Traverse City Record-Eagle

Business

March 8, 2013

Program for inventors aims to boost impact of research

ANN ARBOR (AP) — A program for inventors in Michigan aims to get new technologies to the market more quickly and boost the economic impact of research in the state, officials announced Thursday.

Starting this spring, the Michigan I-Corps program will work with researchers from across the state.

“The Michigan economy depends on the ability of residents to reinvent the future through innovation and entrepreneurship,” Jonathan Fay, associate director of entrepreneurial practice at the University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship, which will administer the program, said in a statement.

“In addition to strengthening early-stage technology startups, we believe the program will activate and integrate the state’s entrepreneurial and researcher communities, and draw ... talent back to Michigan to fund and staff exciting new ventures.”

Michigan I-Corps is modeled after the National Science Foundation’s National I-Corps program. In 2012, the University of Michigan became one of three places selected by the foundation to administer the national program to entrepreneurial faculty from across the country.

The Ann Arbor school received $1.5 million from to administer Michigan I-Corps.

“They expand our reach, bringing innovation, education and expertise to faculty and students that are pursuing commercialization efforts,” said Don Millard, NSF I-Corps node program director. “We anticipate that the regional nodes will provide valuable feedback to the programs that support the advancement of our nation’s basic research and development portfolio.”

Program coordinators are recruiting teams to participate from Michigan colleges and universities, such as Michigan State, Michigan Tech, Western Michigan, Wayne State, Grand Valley State and the University of Michigan, as well as tech companies and startups.

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