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VIP Awards $800,000 to University Research Projects

Wednesday, January 29, 2014  
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The Virginia Innovation Partnership (VIP), a statewide network designed to accelerate innovation and economic growth created in 2012 as part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s i6 Challenge, has awarded $800,000 to 18 university research projects in Virginia.


VIP provides funding that allows university  researchers to advance early-stage work through  the "proof of concept” stage, in which they establish  its commercial potential. The program also connects researchers with mentors, corporations and investors to accelerate commercialization of the new discoveries and inventions. It is the only statewide innovation network in the U.S. and serves as a model for other states.


"This visionary program initiated by the White House and U.S. Department of Commerce aims at the best point of leverage which America still enjoys over global competitors – the early-stage value creation occurring in the nation’s research universities,” said Thomas C. Skalak, vice president for research at the University of Virginia and principal investigator on the i6 grant. "This proof-of-concept program develops truly new ideas and the teams behind them into investment-ready projects, which creates new jobs and economic growth for the state and nation.”


Researchers from academic institutions across Virginia submitted proposals. An external advisory group and review committee with government, corporate, research, community and venture capital experience selected 27 projects for oral presentations, with 18 of those ultimately selected for funding.


This year’s funded projects come from seven colleges and universities spanning topics that address a need in a number of areas, including health care, energy, biotechnology, materials, electronics, telecommunications and software.  U.Va. received the most, with five projects awarded.  VCU and Virginia Tech followed closely with four and three projects respectively.  The College of William & Mary and Old Dominion University each received two, while EVMS and George Washington University rounded out the list with one award each.The awards mark the Virginia Innovation Partnership’s second round of funding.


The partnership is supported by $1 million in federal funding over two years as part of the i6 Challenge, with additional matching funds provided by corporate participants, university partners and other entities.


To view the list of funded projects click here.

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