2 faculty awarded technology development grants

Two faculty members have been awarded $20,000 grants to help accelerate the commercialization of technologies developed in their laboratories.

Funded out of the CVIP Technology Development Fund, managed by the Office of Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property, the grants to Lloyd Semprivo, Veterinary and Animal Sciences, and D. Venkataraman, Chemistry, were announced Aug. 10 by President Jack M. Wilson.

Semprivo’s long-term objective is to develop a cost-effective vaccine that will sharply reduce the worldwide prevalence of echinococcosis, a disease caused by tapeworms that can affect livestock and humans.

Venkataraman will use the funding to develop copper-catalysts for cross-coupling reactions and proving their advantages. The main commercial use of the technology lies in the synthesis of molecules in the pharmaceutical industry, where palladium catalysts are currently used, and where copper would have a benefit.

Two other grants were awarded to researchers at the Worcester and Lowell campuses.

The awards provide researchers with supplemental funding to advance previously disclosed University technologies toward commercialization. The fund is intended to move technologies to the proof of concept stage or to allow the investigator to take other critical steps to make the technology attractive for licensing or other forms of commercialization.

The fund was created last year as part of Wilson’s science and technology action agenda. Funding is from University licensing revenues.