Idea Foundry’s Science Sector is proud to announce that we are the recipients of the EDA’s RIS 2016 i6 Challenge Award

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) plays a critical role in fostering regional economic development efforts in communities across the nation. The EDA’s investment policy is designed to establish a foundation for sustainable job growth and the building of durable regional economies throughout the United States. This foundation builds upon two key economic drivers – innovation and regional collaboration. Innovation is key to global competitiveness, new and better jobs, a resilient economy, and the attainment of national economic goals. Regional collaboration is essential for economic recovery because regions are the centers of competition in the new global economy and those that work together to leverage resources and use their strengths to overcome weaknesses will fare better than those that do not. EDA encourages its partners around the country to develop initiatives that advance new ideas and creative approaches to address rapidly evolving economic conditions. 

Source: www.eda.gov/about

The EDA’s i6 Challenge is a leading national initiative designed to support the creation of programs that provide assistance to innovators and entrepreneurs and increase the commercialization of innovations, ideas, intellectual property, and research into viable companies.

The i6 Challenge provides funding to invest in the development, creation, or expansion of proof-of-concept and commercialization programs that accelerate innovation-led economic development in pursuit of a vibrant innovative economy and economic growth.

Source: Modified from www.eda.gov/oie/files/ris/2016-RIS-FAQ.pdfwww.eda.gov/oie/ris/i6/2012/factsheet.htm

The University of Pittsburgh and Idea Foundry have a long history of cooperation and share a common vision of cultivating academic entrepreneurs who will go on to promote economic development and sustain the region. Over the years, we have been working together to create and refine a system to accelerate the commercialization of life science innovations originating from the University and foster an entrepreneurial culture within the University. The ultimate goal of our joint effort is to position the region as a thriving life sciences cluster.

The i6 Challenge award will allow us to expand our collaborative model and guide innovations toward measurable impact. The proposed project has been designed to increase life science-related commercialization activities at the university level and support the creation of sustainable startups in the region.

The joint proposal focuses on expanding the following key activity areas:

Discovery: Idea Foundry will work with the University to help them strengthen their patent portfolio and identify promising new technologies.

Education & Innovation on Campus: We will jointly foster and support innovation-related activities to further innovation and entrepreneurship across the campus and provide a mechanism to move technologies outside of the academic setting.

Commercialization: Innovators with high potential technologies will have the opportunity to work with Idea Foundry through our Life Sciences Accelerator to determine the best path forward.

Sustainability and Growth: Idea Foundry will draw on internal resources as well as regional partners and networks to help innovators access investment opportunities to build lasting businesses.