In 1947, when the first transistor was invented, it did not generate overwhelming excitement. As scientifically novel as it was, little did the world know what a breakthrough technology the transistor was and how it would profoundly change the world.
Many deep technologies like the transistor, stemming from scientific and engineering research, hold the promise to impact our life, work, healthcare, education, and economic competitiveness. In the last few decades, deep tech startups have played a critical role in enabling new ways of communication and computing as well as novel medicine and devices for healthcare.
During the first Deep Dive Into Deep Tech Incubation webinar, Dr. Andrea Belz, Division Director of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at the National Science Foundation (NSF), expressed concern that the formation of startups has been declining in the United States over the last few decades.
Deep tech startups face unique challenges and risks in terms of technology development, long runways to commercialization, requirement of sizable capital investments, as well as emerging and ever-changing market and regulatory landscapes. However, it is exceedingly rewarding to build and support deep tech startups. They have high potential to be financially rewarding, and, more importantly, to significantly impact the toughest challenges facing our society today, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 has posed the most profound shock to the national research enterprise since World War II. It calls for innovation from diagnostic tests and vaccines to therapeutics and logistics. This amplifies the critical need for us to continue to innovate, to translate these innovations into products and services, and to bring them into the marketplace, all in an accelerated pace to address this unprecedented societal challenge. In many ways, COVID-19 presents a real-life, ever-pressing need for us to work together and invest in accelerating growth of deep tech startups.
Can we systematically catalyze, nurture, and empower the growth of deep tech startups? What kind of incubation and innovation ecosystem(s) would best help support and accelerate the commercialization of deep technologies? These are the questions we will explore together through the Deep Dive Into Deep Tech Incubation webinar series, which is sponsored by the NSF and hosted by The State University of New York (SUNY).
Our technology competitiveness depends on the future success of deep tech startups – not one startup, but rather the broader deep tech startup community. It takes the entire community to truly foster and grow a dynamic, innovative, and entrepreneurial culture, which is the foundation of a successful deep tech ecosystem.
Join us and be part of the deep tech future.
Dr. Grace Wang is the Senior Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development for The State University of New York (SUNY).