USC earns $400,000 grant see more
The U.S. Economic Development Administration today announced the 50 organizations that will share in grants totaling $36.5 million to support programs that fuel innovation and tech-based economic development as part of the Build to Scale program. The 2021 awardees will leverage an additional $40 million in matching funds from a variety of private and public sector sources. SSTI has been a proponent of the Build to Scale program, which had not received any federal appropriations prior to the creation of SSTI’s Innovation Advocacy Council.
The 50 organizations hail from 26 states and include venture development organizations, state agencies, nonprofits, institutions of higher education, and other entrepreneurship-focused organizations. The FY 2021 Build to Scale program was comprised of two competitions –– the Venture Challenge, which leverages regional strengths to accelerate innovation and job creation through high-growth technology entrepreneurship, and the Capital Challenge, which increases access to capital in communities where risk capital is in short supply by providing operational support for early-stage investment funds, angel capital networks, or investor training programs.
The full list of recipients is available here, and SSTI is happy to recognize a number of members among the winners, including:
2021 Venture Challenge Grant Recipients:
- Arizona Commerce Authority, Phoenix, Arizona, $750,000
- Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, $657,622
- Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis, Missouri, $1.5 million
- FuzeHub, Albany, New York, $753,546
- Launch New York, Buffalo, New York, $750,000
- Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana, $1.5 million
- Rev1 Ventures, Columbus, Ohio, $1.4 million
2021 Capital Challenge Grant Recipients:
- TechTown Detroit, Detroit, Michigan, $400,000
- University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, $400,000
Looking to expand in Upstate South Carolina see more
UofSC’s Office of Innovation, Partnerships and Economic Engagement (OIPEE) is seeking to expand its footprint in the Upstate.
OIPEE Deputy Director Chad Hardaway said his office is focused on connecting innovators and entrepreneurs with university resources to help navigate the process from developing an idea to bringing it to the marketplace. To help accomplish that goal, Hardaway recently added consultant Sam English to the team.
With a background in biochemistry, English said he will be working with Prisma Health innovators to connect with OIPEE resources. In the two months since coming on board, he said he has been reaching out to people within the Prisma system to understand what the needs are and how to connect them with the innovation ecosystem at UofSC.
“It’s fertile ground to be working in,” English said. “While I’ve only been here two months, I feel like I’ve been drinking from the fire hose.”
He added that he’s discussed everything from back-of-the-envelope ideas to fully functional prototypes of medical devices developed by Prisma staff.
Hardaway said that while English is focused on strengthening relationships with the Prisma system, the longer-term goal is to expand OIPEE’s Upstate presence to include a satellite office dedicated to broader innovation initiatives in fields like cybersecurity, aerospace and high-tech manufacturing, often referred to now as Manufacturing 4.0.
English and Hardaway said a core motto of OIPEE is to “connect, collaborate and commercialize.” English added that with the Upstate’s pool of engineering talent, thanks to the influence of companies like BMW and Lockheed-Martin, many of the pieces are already in place to build on and expand an innovation environment.
He said his job is, in part, to pave the way for OIPEE to become more involved in helping build the series of connections that link creativity to a marketable product.
“With that integrated approach, there are a lot of opportunities to develop successes,” English said.
For more information about USC’s Office of Innovation, Partnerships and Economic Engagement, visit sc.edu/about/offices_and_divisions/economic_engagement.
UofSC ranks among the world’s top 100 universities granted U.S. patents for the ninth consecutive yearUofSC a leader in US patents... again see more
The University of South Carolina has ranked among the top 100 worldwide universities granted U.S. utility patents since 2012, according to an annual list published by the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association.
In the recently published 2020 listing (pdf), UofSC ranks in the 63rd position with 45 patents granted in 2020. This places Carolina above Ivy League Dartmouth University and many other prestigious American and international institutions, including Carnegie-Mellon and several Southeastern Conference universities. The NAI has included UofSC in its rankings for the ninth consecutive year, placing it more than 25 slots above our 2019 ranking in the 90th position. The listing was compiled using data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
UofSC Vice President for Research Prakash Nagarkatti praised the achievement saying, “It is a credit to our outstanding faculty that their innovation and hard work have kept our university on the NAI top 100 list since it began nine years ago. I am so proud to serve alongside these excellent scholars and inventors.”
Office of Innovation, Partnership and Economic Engagement Executive Director Bill Kirkland echoed Nagarkatti’s sentiments, saying “It is no secret that the University of South Carolina boasts a faculty with amazing research and innovation skills. These outstanding scholars, along with the top leadership at the University of South Carolina who support them through the the Office of Technology Commercialization and others, make it possible for our university to shine on the NAI top 100 list consistently each year. The fact that they have landed Carolina at position 63—higher than ever before—is a testament to their dedication and commitment.”
South Carolina Commerce awards $700K in innovation grants... see more
Nine organizations receive state funds as part of Startup Fuel Challenge
The S.C. Department of Commerce Office of Innovation announced more than $719,000 in grant awards to nine organizations as part of its Startup Fuel Challenge grant series. Tasked with advancing innovation, entrepreneurship and technology-based economic development, this grant program focuses on projects that are outcome-oriented and aim to build stronger entrepreneurs and companies.
“As South Carolina has become a leader in advanced manufacturing, an innovation economy has developed within our borders. To ensure that our industry partners have access to cutting-edge technology and a high-tech workforce, the continued growth of our innovation economy is critical,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “I congratulate these nine awardees and look forward to all they’ll achieve in the years to come.”
Established in 2013, the Office of Innovation announced grant awards in 2014 and 2015. As a result, more than 25 entrepreneurship programs were supported, and more than 6,000 South Carolinians were educated in technology curriculum.