C4C AnnouncesFall 2012 Commercialization Gap Fund Awards

Nine Research Teams Receive $420,000 to Develop Fledgling Technologies

The UW Center for Commercialization (C4C) today announced the award of $420,000 in Commercialization Gap Funds (CGF) to nine UW research teams currently working on promising technologies.

The CGF program is a partnership between the C4C and the Washington Research Foundation to provide up to $1.25 million per year to support projects that have a high chance of being commercialized but that are not likely to get there without gap funding. The CGF program is intended to help fledgling technologies get across the “valley of death” between the conclusion of academic research grants and the level of development at which they can attract outside investment.

The winners were selected by a panel of leading entrepreneurs, business executives, and investors. (The full list of panelists is provided below.)

The fall 2012 CGF recipients are:

  • Proteus Biologics, developing an oral therapeutic for celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Researchers: David Baker and Ingrid Swanson Pultz, Institute for Protein Design.
  • PhoTect, commercializing silicon biosensors for direct and indirect blood typing. Researcher: Daniel Ratner, Bioengineering.
  • Stasys Medical Corp, developing a device for monitoring platelet function in trauma settings. Researcher: Nathan Sniadecki, Medical Engineering.
  • Oral Orthotic, developing a flexible oral orthotic to diagnose neurological movement disorders. Researcher: Marc Cooper, Biology.
  • hiPSHeart, developing an in vitro drug screening platform for directly detecting cardiomyocyte toxicity and determining proarrhythmic risk of candidate drugs. Researcher: Deok-Ho Kim, Bioengineering.
  • EchoGuide Medical, developing an ultrasound-guided catheter to improve the accuracy of external ventricular drain placements. Researcher: Pierre Mourad, Bioengineering.
  • TV white space, commercializing broadband access in TV white space. Researcher: Sumit Roy, Electrical Engineering.
  • LodeSpin Labs, developing a novel ultra-small superparamagnetic iron oxide MRI contrast agent. Researcher: Kannan Krishnan, Materials Science and Engineering.
  • SERS substrates, developing novel surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) substrates for molecular detection in food, environmental safety, pharmaceutical, and homeland security industries. Researchers: Qifeng Zhang and Xiaoyan Liu, Materials Science and Engineering.

A Commitment to Commercialization
Recipients of CGF grants are committed to commercializing their projects, working in a team approach, and establishing a long-term relationship with C4C to realize this goal. In the past, researchers have used funds to: create prototypes, complete software coding or user interface development, initiate Beta testing, and research customer demand.

The CGF program awards grants of up to $50,000 and a complete support team of business, IP, technical, and startup experts to increase the likelihood that a project will be successful. The CGF program is integrated with services and resources from C4C, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), and the Washington Research Foundation, with these services and resources conveying at least another $50K in value.
The CGF program has provided $6.5 million in grants to 133 UW research projects since 2005.

CGF Panelists for 2012 Fall Round

  • Rico Malvar, Chief Scientist of Microsoft Research
  • David Marver, medical device executive
  • Will Poole, social technologist and angel investor
  • Chris Rivera, President, Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association
  • Ron Howell, President & CEO, Washington Research Foundation
  • Trevor Moody, TM Strategic Advisors
  • Tom Clement, CEO, Aqueduct Neurosciences
  • Luciana Simoncini, Director of Research Commercialization, Washington Research Foundation
  • Kim Bruce, Institute of Translational Health Science, Seattle Children’s Research Institute
  • Ken Myer, technology executive/consultant
  • Enrique Godreau III, angel investor
  • Susan Sigl, President & CEO, Washington Technology Industry Association
  • Lucinda Stewart, Managing Director, OVP Venture Partners
  • Linden Rhoads, W Fund General Manager & UW Vice Provost—Commercialization

Learn more about CGF grants.