Some Proof of Concept Alliance researchers have received support from Mtech programs, such as the Venture-Accelerator, which provides intense, hands-on mentoring to the hottest prospects. FlexEl LLC, for example sped commercialization of its advanced, ultra-thin batteries in this way. The company, now in the Mtech Advancement Program incubator received first- and second-round Alliance grants.
Other awardees have already formed companies to scale-up their techniques to commercial production levels, such as Zymetis, Inc. a company formed by University of Maryland scientists who discovered a bacterium highly efficient at converting trash and other organic material to biofuels. Both FlexEl and Zymetis got early research support through MIPS.
"We're building on our already well-developed 'innovation ecosystem' that nurtures young companies and promising research," says Brian Darmody, who helped develop the program as associate vice president for research and economic development at the University of Maryland, and special vice chancellor for technology development at the University System of Maryland.
"An umbilical cord connects successful start-ups to major research universities and federal research clusters," Darmody adds. "Good ideas thrive when you nourish them. A proof of concept program especially one that links federal labs and state research universities is bound to have a major economic impact on the state. Academic and federal research and development is already one of Maryland's biggest economic sectors, and this program leverages that sector for additional job and venture creation."
The alliance is administered for the University System of Maryland by the Center for Public and Private Enterprise at the University of Maryland's School of Public Policy, the University of Maryland Division of Research, and the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech
|Contact: Neil Tickner|
University of Maryland