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Moving Discoveries to the Marketplace

A vaccine that prevents salmonella, coatings that protect fabrics from ultraviolet rays, bandages that release medication to improve wound healing and better bed bug bait—these four technological breakthroughs are one step closer to becoming reality.

The NC State researchers behind these inventions are the first recipients of the Chancellor’s Innovation Fund awards.

Each project will receive up to $75,000 in seed money that will be used to make the technology more marketable, such as gathering additional data, conducting market research and building prototypes.

The Innovation Fund was established in 2010 by Chancellor Randy Woodson as a means to provide additional support to faculty, staff and students who develop technologies or ideas with commercial potential. Fifty-six applicants applied for funding this year, from which 12 finalists were selected. A selection committee of NC State personnel with technological and entrepreneurial expertise, as well as external partners, chose the four winning projects.

“We want to bridge the gap between the lab and the marketplace,” says Terri Lomax, vice chancellor for research, innovation and economic development. “The fund provides these researchers the ability to make their technology more marketable, which in turn provides North Carolinians with jobs.”

Lomax sees the innovation fund as an important part of NC State’s strategy to double the number of startups it launches by 2012. It is a key component of the Springboard Innovation Partnership Portal.  Created in  2010, the portal  speeds the pipeline through which research becomes reality by facilitating business partnerships and helping fledgling companies succeed.

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