How to leverage the intellectual power of universities

State pours millions into partnering universities with companies to fund 15 technology projects

universities-research-technology In what could serve as a national model for states, universities, and the private sector to help bring innovative technology closer to market, one state’s inspiring partnership initiative announced its decision to fund 15 technology projects based on university research.

The Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program, an initiative of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) in the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, has approved 15 research projects worth $4.1 million to 15 teams combining Maryland companies with state university researchers to bring technology products closer to market, announced program officials.

MIPS grants money—matched with company funds—to faculty engaged in each project to help accelerate technology and boost the economy. Commercial products benefiting from MIPS projects have generated more than $28.1 billion in revenue, added thousands of jobs to the region, and contributed to successful products such as Martek Biosciences’ nutritional oils, Hughes Communications’ HughesNet, MedImmune’s Synagis, and Black & Decker’s Bullet Speed Tip Masonry Drill Bit, says MIPS.

This is the 53rd round of MIPS grants. The program has supported research projects with more than 500 different Maryland companies since 1987.

For this round of funding, companies are contributing $2.8 million and MIPS $1.3 million to the jointly funded projects. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency provided additional funding.

The funding is intended to partner faculty with 11 startups. Four projects, the most for a single MIPS round, include companies from the Maryland Eastern Shore. Projects range from oyster-farming technologies to developing a free online mathematics system.

“MIPS…serves as a national model of how to leverage the intellectual power of our universities to drive innovation and the economy,” said MIPS Director Joseph Naft in a statement. “The program attracts Maryland’s entrepreneurs, enabling them to multiply their R&D efforts by engaging world-class faculty and graduate students to do real-world research.”

(Next page: The 15 technology projects)

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