$600,000 University Innovation Initiative Brings New Money to MSU

Michigan State University (MSU) has won one of nine grants totaling $600,000 aimed at spurring more innovative products toward the market.

The $115,000 grant to MSU builds on research showing a black pepper compound that may help reduce grain contamination by fungi. The grant aims to help the researchers develop bulk purification of the product, test the processes and products, and then develop a strategy to initiate commercialization.

Offered by the Michigan Initiative for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MIIE), the grants are part of the 15-university consortium’s effort to foster as many as 200 new start-ups over the next decade by partnering the state’s philanthropies with universities and private businesses to help commercialize university research, and strengthen ties between small business, industry and academia.

The current round of grants, aimed to create more jobs in Michigan, includes a new treatment for blindness, simplified biodiesel production, a wireless smart sensor that could assist disabled workers and development of new classes of silicone-based materials.

MIIE is currently accepting proposals from university researchers to be considered for its next round of grants, which will be awarded later this year. The deadline for applications is 5 p.m., Friday, March 27. Applications for the various grants, more information about MIIE and details on the grants awarded are available here.
Started in 2008, MIIE awarded nearly $2 million to 30 grantees in its first year. The goal is to help Michigan’s public universities rebuild the state’s economy on a foundation of diversified, knowledge-based industries. MIIE hopes to raise $75 million from foundations to bridge the gap between university research and commercial development, says Marvin Parnes, associate vice president for research and executive director of research administration at the University of Michigan.

Parnes and Jim Baker, director of technology and economic development at Michigan Technological University, have been working with research, technology transfer, and entrepreneurship offices at all 15 public universities on the project.

Source:  David Waymire

Gretchen Cochran, Innovation & Jobs editor, may be contacted here.

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