Innovation Gateway is committed to growing the UGA innovation ecosystem and expanding the impact of products and companies emerging from UGA research, both here in Georgia and around the world. A few highlights from Fiscal Year 2017 include the following:
- Four staff members joined Innovation Gateway in FY 2017. COO and Senior Associate Director of Startups Ian Biggs focuses on strengthening UGA’s startup program. Through a number of initiatives, he is improving the scalability of startups, increasing the number and quality of fundable ventures, enhancing education and mentoring, and improving the overall speed and efficiency of the UGA startup process. Administrative specialist Linda Dodson ensures that licensee companies comply with license agreement terms, including timely reporting and the prompt and accurate payment of royalties. Administrative associate Heather Pierce provides supports for the startup program and the incubator facility. Clerk Amanda Moeller helps manage our IP agreements and contracts.
- Two new grants awarded to UGA in FY 2017 will help ensure that groundbreaking ideas emerging from UGA research will reach their fullest commercial potential for public benefit as efficiently and effectively as possible. Innovation Gateway led the effort to win a $500,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps) site grant that will provide funding for a STEM-focused accelerator to teach faculty, students and staff about entrepreneurship and how to transition their ideas into the marketplace. Innovation Gateway also lead UGA’s effort to win a $500,000 i6 Challenge grant from the Department of Commerce that will enable the creation of a prototyping center to leverage UGA’s expanding engineering and materials research.
- Although all of our FY 2017 numbers are not final yet, Innovation Gateway achieved an eight-year high in intellectual property licensing income and experienced robust commercialization and startup activity in terms of invention disclosures, licenses and options executed, and entrepreneurial ventures. There are currently more than 60 active projects in the startup pipeline – more than a 40 percent increase in the past two years.
As we approach the beginning of a new fiscal year, we congratulate and thank our strong network of FY 2017 stakeholders, including the faculty, staff and students across campus, as well as our partners in business, industry, government, and other local, state, public, and private organizations who were dedicated to our mission to translate UGA discoveries into new products, technologies and companies that advance the public interest and drive economic impact.