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Team Wins NIH Innovation Corps Grant

  • September 10, 2014
A UAB/Vivo Biosciences/Birmingham Business Alliance team will be participating in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) new Innovation Corps Program.
A UAB/Vivo Biosciences/Birmingham Business Alliance team will be participating in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) new Innovation Corps Program.

According to the NIH website, the Institute, in collaboration with the National Science Foundation (NSF), is accelerating the commercialization of biomedical technologies by leveraging the NSF’s established I-Corps™ team training program, which is focused on educating researchers and technologists on how to translate technologies from the lab into the marketplace. The program is designed to provide three-member project teams with access to instruction and mentoring in order to accelerate the translation of technologies currently being developed with NIH SBIR and STTR funding.

The group, including Dr. Yogesh Vohra (Principal Investigator, UAB, Professor of Physics and Associate Dean in the College), Dr. Raj Singh (CEO, Vivo Biosciences), and Steven Ceulemans (Industry Expert, Birmingham Business Alliance), is one of 24 teams selected nationwide to participate in the NIH Innovation Corps program.

"Our research team has developed a small-diameter, functionally-graded biohybrid vascular graft for coronary bypass applications where there are no acceptable synthetic prostheses that are currently available," Vohra explains.

"This NIH I-Corps program will provide educational resources to our research team to translate this technology into the marketplace. Our UAB/ViVo Biosciences/Birmingham Business Alliance team will have a much better understanding of the commercial landscape for this vascular graft technology and will have developed a significantly refined commercialization plan moving forward. Our team will attend Entrepreneurial Immersion workshop organized by NIH I-Corps programs and conclude with a Report-out Session and Lessons Learned. In addition, this I-Corps program will allow us to do mid-course correction in both our research and commercialization strategy."