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The 2018 Technology Accelerator Fund Will Help Get the Next Great Idea from Lab to Marketplace

A female researcher stands in the lab near a scientific magnification tool.

Have you ever had an idea to invent something that could better our society but couldn’t find funds to support your project? Or have you ever conducted research that has real-life applications but didn’t know how to make your results tangible? If you answered yes to either of these questions you’re in luck! As of today, the SUNY Technology Accelerator Fund (TAF) is now accepting proposals to help faculty inventors and scientists turn their research into market-ready technologies.

The TAF provides investments to support SUNY innovations from the lab to the marketplace. These investments are made on a highly competitive basis and focus on projects that target critical research and development milestones, such as feasibility studies, prototyping and testing, because these focuses have increased commercial potential.

Since its launch in April 2011, the TAF, which is jointly funded by the State University of New York and the Research Foundation, has invested over $2 million, and external partners, including federal agencies, industry licensees, and angel investors have invested an additional $4.4 million. This outpouring of financial support helped create 40 of SUNY’s most promising technologies.

Turning a TAF Award to Success

While all 40 technologies deserve a shout-out, some of our bigger success stories include the following companies: Glauconix, ChromaNanoTech, and CytoCybernetics. Let’s learn a little about each.

Glauconix

A concept born from human eye cells on a scaffold fabricated at SUNY Polytechnic Institute‘s Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering creates filter-like tissue in the eye to test possible glaucoma drugs at Glauconix. SUNY Poly researchers were awarded $50,000 from the TAF to develop a commercial prototype of this model, and eventually went on to win a $100,000 grand prize from the New York Business Plan Competition, which led to the creation of Glauconix.

ChromaNanoTech

ChromaNanoTech, founded in April 2014, also focuses on optical technology applications. This start-up company utilizes the Binghamton University incubator to manufacture nanomaterials that enhance the properties and durability of synthetic dyes active in the ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared spectrum for use in a number of product applications. Past focuses have included optical shields and passive solar technology. In 2016, ChromaNanoTech, along with Charge CCCV, another Binghamton-based start-up, received $750,000 for being finalists in the first national 76West Clean Energy Competition, which is funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

CytoCybernetics

A start-up company born at the University at Buffalo provides drug companies with a better way to conduct the necessary test all pharmaceuticals must go through to prove the product will not cause heart attacks in patients. In doing so, CytoCybernetics helps companies slash development costs by hundreds of millions of dollars. With financial assistance from TAF, the National Institutes of Health, and a grant from the UB Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology, the start-up was accepted to START-UP NY and won $500,000 from 43North, a Buffalo-based business plan competition.

To learn more about all of our TAF success stories, you can read through a full list of past TAF winners.

Interested in submitting a proposal? Faculty, staff, and students from all disciplines and campuses are encouraged to submit proposals prior to the February 2, 2018 deadline. All proposals require the review and participation of your campus administrator prior to submission, so make sure to contact your technology transfer office and/or office of sponsored programs as soon as possible. We also have more application and administrative guidelines available.

If you have any questions or requests, please send them to TAF@rfsuny.org, and all questions and answers will be posted to TAF’s homepage. Best of luck to all who participate and we can’t wait to see what amazing ideas are submitted!

    Written by Julie Maio

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