Infinite possibilities open up when discoveries leave universities and enter the marketplace. Not only can new technologies have a lasting impact on the lives of individuals, but there’s a clear financial benefit when new companies form, jobs are created and economies grow. However academic scientists don’t always have the business experience to make the leap from idea to market. That’s where the QED Program and Phase 1 Ventures come in. Both provide scientists with targeted business advice and access to resources to help them commercialize their ideas.
Four researchers developing technologies for eye exams, cancer treatment, stem cell growth and healthcare sanitation received a total of $650,000 in funding through the seventh round of the Science Center’s QED Program in 2015. The program, started in 2009, funds novel university technologies with market potential, bridging that gap between academic research and product commercialization.
The most recent round of QED grants support researchers at Lehigh University; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Temple University and Thomas Jefferson University. For each project, half of the funds awarded were contributed by the Science Center and half by the researchers’ institutions. Each project team receives business guidance from the Science Center’s experienced team of advisors.
Dr. Steven Levison of Rutgers says his QED award was “extraordinarily helpful. The Science Center doesn’t just help with the money,” he explains. “They also provide wonderful expertise. They connect you with people in the business community, people who know the marketplace, people I wouldn’t normally get to meet.”
The QED Program saw a seventh licensing deal in the proof-of-concept funding program’s six-year history when Decision Simulation, LLC licensed technology developed by Dr. Christof Daetwyler, Dr. Dennis Novack and Mr. Gregory McGee at Drexel University College of Medicine.
WebPatientEncounter.ps enhances the doctor-patient relationship by training healthcare professionals in interpersonal skills. The goal? Improved patient satisfaction and a reduction in missed diagnoses and missed opportunities to accurately, clearly and concisely convey important information to patients. An added benefit is a reduced number of patient readmissions that in turn should lead to higher reimbursement rates from insurers.
WebPatientEncounter is already in the market. Drexel med students are using it; the “Gift of Life” Institute is an early adopter; and research studies are being run at the VA and the Mayo Clinics.
Previous licensing deals for QED-supported projects involved Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Drexel University (2); Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (2); and Temple University. Collectively, QED-funded projects have attracted almost $15 million in follow-on funding.
PHASE 1 VENTURES
QED supports the development of technologies before they leave the academic environment, while the Port and DHA help with the fast-phase of business growth, after a startup has received funding. The Science Center’s newest commercialization program, Phase 1 Ventures (P1V), bridges the gap that lies between these two phases—when a technology is ready to be tested in a new startup, but hasn’t yet attracted management or financing.
Powered by a $1 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded in October 2014, P1V launches and grows new companies by bringing together intellectual property, expertise, facilities, networks and funding. The program provides know-how, management, facilities, and investment to universities looking to spinout new companies, and to startups formed for the purposes of commercializing academic technologies.
The initial goal is to test business feasibility of high-potential technologies in a low-risk environment. Ultimately the goal is for companies to graduate from P1V as investible, independently-managed enterprises that generate jobs and economic growth.
The Science Center’s collaborative approach to technology commercialization is exemplified by the 21 academic research institutions that participate in the QED program.
- The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
- Delaware State University
- Drexel University
- Fox Chase Cancer Center
- Harrisburg University of Science and Technology
- Lankenau Institute for Medical Research
- Lehigh University
- Monell Chemical Senses Center
- New Jersey Institute of Technology
- The Pennsylvania State University
- Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Philadelphia University
- Rowan University
- Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
- Temple University
- Thomas Jefferson University
- University of Delaware
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of the Sciences
- Widener University
- The Wistar Institute