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Purdue Innovates awards $150K Trask awards to develop innovations for the marketplace 

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October 18-20, 2023 / Tucson, AZ
The annual summit for research institution gap fund and accelerator programs, including proof of concept programs, startup accelerators, and university venture funds

The Story

Four researchers in Purdue University’s colleges of Engineering and Science, the Purdue Institute for Cancer Research and the Purdue Institute for Drug Discovery have received a total of $150,000 from the Trask Innovation Fund to strengthen the appeal of their patent-pending intellectual property for commercial use.

The fund is managed by the Purdue Innovates Incubator, which provides programming for the Purdue University community to ideate, refine and support their solutions. The fund awards up to $50,000 for short-term projects that enhance the commercial value of Purdue intellectual property.

The impact of Trask funding: Crossing the ‘valley of death’

Matt Dressler, Purdue Innovates Incubator’s fund manager, said the Trask Innovation Fund supports researchers between the time of innovation creation and marketplace adoption, known as the “valley of death.”

“It can take years for an innovative idea to advance far enough to garner industry attention. There are many challenges to overcome during this time, including technology obsolescence and an innovator feeling dispirited by a lack of progress,” Dressler said. “The Trask Innovation Fund can address these challenges by providing faculty with focused funds to translate a research discovery toward a viable product solution. It complements several other resources Purdue Innovates provides to university inventors and entrepreneurs.”

Abhijit Karve, the Purdue Innovates Office of Technology Commercialization’s director of business development, said Trask awards have been used several ways by recipients.

“Awardees have used the funding to support students, conduct tests, generate data and develop prototypes,” Karve said. “This additional level of validation of the research makes it more attractive to companies that want to license it and bring it to the marketplace.”

Between the 2013 and 2023 fiscal years, around $3 million in Trask funding has been awarded to 81 projects. Forty percent of the technologies that have received Trask funding have been licensed or optioned to industry.

Full story: Purdue Innovates awards Purdue researchers $150K to develop innovations for the marketplace – Purdue University News

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