Kentucky’s public higher education institutions have joined forces for a commercialisation drive part funded by a $1.2m grant from state-run entrepreneurship hub KY Innovation.

Kentucky’s higher education sector is to benefit from a new partnership called Commonwealth Commercialization Center (C3) catered to translating innovations into viable businesses including spinouts, the Lane Report wrote on Friday.

C3 will be helmed by the tech transfer offices of University of Kentucky and University of Louisville together with state-run entrepreneurship hub KY Innovation, which will supply $1.2m in grant funding.

C3 will be open to faculty and students from all Kentucky public universities, providing access to intellectual property services such as identification, development, marketing and protection.

The program will look to encourage greater engagement with industry and experiential learning for students while connecting institutions with federal programs and industry-sponsored opportunities through KY Innovation.

Kentucky state hopes C3 will aid collaboration between its public institutions as part of an envisaged regional commercialisation corridor.

The move also reflects recognition from local universities that more could be done to enhance research and development services, despite many now running some form of commercialisation operation.

Morehead State University, Murray State University, Eastern Kentucky University, Western Kentucky University, Northern Kentucky University, and Kentucky Community and Technical College System were all involved in formulating C3’s framework.

Ian McClure, director of University of Kentucky’s office of technology commercialization, said: “Innovation, commercialisation and entrepreneurship communities are all products of their culture and access to resources.

“Successful environments have at their centre research and academic institutions that embody this culture and facilitate this access.”