Navigation Links
Penn team wins entrepreneurial innovation award

PHILADELPHIA The National Science Foundation (NSF) has selected a University of Pennsylvania team as a member of its inaugural class of NSF Innovation Corps awards. The I-Corps Awards recognize research that has the potential for commercial applications and connects scientists to entrepreneurial resources.

"The idea is to facilitate the transfer of good ideas and intellectual property from the lab into the commercial world," said team member Charlie Johnson, professor of physics and astronomy in Penn's School of Arts and Sciences. "To borrow a catchphrase from the chemist George Whitesides, 'Innovation plus entrepreneurship equals jobs.'"

In addition to Johnson, the Penn team members include Zhengtang Luo, a postdoctoral fellow in Johnson's lab, and Michael Patterson, a member of the Wharton Executive MBA program. The three were brought together through Penn's Center for Technology Transfer and its UPstart program.

UPstart serves as a business incubator for technologies developed at the University. It helped the team members found their start-up company, Graphene Frontiers, and encouraged them to apply for the NSF award.

The science behind the Penn start-up is a cheaper and more consistent method of making graphene, the Nobel Prize-winning nanomaterial with unbeatable strength and conductivity. Graphene promises to revolutionize everything from scientific instruments to consumer electronics, but current manufacturing techniques can only produce small flakes of it at a time.

Graphene Frontier's method aims to manufacture large sheets of graphene at room temperature and pressure, unlike the extreme conditions necessary in other techniques.

"The fact that this is done at atmospheric pressure makes it possible to produce graphene at a lower cost and in a more flexible way," Luo said. "The overall production system is simpler, less expensive and more flexible."

The award comes with a $50,000 prize, which will be used to fund Luo's position as Graphene Frontier's chief scientific officer.

Patterson, who will serve as the company's CEO, met Johnson and Luo through Michael Poisel, the director of UPstart. Looking for entrepreneurs to partner with researchers, Poisel brought examples of Penn's patent portfolio to the Wharton Executive MBA program. With an interest in science and a background as a corporate executive, Patterson was drawn to Johnson and Luo's research and the excitement of working with a small company, especially one with a potentially revolutionary technology at its core.

"Everything lined up: a good team, amazing technology and a nascent market with a lot of potential," Patterson said. "I feel like we are on the ground floor with plastics in the 1950s."

As I-Corps Award recipients, the team members will attend an NSF workshop at Stanford University, where they will receive a crash course in overcoming the hurdles technology start-ups often face. They will also have the opportunity to network with potential funders and investors and to continue taking business seminars through the NSF during the next year. UPstart will continue to support the start-up through this process.

"It's an example of our ability to bring enthusiastic faculty into the world of entrepreneurialism without them having to actually leave the University to be entrepreneurs," Poisel said about the award. "We're having many discussions with other partners and investors; they have a lot of opportunity in front of them."


Contact: Evan Lerner
University of Pennsylvania

Related biology technology :

1. Moleac Named Singapore Entrepreneurial Company of the Year at the Frost & Sullivan Excellence in Healthcare Awards
2. Californias Industrial Biotechnology Workforce: Creating Jobs and Leading Innovation
3. Waters Honors University of Minnesotas Joseph Dalluge, Ph.D. and Department of Chemistry Mass Spectrometry Laboratory with Center of Innovation Recognition
4. Brainlab Launches Newest Innovation in Image Guided Surgery Technology
5. Innovation is step toward digital graphene transistors
6. Swedish University Hospital Improves Monitoring of Treatment Efficacy in Multiple Sclerosis With Synthetic MRI Innovation
7. Center for Proteomics at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) Selected as Waters Center of Innovation
8. From Leadership to Legal Issues, NineSigma Shares Best Practices in an Authoritative Guide to Open Innovation and CrowdSourcing
9. Waters Recognizes Albert J. Fornace Laboratory at Georgetown University Medical Center as a Center of Innovation
10. PleuraFlow Captures Prestigious Innovation Award
11. Leading Life Sciences Luminaries Connect at Innovation Ireland Reception
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... Accutest Research Laboratories, a leading ... Organization (CRO), has formed a strategic ... - Temple Health for joint work ... (Photo: ) , --> ...
(Date:11/25/2015)...  PharmAthene, Inc. (NYSE MKT: PIP) announced  today that ... plan (Rights Plan) in an effort to preserve the ... Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). ... of its NOLs could be substantially limited if the ... 382 of the Code. In general, an ownership change ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... and HOLLISTON, Mass. , Nov. 25, ... HART ), a biotechnology company developing bioengineered organ ... Jim McGorry will present at the LD Micro ... at 2:30 p.m. PT. The presentation will be webcast ... days. Management will also be available at the conference ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... A long-standing partnership between the ... has been formalized with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. , AMA ... Capt. Karl Minter and Capt. Albert Glenn Tuesday, November 24, 2015, at AMA ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:10/27/2015)... In the present market scenario, security is ... industry verticals such as banking, healthcare, defense, electronic gadgets, ... for secure & simplified access control and growing rate ... of bank accounts, misuse of users, , and so ... laptops, and smartphones are expected to provide potential opportunities ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA ), the leader ... adopted the Synaptics ® ClearPad ® Series ... newest flagship smartphones, the Nexus 5X by LG and ... --> --> Synaptics works closely with ... in the joint development of next generation technologies. Together, ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... and LAS VEGAS , Oct. ... Labs , an innovator in modern authentication and a ... announced the launch of its latest version of the ... enabling organizations to use standards-based authentication that supports existing ... S3 Authentication Suite is ideal for organizations deploying customer-facing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):