, we are using the CRCF to invest in and point the way to promising research and commercialization opportunities. The investments we make here are necessary to strengthen and complement economic development strategies and grow the New Virginia Economy.”

Since the inception of the CRCF program in 2011, nearly 500 applications have been submitted from all of the Commonwealth’s ten technology regions. From these submissions, 184 awards totaling approximately $16.5 million, and leveraging at least a 1:1 match, have been announced.

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