On January 24, 2013, the National Academies’ Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR) will host a special webinar on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s i6 Challenge program. The i6 Challenge is a multi-agency grant that encourages and rewards innovative, groundbreaking ideas that accelerate technology commercialization, new venture formation, job creation, and economic growth across the United States.
Launched in 2010, the i6 Challenge program encourages and rewards universities and research centers for creating proof of concept centers that identify innovations to commercialize and help them to put together the building blocks to create high growth, successful companies, including business model support, access to investors, mentors and access to potential customers. Over the last three years, U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) has provided $38 million to 19 winners across the United States to create their own centers for innovation and entrepreneurship. In addition, these centers have raised another $1-2 million from the private sector to support their efforts, in line with OIE and the EDA’s emphasis on private support for its initiatives.
Details on the i6 Challenge will be presented by Mr. Nish Acharya from the U.S. Department of Commerce. He will be joined by Dr. Barry Rosenbaum, an i6 Challenge winner who received $1 million to support the University of Akron Research Foundation and Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron – Innovative Solutions for Invention Xceleration, a program increasing innovation and minimizing the time from ideation to commercialization of new technologies by bringing together world-class scientists, physicians, engineers, researchers, and entrepreneurs in the biomedical device/product and polymer science industries of northeast Ohio.
This webinar is particularly relevant for universities, researchers, entrepreneurs, and other groups interested in proof of concept funding. The proof of concept centers help support local innovation and the entrepreneurs that drive the national economy forward.