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USTAR Launches Grant Program to Commercialize Tech from Utah Public Academic Institutions


The Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative, or USTAR, has launched a technology commercialization grant program in an effort to commercialize new technologies from the state's public colleges and universities.

Under the program, which includes medical imaging, brain medicine, biodevices, and biopharma among its focus areas, faculty members at regional institutions can apply for tech-commercialization grants to prototype, test, conduct market assessment, and commercialize new products and services.

USTAR said that the typical award size will be $30,000, and that Utah-based companies and other organizations willing to sponsor technology development at public institutions may jointly apply for a grant along with a faculty member.

The USTAR funds are intended for use by faculty at Utah College of Applied Technology campuses, the College of Eastern Utah, Dixie State College, Salt Lake Community College, Snow College, Southern Utah University, Utah State University Extension-Uintah Basin, Utah Valley University, and Weber State University.

Grant applications are due Sept. 30, with award announcements expected in November. USTAR Technology Outreach directors will initially rate applications based on technical merit of the innovation; size and accessibility of the potential market; potential strength of intellectual property; quality of the management team; and financial viability of a business that might be built upon the innovation, among other criteria.

The directors may then request finalists to give a formal presentation with additional information upon request sometime in October, and will present their recommendations for funding to the USTAR Governing Authority Board in November. The organization said that it anticipates making six to ten awards in the first application cycle.

USTAR will not have a financial stake in successful commercial endeavors stemming from the grants, but has stipulated that in such a case the grantee would be expected to eventually repay the original grant amount in full to a foundation at the granting public institution.

USTAR is funding similar grant programs at the University of Utah and Utah State University, augmenting or expanding existing technology-development programs at those schools.

Funds for the tech-commercialization grants and related programs come from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and have been issued to USTAR through the state's Senate Bill 240, passed in March.

Interested parties may find more information and apply for the tech-commercialization grants here.

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