A new collaboration between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will give NIH-funded researchers training to help them evaluate their scientific discoveries for commercial potential with the aim of accelerating the translation of biomedical innovations into applied health technologies.
I-Corps at NIH is a pilot of the NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program specially tailored for biomedical research. Academic researchers and entrepreneurs with Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) "phase one" awards--awards that establish feasibility of proof of concept for commercializable technology--from participating NIH institutes will be eligible to apply to I-Corps at NIH. NIH will hold a June 25 program briefing at the 2014 BIO International Convention in San Diego and a webinar on July 2 to begin its outreach to the small business research community.
The I-Corps Teams curriculum at NIH will be a nine-week boot camp in which experienced, business-savvy instructors work closely with teams of researchers to help them explore potential markets for their federally funded innovations. I-Corps grantees use a hypothesis-validation approach to customer discovery that resonates with scientists and engineers. While I-Corps instructors typically have a wide range of expertise, the I-Corps participants from NIH will be taught by instructors who have biomedical business experience.
"This new collaboration with NIH is further evidence of the flexibility and efficacy of the I-Corps model," said Pramod Khargonekar, NSF assistant director for Engineering. "Translating basic biomedical research to the marketplace has its own particular set of challenges, which we recognize. By focusing and adapting the I-Corps curriculum to the life sciences, we expect biomedical researchers will be better-equipped to enter the business arena."
Providing tools for pros
|Contact: Sarah Bates|
National Science Foundation