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CU-Boulder's CIMB Taps Boulder Innovation Center for Commercialization Assistance

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Boulder Innovation Center said last week that it has received an undisclosed amount of financial support from the Colorado Initiative in Molecular Biotechnology program at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

BIC will use the funding to expand its bioscience program by working with CIMB faculty to identify and help develop promising commercial applications related to inventions resulting from their research.

BIC was formed in 2005 as a non-profit entity to assist in commercializing scientific inventions from CU. Since that time, it has received some funding from the CU Tech Transfer Office to provide commercialization assistance in areas such as life sciences, cleantech, IT, and engineering, Tim Bour, executive director at BIC, told GWDN.

CIMB, which was founded by CU-Boulder in 2003 to foster research, teaching, and technology development at the interfaces of life sciences, physical sciences, math, computational sciences, and engineering, directly provided BIC with additional funding to help support commercialization of its cross-disciplinary biomedical research.

"This really allows us to boost our resources to have a bigger program to interact with faculty members at CIMB and the in the local community," Bour said. Bour declined to disclose the amount of funding that BIC will receive from CIMB.

CIMB has seven strategic areas of focus that fall into three themes:

• Systems biology, including chemical biology and bioorganic chemistry; theoretical biology and biological supercomputing; and systems biology and genome-wide profiling

• Cellular imaging, including single-cell imaging and biophotonics

• Biomedical engineering, including tissue engineering and bioanalytical sciences and instrumentation

According to CIMB, these areas of focus complement major themes of the National Institutes of Health's Roadmap for Medical Research.

CIMB is led by Director Leslie Leinwand and Tom Cech, a professor at CU who was co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1989 for discovering the catalytic properties of RNA.

BIC's expanded bioscience program will specifically work with CIMB and CU's Tech Transfer Office to focus on proof-of-concept development; business advisor, mentor, and executive team recruitment; feasibility studies and business planning; and capital formation strategies.

"The university views us as a commercialization partner," BIC's Bour said. As a non-profit, BIC receives no additional financial stake in the technologies it helps commercialize or companies it helps start, "something that the CIMB faculty members have been very receptive to," Bour said.

"The contract is structured like a retainer," Bour said. "We agree to the amount of money that would make a difference, and then use that to hire a program manager to interact with the researchers and the region" to either develop a commercialization plan for a technology or in some cases help create a startup company based on the technology.

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