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Seed money going to two healthcare projects at N.C. State

Frank Vinluan

North Carolina State University is providing up to $300,000 in seed money to four emerging technologies from the university that are now steering toward commercialization.

Two of the projects receiving up to $75,000 each from the university’s Innovation Fund have healthcare applications. One focuses on a new vaccine to prevent Salmonella and the other is employing nanotechnology to develop bandages whose fibers release medication to improve wound healing.

Professors leading the projects can use the money to gather additional data, conduct market research, build prototypes or take other steps to make the technologies more marketable.

The Innovation Fund was established in 2010 by Chancellor Randy Woodson to provide additional support to faculty, staff and students who are developing promising technologies. The program is intended to strengthen the commercial potential of intellectual property that has been disclosed to NCSU’s Office of Technology Transfer. The awards are intended to support short term projects of one year or less. The two other recipients receiving these first Innovation Awards are a project researching bed bug bait and another project researching ways to make outdoor fabrics resistant to fading.

“We want to bridge the gap between the lab and the marketplace,” Terri Lomax, vice chancellor for research, innovation and economic development said in a statement.

Fifty-six applicants sought funding this year; 12 finalists were selected. The university will conduct a post-award review to evaluate how the funds were used and to assess the resulting commercial potential of the technology. If any of the technologies realize their commercial potential, royalty income from a licensing agreement must first be used to repay money awarded by the Innovation Fund.

Here’s a description of the research from Hosni Hassan, professor of microbiology, and Matt Koci, assistant professor of poultry science, for their work on creating a potential Salmonella vaccine:

And here’s a description of the research from Elizabeth Loboa, associate professor of biomedical engineering, and Benham Pourdeyhimi, distinguished professor of textiles, for their work on nonwoven textiles that can be used to release medications:

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