New UA fund established to support research with commercial potential

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 279 views 

The University of Arkansas will award $1 million a year to help support technologies that show strong potential for commercialization.

On Friday (Feb.1), the UA announced the Commercialization Fund, a subset of the Chancellor’s Fund, to aid faculty research efforts at the university. The fund is supported by the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation and administered by the UA’s Office of Economic Development.

The Chancellor’s Fund is separated into three categories: the Innovation and Collaboration Fund, the Commercialization Fund and the Gap Fund. The Innovation and Collaboration Fund will be offered for the third consecutive year, and information on the 2019 funding cycle will be available Feb 6.

The Commercialization Fund, according to the UA, will prioritize aggressive teams that have developed mature projects. Applicants should be progressing technologies toward real-world applications, the university said.

The Gap Fund is new, and details will be released Feb. 8.

“This new fund is a game-changer for campus commercialization efforts,” Stacy Leeds, the UA’s vice chancellor for economic development, said in a statement. “Faculty innovators and entrepreneurs will now have financial support to bring their ideas to market more efficiently, increasing the economic and social impact of university innovations.”

Typically, the UA said, applicants fall into one of the following categories:

  • Technology with intellectual property protection that is moving toward licensure.
  • Technology that has been disclosed but with no provisional patent application filed.
  • No invention disclosure has been filed, but the technology has strong commercial potential.
  • Research is in an early stage but has broad commercial potential and matching funds available.

The Office of Economic Development will accept proposals beginning March 1. Proposals should cover a time period up to one year and request between $5,000 and $50,000. There is no limit to the number of times an applicant may submit a proposal or the number of awards they may receive. However, applicants must demonstrate success to request subsequent funding awards.

More information about funding and the application process is available here.

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