VIPC Awards Commonwealth Commercialization Fund Grant to Carilion Medical Center

Carilion Medical Center is a non-profit healthcare organization based in Roanoke, Va. The principal investigator for this grant is Dr. Umar Sofi, MD, is a practicing pulmonologist and an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke, Va. The CCF-funded project grew from Dr. Sofi’s frustration with currently available oxygen delivery systems, which are time-consuming for healthcare providers and do not respond to a patient’s ever-changing oxygen needs. In response to this need, Dr. Sofi assembled a cross-functional team of experts from Carilion Clinic and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) to design and build an innovative oxygen delivery system. The flow-regulated nasal oxygen delivery system (FRNDS) offers significant improvements compared to legacy oxygen delivery systems.

“We appreciate the CCF grant from VIPC for FRNDS,” said Dr. Umar Sofi. “There is currently no device for high-flow oxygen that can adapt to a patient’s respiratory needs. We are developing FRNDS to overcome those hurdles by measuring a patient’s inspiratory flow to improve patient outcomes.”

“We are pleased to award a CCF grant to support Dr. Sofi’s commercialization efforts,” said Hina Mehta, PhD, VIPC’s Director for University Programs. “VIPC’s CCF higher education grant program plays an important role in getting funding to Virginia’s entrepreneurially-minded university researchers as they work to take innovations from lab to market. Dr. Sofi’s research has identified a significant unmet need in the respiratory care field, and he is leading a top-notch team that is committed to building and demonstrating a working prototype of FRNDS.”

CCF accepts applications and awards funding on a rolling basis to Virginia’s small businesses and university-based innovators. The CCF Higher education grant program seeks to fund high-potential Virginia-based academic research teams that are developing technologies with strong commercial potential. The grants support early technology and market validation efforts such as customer discovery, market research, business model validation, development of prototypes or a minimum viable product (MVP), customer pilots, intellectual property protection, team development, and more. For more information on funding opportunities and eligibility requirements, or to apply, visit:

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