Tech Launch Arizona kicks off Proof of Concept Program with $715,000 in awards to UA faculty for 2012-13

Jan. 10, 2013

Tucson, Arizona January 10, 2013: Nineteen University of Arizona researchers are recipients of Proof of Concept Program Awards by the newly established Tech Launch Arizona (TLA). The purpose of the POC Program is to enable faculty with promising inventions and discoveries to address technological and commercial hurdles--moving them closer to commercialization. The awards, ranging from $10-$40K, focus resources on critical segments such as generating data to support commercial applications; work for prototype development and testing; software code validation, or other similar activities.

"This money is generally very difficult to access, but often means the difference between a promising technology with important social benefits, moving closer to commercialization-- or being shelved. It is an important investment by Tech Launch Arizona”, stated Executive Director, David Allen. Allen joined the UA as Executive Director of Tech Launch Arizona from the University of Colorado, where in 2005 he initiated and subsequently managed one of the largest POC programs among US universities.

Proof of Concept Award recipients represent a wide spectrum of research in Engineering, Optical Sciences, Biotechnology, Medicine and other disciplines, spanning 33 UA departments. 46 proposals in all were received--several of which included collaborations with faculty from multiple colleges. Final awards were made based on recommendations by external review panels. “Importantly, the POC program opened the process for TLA to work with all applicant researchers to develop and advance inventions, whether funding was received in this round or not”, noted Sherry Hoskinson, Director of Commercialization Networks. Hoskinson worked with the external review process.

Funding for POC award comes from the Arizona Technology Research Initiative Fund (TRIF), including a contribution from the Water, Environmental and Energy Solutions (WEES) initiative.