University of Memphis has joined regional entrepreneurship body Epicenter Memphis in a bid to spawn new spinouts anchored by postdoctoral research.
University of Memphis has launched spinout accelerator Patents2Products to help more of its postdoctoral researchers launch companies to bring their ideas to market.
Patents2Products has been set up in partnership with nonprofit regional entrepreneurship board Epicenter Memphis.
Starting from autumn 2019, it will fund startup costs for postdoctoral researchers with promising proposals, granting them access to supports such as office space and entrepreneurial resources for a period of two years.
University of Memphis hopes to generate six new spinouts over the next year through the program, looking to the bar set by its tissue healing device business SweetBio, which obtained US regulatory approval for its technology in May 2019.
The objective is to galvanise Memphis’s regional innovation ecosystem, while also supporting University of Memphis’s ongoing bid to be recognised as a Carnegie 1-standard research institution.
Epicenter Memphis’s role in the current plans includes linking postdoctoral researchers with external opportunities, including funding, mentoring and customers, once a viable spinout has been established.
Leslie Lynn Smith, president and CEO at Epicenter, stressed the importance of academic research to its mission of benefiting the local economy and communities.
She said: “Universities are the creators of a multitude of economic and community development impacts, and attracting more entrepreneurial and scientific talent to Memphis while bringing bleeding-edge technologies to market will have an even greater economic impact.
“Strong representation and engagement from universities within entrepreneurial ecosystems are essential to a thriving economy, and we appreciate that the university’s leadership is willing to boldly participate in economic development through innovation.”
Jasbir Dhaliwal, executive vice-president for research and innovation at University of Memphis, added: “We want to help turn new science-based technologies and innovations from our research labs into successful, local companies.”