UC Davis program help to fill the gap betw.research & market

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UC Davis program help to fill the gap betw.research & market

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University of California, Davis - August 13, 2014


Four University of California, Davis, researchers have been given
$50,000 each in the inaugural year of a competitive grant program
aimed at facilitating the conversion of technology generated from
university research into commercial applications.

The UC Davis Science Translation and Innovative Research Grant
program provides university funding and support for innovative
research, thereby allowing selected researchers to generate early
proof-of-concept models to demonstrate commercial feasibility.
Typically, funding for this very early stage of commercialization can
be difficult to obtain, creating a gap between cutting-edge academic
research and market uptake.

The new program is offered by Venture Catalyst, a unit within the
university's Technology Management and Corporate Relations division
of the Office of Research.

"Our goal is to help bridge this gap via programs developed and
implemented through Venture Catalyst," said Dushyant Pathak,
associate vice chancellor for technology management and corporate
relations in the Office of Research. "With the STAIR Grant program,
we hope to elevate the commercial potential of the remarkable
research being conducted at UC Davis so that society can realize its
benefits through future commercialization."

Each of the finalists is provided not only financial help but is
paired with industry mentors who have volunteered to help guide the
research teams on how to make the often difficult transition from
academic research to commercial viability.

The four finalists were selected from a total of 38 applications.
That larger group was narrowed down to 14 finalists through a
rigorous multistage review process that included internal domain
experts as well as external industry members.

The 2013-14 STAIR Grant awardees are:

* Kyria Boundy-Mills, research specialist in the Department of Food
Science and Technology: "Structure and activities of biosurfactants
produced through a renewable, yeast-based, reduced cost process"
* Charles Hunt, professor, Department of Electrical and Computer
Engineering: "Low-cost, high-quality energy-efficient light sources
using field-emission lighting"
* Mark Mascal, professor, Department of Chemistry: "Simple,
high-yield production of gasoline and renewable polymers from biomass"
* Jared Shaw, associate professor, Department of Chemistry: "A new
class of antibiotics for treating infections resistant to current

The awardees were selected based on their technical merit, commercial
potential, and alignment with the STAIR program's objectives.

One of the awardees, Jared Shaw, associate professor of chemistry at
UC Davis, has discovered and is developing a novel class of
antibiotics to treat drug-resistant infections, an area of growing
concern within the U.S. and abroad.

"I am really grateful that the STAIR program was launched by Venture
Catalyst," Shaw said. "Funding of this type is the missing link
necessary for supporting translational research at universities and
will be a positive force at UC Davis."

The funding from this grant will allow Shaw to further develop his
discoveries and to generate additional preclinical data needed to
support future testing of novel drug candidates.

The STAIR program is one of several programs that Venture Catalyst is
developing to support translational research and new venture
development at UC Davis. These efforts are beginning to pay
dividends, as the university launched 14 commercial startups during
the last year, nearly twice as many as the preceding year and the
largest number of new ventures based on UC Davis technology to be
started in a single year. Venture Catalyst works closely with campus
and local community resources, including the university's Child
Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the
Engineering Translational Technology Center, to support the
conversion of university research into commercial applications.

The Technology Management and Corporate Relations division of the UC
Davis Office of Research includes Venture Catalyst, the Office of
Corporate Relations and InnovationAccess, and is responsible for
enabling the infrastructure and relationships necessary to
effectively convert research into commercial applications that
benefit society. The Office of Research is the primary administrative
unit within UC Davis responsible for providing services and resources
to all of the university's faculty, students and staff to support
university research. Led by Vice Chancellor for Research Harris
Lewin, the Office of Research is the catalyst for advancing the
research mission at UC Davis.

About UC Davis

UC Davis is a global community of individuals united to better
humanity and our natural world while seeking solutions to some of our
most pressing challenges. Located near the California state capital,
UC Davis has more than 34,000 students, and the full-time equivalent
of 4,100 faculty and other academics and 17,400 staff. The campus has
an annual research budget of over $750 million, a comprehensive
health system and about two dozen specialized research centers. The
university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and 99
undergraduate majors in four colleges and six professional schools

Additional information:
* UC Davis Venture Catalyst http://research.ucdavis.edu/u/s/venture-catalyst
* Related: UC Davis launches 14 tech startups http://news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_det ... o?id=10996
* Related: Cleveland Justis named executive director of UC Davis institute http://news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_det ... o?id=10780
* Related: New center to help entrepreneurial student engineers http://news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_det ... o?id=10729
* Related: UC Davis startup changes listening experience http://news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_det ... o?id=10602

Media contact(s):
* AJ Cheline, Office of Research
* Andy Fell, UC Davis News Service

View this story on the Web at
http://news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_det ... o?id=10997

News from the UC Davis California news-service, 13/8/2014.

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