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Central PA Innovation Transfer Network receives $600K boost

Central Pennsylvania’s Innovation Transfer Networks has gotten a federal boost to encourage start-ups that pair partners from the region’s universities and private sector. The INT has received a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Partners for Innovation (PFI) program.

The grant is the largest available from the NSF program. Jill Edwards of the INT says that about $150,000 to $175,000 of the grant will be available to university researchers who partner with local firms. The balance will be applied to research on the roadblocks to commercialization and developing tools to help researchers connect with companies. “Ultimately, this grant will increase awareness among researchers about commercialization,” says Edwards.

The ITN aims to connect entrepreneurial faculty with business partners to help drive commercialization. Businesses have access to over 3,000 faculty members in the region who can help speed new product development, enhance product testing, and advise on intellectual property issues.

“Everybody’s excited about it. It’s a bigger pool of money than we’ve had before,” says Eric Darr, provost of Harrisburg University. Darr noted that the grant also diversifies the ITN’s sources of funding. “Through the KIZ and the ITN we have used (Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development) funds in the past. We needed to be less dependent (on DCED).”

The NSF grant will be made to Penn State Harrisburg and shared by PSU, Harrisburg University, Dickinson College, Cheyney University, Elizabethtown College, Franklin & Marshall College, Harrisburg Area Community College, Lebanon Valley College, Messiah College, Millersville University, Penn State College of Medicine, Shippensburg University, and Lancaster General Hospital School of Nursing.

Source: Eric Darr, Harrisburg University; Jill Edwards, Innovation Transfer Network
Writer: Chris O’Toole

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