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The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) recently approved $760,000 of grants in support of new technologies that universities and university licensees are seeking to commercialize in Utah. The grants are designed to help build companies, create jobs and drive economic development in the state.
Based on the recommendations of a panel of private sector industry experts, the state approved Technology Commercialization and Innovation Program (TCIP) grant funding for 19 projects. Several of the awardees were new grant recipients, while others received follow-on grants for existing companies and projects (companies may obtain up to two grants for the same application of the same technology). In addition to demonstrating their technology’s economic potential, startups must demonstrate their ability to achieve important milestones in their progress and match the TCIP grants with federal or private money to leverage the State’s investment.
Through the TCIP program, the State invests approximately $1.6 million a year in support of university technology commercialization with a focus on innovation in Utah’s most robust economic clusters: life sciences, information technology, manufacturing, materials, energy and the environment.
“The State’s TCIP critical-stage grant program continues to directly sustain dynamic research and promising technology being developed at Utah’s public and private colleges and universities,” said David Bradford, TCIP program director. “Three-quarters of a million dollars in grants have been awarded to research teams and entrepreneurs who are attuned both to commercializing innovations from our institutions of higher education and to propelling the State’s economic engine.”
Funded TCIP projects range from a minimally invasive pressurized water dental drill technology and a wireless surgical laparoscope to an “undefeatable” motion detection sensor and a proprietary technology that re-engineers axle and drivetrain components for more efficient vehicle power transmission.
An increase to three solicitation cycles this fiscal year from two last year highlights the State’s commitment to the smaller but faster grant process that makes more funding available to an increased number of companies in need of early-stage funding. The number of grant applicants also increased to 43 from 28 in the prior round.
The approved grants from this cycle support technologies developed at University of Utah, Brigham Young University, Utah State University and Weber State University.