Faculty-student team participating in summer cohort of research commercialization program

A faculty-student team from Case Western Reserve University is participating in a state-funded effort to accelerate the commercialization of university research designed to serve as an economic development tool for new businesses and jobs.

Called I-Corps@Ohio, the program is modeled after a National Science Foundation effort launched in 2012 that inspires and funds university-based research commercialization as an engine for business start-ups and the jobs they create.

Ohio is the first to have a statewide collaboration fully funded by the state. The Ohio Department of Higher Education (formerly the Ohio Board of Regents) is sponsoring the program.

“We are delighted that the State has chosen to invest in programs to accelerate commercialization of university technologies,” said Suzanne Rivera, Case Western Reserve’s vice president for research. “The Ohio iCorps program will provide our faculty and students with world-class instruction on how to create a start-up company and guidance to help them bring CWRU discoveries to society.”

Anant Madabhushi

The summer cohort runs July through October. Team members from Case Western Reserve are:

  • Anant Madabhushi, professor of biomedical engineering and director of the Center for Computational Imaging and Personalized Diagnostics, who will serve as the principal investigator on this project;
  • Michael Haag, executive director of technology management for the university’s Technology Transfer Office;
  • Mark Lloyd, founder of Inspirata Inc., a biotechnology firm in Tampa, who serves as a mentor for the commercialization portion of the program; and
  • Xiangxui Wang, a graduate student in biomedical engineering and Madabhushi mentee.

Other team members from Case Western Reserve include Robert Gilkeson, professor of radiology; Michael Yang, assistant professor of pathology; Frank Jacono, associate professor of medicine; and Phil Linden, associate professor in the Department of Surgery. The team also includes Vamsi Velcheti, assistant staff in thoracic oncology at Cleveland Clinic.

I-Corps@Ohio provides hands-on training to faculty and students to evaluate customer demand and commercial potential for their proposed technologies—using that information to decide whether to go forward with their startup companies or other forms of technology commercialization. The program is designed to train 60 faculty-led teams over three years.

Along with Case Western Reserve, the I-Corps@Ohio summer cohort will also involve research teams from Ohio State University, University of Akron and Ohio State–Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.