U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced the winners of the i6 Challenge, a new $12 million innovation competition led by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), in partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The i6 Challenge seeks to identify and support the nation’s best ideas for technology commercialization and entrepreneurship in six different regions of the country. The winning team from each region will receive $1 million from EDA to support their project and may be eligible for additional awards from NIH and NSF.
“I applaud the winners of the i6 Challenge on their tremendous achievement,” Locke said. “Each of the winners exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit that drives innovation and will help move America forward by increasing our competitiveness around the world. The i6 Challenge represents a key component of President Obama’s innovation strategy - to move great ideas from the lab to the marketplace to create jobs and economic growth.”
The winning teams from each region are:
- Atlanta Region: The Global Center for Medical Innovation, a not-for-profit corporation, will implement three major initiatives to accelerate the development and commercialization of next generation medical devices and technology.
- Austin Region: New Mexico Technology Ventures Corporation will develop an infrastructure for the successful maturation of technologies developed under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program into commercially viable enterprises.
- Chicago Region: University of Akron Research Foundation and Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron – Innovative Solutions for Invention Xceleration will increase innovation and minimize the time from ideation to commercialization of new technologies by bringing together world-class scientists, physicians, engineers, researchers, and entrepreneurs in the biomedical device/product and polymer science industries of northeast Ohio.
- Denver Region: BioGenerator, Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis University, the University of Missouri at St. Louis, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis County Economic Council, and the St. Louis Development Corporation will advance bioscience technology commercialization through collaborative targeted pre-company translational research, company creation, and first funding, and build an entrepreneurial infrastructure that is market-based around the needs of existing bioscience firms and investors.
- Philadelphia Region: Innovation Works, Inc. and Carnegie Mellon University will create the “Agile Innovation System,” to accelerate the commercialization of technologies being developed within the region’s universities and small businesses.
- Seattle Region: The Oregon Translational Research & Drug Development Institute, the Oregon Nanoscience & Microtechnologies Institute, and the Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center are joining forces to create the first comprehensive, innovation infrastructure – the Oregon Innovation Cluster – to address gaps in the commercialization continuum for three broad industry/technology clusters.