U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez will visit The University of Akron on Wednesday, Jan. 26, to award the i6 Challenge Grant, a competition to identify and support the nation's best ideas for technology commercialization and entrepreneurship in six different regions of the U.S. He also will lead a discussion on identifying the nation and Greater Akron's best ideas for technology, commercialization and entrepreneurship programs that can lead to job creation. The event will be held at noon in the Goodyear Polymer Center on the UA campus.
Last fall, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke announced that The University of Akron Research Foundation (UARF), in partnership with the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron (ABIA), was named one of the six regional winners of the i6 Challenge, whose $1 million prize is being shared by the two organizations that were created to spur economic development by turning university-based research into new products, companies and jobs. UARF and ABIA's proposal, "Innovation Solutions for Invention Xceleration," were winners of the Chicago region.
The Economic Development Administration (EDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce manages the i6 Challenge Award in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.
"I am proud that the Economic Development Administration will be working with the winning organizations that have identified new ways to tap into the nation’s innovative capacity," Fernandez said at the time the awards were announced. "Their ideas represent the best that the six regions of our country had to offer, and I am confident that their projects will lead to job creation and economic growth."
Fernandez will be joined by:
Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic and Summit County Executive Russell Pry, leaders from UARF/ABIA's local i6 Challenge partners and some of the region's most innovative and successful economic development organizations are expected to attend.
The i6 Challenge seeks to identify and support the nation's best ideas for technology commercialization and entrepreneurship in six different regions of the country. The winning team from each region will receive $1 million from EDA to support their project and may be eligible for additional awards from NIH and NSF.
Projects include efforts to drive innovative technologies in the medical and bioscience industries to market more quickly by bringing end-users of technology with scientific experts from industry, health care and academia. The projects are supported by commercialization experts, private sector entrepreneurs, and successful technology product manufacturers and distributors. Winners hailed from the six EDA regions:
For more information, visit i6 Challenge.