Commerce Department grantees provide updates on projects to promote innovation and commercialization in regions of Ore., Ohio, Pa., Fla. and Ga.
To highlight the economic impact of Obama administration investments to promote American Innovation and accelerate the commercialization of research to the marketplace, the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration  (EDA) hosted the first 21st Century Economic Capitol Hill Briefing on the new COMPETES law on January 19, 2012.
Awardees of the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship ’s (OIE) i6 Challenge  came to Washington D.C. to brief Congress on how federal funds are promoting regional economic and job growth. OIE, which was authorized under the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, supports efforts to foster innovation ecosystems and the commercialization of new technologies, products, processes, and services.
Close to 60 Congressional staffers gathered at the Capitol Visitors Center in Washington, D.C., to hear first-hand from four i6 Challenge awardees: David Kenney and Dr. Patricia Beckman of the Oregon Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies Center of Portland, Oregon; Dr. Thomas O’Neal and Wayne Hodges of the Global Center for Medical Innovation of Atlanta, Georgia; Dr. Art Boni of Carnegie Mellon University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Dr. Wayne Watkins of the University of Akron Research Foundation of Akron, Ohio.The projects that were highlighted include:
- The Oregon Translational Research and Drug Development Institute ’s work that is helping to bring cutting-edge medical research to market;
- Atlanta’s Global Center for Medical Innovation ’s role in providing business development infrastructure to medical device companies located in the southeastern United States;
- The University of Akron ’s project to increase downstream success by improved selection of commercially attractive research projects;
- Carnegie Mellon University’s “Innovation Works ” program and how it is helping companies to better assess the market for their research and products.
The i6 Challenge is a multi-agency collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) that rewards the nation’s best ideas for technology commercialization and entrepreneurship. The briefing was hosted by OIE Director Nishith Acharya.