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Fed grant backs Delaware biomed entrepreneurship course

A new program backed by federal funding will assist early-stage innovators and startups in identifying the most viable applications for their inventions as early as possible.

The program, known as I-Red University and supported by a $3.2 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant awarded through the IDeA Program, a regional entrepreneurship development program for states that traditionally have received low levels of NIH funding for biomedical research.

I-Red will be a collaboration between the University of Delaware, private curriculum company InsiteHub and the Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance, an industry association.

Dora Cheatham, executive director of DESCA, credited the idea for the program to Julius Korley, associate vice president for UD’s Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships (OEIP) and a member of the alliance’s board. They then brought in Lou Dinetta from the Delaware Small Business Development Center, who connected the partners with John Royer, CEO of the Newark-based InsiteHub.

According to the National Science Board’s 2018 Science & Engineering Indicators, university invention disclosures totaled 22,507 in 2015 – an increase of more than 60% over 2003 – and patent applications almost doubled over the same period. Yet many of those innovations are left on the research lab floor because entrepreneurs can’t identify a cost-effective route to market or seed funding that could provide the necessary development runway.

“There are so many patent applications and a lot of them just don’t get to commercialization because they don’t have the resources, they don’t have access to mentors, or they don’t have access to the basic business knowledge that you need. So, we’re trying to get to them at the earliest possible stage to provide them with those resources and access,” Cheatham explained.

Source : DBT