(TNS) -- The University of Connecticut is launching a program to help students and faculty transform ideas for technology into commercialized products.
The school kicked off its Accelerate UConn program with a ceremony Tuesday In Storrs. The program, which builds upon UConn’s existing technology transfer, incubation and commercialization infrastructure, is being funded by a three-year, $300,000 grant by the National Science Foundation.
Those selected to participate in the Accelerate UConn program will qualify for start-up grants of up to $3,000, according to university officials. They will also learn how to assess their technology or concept from a business perspective and benefit from the expertise of industry mentors, as well as make use of networking opportunities.
The program participants will also be able to compete for $15,000 fellowships.
“I am delighted that the National Science Foundation (NSF) is acknowledging UConn’s strong pipeline of innovative technology and promising entrepreneurial growth with the designation of an NSF I-Corps site here,” Jeff Seemann, vice president for research at the school and the entrepreneurial program’s principal investigator, said in a statement. “Accelerate UConn will help the University deliver on the promise of NextGen CT — Gov. Malloy’s initiative to expand educational opportunities, research and innovation in science, technology, engineering and math at UConn over the next decade — and Bioscience CT — a commitment to foster bioscience in Connecticut as a key component of the economy — with growth in research awards, new industry partnerships, the creation of emerging technology companies and graduates that remain here in Connecticut.”
Applications for start-up grants are due in late September. A series of workshops before the application deadline will help prepare entrepreneurial teams for a competitive application.
Timothy Folta, a management professor at the school and Accelerate UConn’s co-principal investigator, said the program “aligns perfectly with the work we have underway at CCEI (Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation), helping us advance company creation through faculty and student entrepreneurship.”
“After being at UConn for nearly two years now, I am sensing a strong undercurrent of interest in innovation and entrepreneurship that is ready to emerge in greater force,” Folta said. “We believe Accelerate UConn will energize and invigorate this interest ... and nurture it through entrepreneurial training and resources. We couldn’t be more pleased to launch this program in May, and ramp it up further when students return in the fall.”
Students and faculty from all of UConn’s campuses as well as the university’s Law School, UConn Health and the Graduate Business Learning Center in Hartford are eligible to be considered for the new program.
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