UTEP and TTUHSC El Paso Launch Innovation and Commercialization Fund
June 19, 2015 | UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS
EPIC Fund grant recipients from UTEP include, from left, Ubaldo Robles, a doctoral student working with Raymond Rumpf, Ph.D.; David Roberson, Ph.D.; Russell Chianelli, Ph.D.; Aaron Nystrom, who is working with Roger Gonzalez, Ph.D.; Eva Deemer, Ph.D.; and Marc Cox, Ph.D. Associate Vice President for Research Stephen Aley, Ph.D., right, introduced the UTEP faculty members at an EPIC Fund announcement event June 17. Photo by Ivan Pierre Aguirre / UTEP News Service
A new, shared commercialization fund between The University of Texas at El Paso and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) is giving faculty members at both institutions opportunities to commercialize their research into marketable goods.
The El Paso Innovation and Commercialization Fund, or EPIC Fund, awarded eight grants of up to $50,000 to faculty from both universities whose work has demonstrated strong commercial potential. The $500,000 fund to move technologies to market was created by a state grant from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (ETF) and matching dollars from both universities.
"This is an exemplary collaboration partnership between UTEP and Texas Tech El Paso," said UTEP Vice President for Research Roberto Osegueda, Ph.D. "I look forward to the commercialization success of these initiatives."
Grant awardees from UTEP are Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Marc Cox, Ph.D., for his work with pharmaceuticals treating prostate cancer; UTEP doctoral candidate Eva Deemer and Professor of Chemistry Russell Chianelli, Ph.D., for work utilizing the carbon material graphene; Assistant Professor of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering David Roberson, Ph.D., for his work with 3-D printing; Department Chair for Engineering Education and Leadership Roger Gonzalez, Ph.D., for development of a low-cost energy storage and return prosthetic foot; and Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Raymond Rumpf, Ph.D., for improving electromagnetic compatibility.
"The mission of this new venture, the El Paso Innovation and Commercialization (EPIC) Fund is to help our faculty innovators and entrepreneurs develop their intellectual property," said Peter Rotwein, M.D., assistant vice president of research at TTUHSC El Paso. "EPIC will allow our faculty inventors to bring their ideas and novel products to market more quickly, allowing the public to eventually benefit from their innovations."
The EPIC Fund grant program is designed to support a culture that promotes innovation, translation and commercialization of new ideas and technologies within the El Paso region. It does this through grants for the maturation and acceleration of early stage technologies or spin-out start-up companies based on university intellectual property across any sector.
Currently, the ETF contracts the Texas Tech University System to operate the Trans-Pecos/El Paso Regional Center for Innovation and Commercialization within its Office of Research Commercialization (ORC). The ORC led the effort to create this commercialization fund.