COLLEGE PARK, Md. Several of the most promising technological research projects at University System of Maryland-related labs are getting a strategic infusion of federal cash to help them through the most difficult phase of development, and move them toward the commercial market.
With $5.1 million in federal funding, the Maryland Proof of Concept Alliance teams University System of Maryland research institutions and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), in support of a wide array of emerging technologies. The University of Maryland, College Park is administering the program.
Eleven grants were announced today at the National Council for Entrepreneurial Technology Transfer conference in Washington, D.C. Among the technologies supported: a graphene replacement for silicon transistors, a new generation of powerful, ultra-thin batteries, laser devices that can sniff out dangerous gases over a distance, a new powerful class of antibiotics, and a commercial technique for producing biofuels from trash.
The Alliance seeks to bridge the difficult leap from lab to market. Small, strategic grants fund demonstration projects and additional research that can help prove the concept to potential investors often a make-or-break challenge.
"Too many promising technologies never make it beyond university labs, when they could be commercially viable, and go on to create jobs and revenue," says the project's principal investigator and administrator, Jacques Gansler, who directs the University of Maryland's Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise. "A small, strategic investment at this early point allows researchers to prove to potential partners that their innovation is more than just a good idea."
Gansler brings to the project his experience as a former U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. He currently serves on the Pentagon's Defense Science Board.
Proof of Concept centers
|Contact: Neil Tickner|
University of Maryland