The National Science Foundation has designated UAB as an Innovation Corps Site.
NSF I-Corps Sites are NSF-funded entities that provide infrastructure, advice, resources, networking opportunities, training and modest funding to enable groups to transition their work into the marketplace or into becoming National I-Corps Team applicants, who receive a $50,000 stipend.
"The I-Corps Sites serve as a starting point to identify and nurture great ideas resulting from academic research," said Molly Wasko, PhD, director of UAB's I-Corps program. "At the national level, I-Corps participants receive even more support in translating their ideas into commercial ventures and are then competitively positioned for follow-up funding."
UAB is one of 67 active sites.
The UAB Site will leverage the university's Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and other existing programs to connect UAB Medicine and other STEM areas with the Collat School of Business and entrepreneurial support programs.
UAB plans to include industry experts as part of the site and, by collaborating with UAB Medicine, aims to have a source of teams and technology for the I-Corps program that transcends typical technology innovation expected from the research community.
UAB has also received a grant from the NIH Center for Advancing Translational Sciences to develop an I-Corps program for life sciences. Between the NIH and NSF, UAB collectively receives approximately $2 million in funding specifically for I-Corps initiatives.