The i6 Challenge, a $12 million innovation competition led by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) in partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF), seeks to identify and support the nation’s best ideas for technology commercialization and entrepreneurship throughout six different regions of the country.
The winning team from each region receives $1 million from the EDA in support, and is eligible for additional awards from the NIH and NSF. Winning projects include efforts to drive innovative technologies in the medical and bioscience industries to market more quickly by bringing experts in science and academia together with public and private sector businesses and entrepreneurs. The 2010 winners from each region are:
- Atlanta Region: The Global Center for Medical Innovation, a not-for-profit corporation, will implement three major initiatives to accelerate the development and commercialization of next generation medical devices and technology.
- Austin Region: New Mexico Technology Ventures Corporation will develop an infrastructure for the successful maturation of technologies developed under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program into commercially viable enterprises.
- Chicago Region: University of Akron Research Foundation and Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron – Innovative Solutions for Invention Xceleration will increase innovation and minimize the time from ideation to commercialization of new technologies by bringing together world-class scientists, physicians, engineers, researchers, and entrepreneurs in the biomedical device/product and polymer science industries of Northeast Ohio.
- Denver Region: BioGenerator, Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis University, the University of Missouri at St. Louis, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis County Economic Council, and the St. Louis Development Corporation will advance bioscience technology commercialization through collaborative targeted pre-company translational research, company creation, and first funding, and build an entrepreneurial infrastructure that is market-based around the needs of existing bioscience firms and investors.
- Philadelphia Region: Innovation Works, Inc. and Carnegie Mellon University will create the “Agile Innovation System,” to accelerate the commercialization of technologies being developed within the region’s universities and small businesses.
- Seattle Region: The Oregon Translational Research & Drug Development Institute, the Oregon Nanoscience & Microtechnologies Institute, and the Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center are joining forces to create the first comprehensive, innovation infrastructure – the Oregon Innovation Cluster – to address gaps in the commercialization continuum for three broad industry/technology clusters.
For more information on the i6 Challenge winners and EDA’s Mapping Regional Innovation Clusters Project,