University of Memphis and Epicenter collaborate to strengthen Deep Science Entrepreneurship in Memphis
New fellowships intended to spur creation of more research-based startups around existing University patents
The University of Memphis and Epicenter have partnered to create a program designed to give enterprising PhDs the opportunity to turn research-based intellectual property developed both in Memphis and across the United States into local startup companies.
The Patents2Products: Deep Science Entrepreneur Post-Doc Fellowships (P2P Fellows) Program will support postdoctoral participants for two years, along with funds for initial startup costs and access to the researchers and labs where the University intellectual property was developed. The program is focused on commercializing deep science patents or novel innovations that are the result of academic research and that also have potential for commercial purpose. The P2P Fellows will also have access to entrepreneurial curricula and resources throughout the regional innovation ecosystem and will be provided office space in either the UMRF Research Park on campus, as requested. The program will begin fall 2019.
“We want to help turn new science-based technologies and innovations from our research labs into successful, local companies,” said Jasbir Dhaliwal, PhD, Executive Vice President for Research and Innovation, University of Memphis. “This joint venture will deepen the innovation ecosystem in our region while also expanding our postdoctoral positions to help us meet our goal of achieving Carnegie R1 Research Institution status.”
In addition to assisting in the selection of the cohort of entrepreneurial postdoctoral fellows, Epicenter, the regional entrepreneurship hub, will provide connections to mentors, customers and capital to not only grow startup businesses, but also to encourage a long-term stay by the Fellows as founders of local Memphis companies. Both Epicenter and the University of Memphis envision that this program will expand the deep science ecosystem in Memphis for years to come.
“Universities are the creators of a multitude of economic and community development impacts, and attracting more entrepreneurial and scientific talent to Memphis while bringing bleeding-edge technologies to market will have an even greater economic impact,” said Leslie Lynn Smith, president and CEO, Epicenter. “Strong representation and engagement from universities within entrepreneurial ecosystems are essential to a thriving economy, and we appreciate that the University’s leadership is willing to boldly participate in economic development through innovation.”
About The FedEx Institute of Technology
The FedEx Institute of Technology is an advanced technology and research organization that serves as the front door and applied research arm to the research infrastructure and innovation capabilities at the University of Memphis. As a catalyst for interdisciplinary research and innovation in emerging technologies by supporting cross-campus research innovation clusters, the Institute is also home to the University's intellectual property and patent repository, which is the focal point of technology transfer and licensing operations. The Institute is a central hub for efforts to maintain a cutting-edge innovative environment in the Mid-South region.
As the nonprofit hub of the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem, Epicenter strategically connects and expands the network of support for all entrepreneurs in the Memphis region. In order to create a just, inclusive and growing economy, Epicenter pilots bold, new solutions and collaborates with partners to ensure entrepreneurs have equitable access to the programming, capital, markets and talent they need to launch and thrive locally. More information is at epicentermemphis.org.