UAB College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) is pleased to announce the first round of Graduate Student Entrepreneurship Awards. The goal of this initiative is to promote student innovation and entrepreneurship across graduate programs in CAS. This program is open to all students in Master or Doctoral graduate programs in CAS. Graduate students supported within this program will go through basic training regarding issues of intellectual property disclosure, copyrights, and patent filings. Students will also gain hands-on experience in assessing market and business potential of early-stage technologies, ideas, and concepts. This CAS program is organized in collaboration with the UAB Research Foundation (UABRF), the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA), and the Innovation Depot. The start date for these awards is March 1, 2013.
CAS graduate students submitted proposals in response to this initiative. The following proposals were selected after a campus-wide review.
(1) John Osborne (Ph.D. Student, Computer and Information Sciences, Mentor Thamar Solorio, Ph.D.). Project entitled “"Enhancing Semantic Interoperability through Machine Learning of Post-Coordinated Concepts in SNOMED CT". External Partner: IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, N.Y.
(2) Jamin Johnston (Ph.D. Student, Physics, Mentor: Aaron Catledge, Ph.D.), Project entitled “Vapor-deposited Metal-boride Interfacial Layers as Diffusion Barriers for Nanostructured Diamond Growth on Cobalt Alloys”. External Partner: Wedge Manufacturing, Birmingham, AL
(3) Yasin Oduk (Ph.D. Student, Physics, Mentor: Veena Antony, Ph.D.), Project entitled “Designed Multipurpose Therapeutic Nanoparticles for Malignant Mesothelioma”, External Partner: Soluble Therapeutics, Birmingham, AL.
The $10,000 award is for research expenses incurred to generate proof of concept data for potential commercialization and completion of the graduate thesis project. Funds may also go towards travel support to commercial partner sites as needed.
CAS Interim Dean Bob Palazzo stated that these Graduate Student Entrepreneurship Awards are an important step towards driving innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship for students, faculty, the university, and our community. A sentiment echoed by CAS Associate Dean Yogesh Vohra who is particularly excited about this initiative as graduate students along with their faculty mentors are key drivers behind innovations on UAB campus. Vohra believes this seed funding will promote interactions between UAB research team and external partners and lead to new intellectual property being generated. It would also expand opportunities for graduate student employment as well as fostering ideas for nucleating new businesses in Alabama and nationally.