By CHARLOTTE HSU republished from UBNow.
Published February 7, 2018
Three UB startups have received six-figure awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support commercialization of promising technologies that could benefit society by improving health care and providing broader access to clean water.
The new funding recognizes the potential impact of the UB startups, which are working to improve the safety of MRI scans, enable early identification of unruptured brain aneurysms, and help alleviate drinking water shortages worldwide.
“The federal SBIR and STTR programs are extremely competitive, and the success of these UB spinoff companies in securing funding is a testament to the promise of their technologies,” says Venu Govindaraju, vice president for research and economic development.
“UB invests time and resources into commercializing technologies developed by our researchers. In recent years, the university has increased support for students and faculty who are making the transition to becoming entrepreneurs,” Govindaraju says. “The progress that UB-affiliated startups are making reflects the success of these efforts, as well as the vibrancy of the ecosystem that we and our many partners are building.”
UB’s efforts to commercialize discoveries are helping to drive economic development in the region, with dozens of UB faculty and students starting companies in recent years. These businesses develop products and services that benefit society and create jobs in Western New York.
Support from UB begins when faculty and student researchers approach the university with a discovery that holds promise for becoming a commercial product or service.
UB’s Technology Transfer and Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships teams — part of the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development — help inventors understand their innovations from a business standpoint: What is the real-world problem that a product helps to solve? What is the size of the market for the product? What research and development (R&D) needs to happen to get the product to consumers, and how will that R&D be funded?
UB follows through on these initial conversations by protecting UB discoveries with patent applications and providing the resources needed to help spinoffs succeed.