WMSTI receives NASA grant

October 24, 2008
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NASA awarded a $150,000 grant to Grand Valley State University to accelerate the West Michigan Science & Technology Initiative’s efforts to help companies commercialize their life science innovations.

WMSTI’s life sciences commercialization enterprise, now known as Idea Cycle, provides the infrastructure to mine, assess and protect novel life science ideas of West Michigan health care providers and educators. The NASA grant creates a fund that Idea Cycle can tap for high priority projects. Member organizations that apply for funding must provide matching dollars for any funding pool dollars received.

WMSTI Executive Director Linda Chamberlain said the grant will increase Idea Cycles’ market research and project management abilities.

“Over the first three years we’ve really been able to drive idea assessment and capture of intellectual property. But as Idea Cycle matures, we realize that we need to increase our emphasis on project management and seed funding,” Chamberlain said. “With the support of Grand Valley and NASA, the initiative is now able to greatly accelerate the development of Idea Cycle and form a community proprietary product pipeline to further tap into the innovative life science ideas in West Michigan.This grant is focused on adding the right support at the right time to maximize the possibility.”

Idea Cycle partner include Spectrum Health, Saint Mary’s Health Care, GVSU, Van Andel Research Institute, Michigan Medical PC, Calvin College and Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital.

Since its establishment in 2004, Idea Cycle partner organizations have reviewed more that 300 ideas and successfully managed 36 through the various stages of product development. To date, 21 patents have been applied for and six have been licensed. 

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