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Week of March 11, 2013

Medical School and U-M Tech Transfer launch $7.5M fund for innovators

A new $7.5 million fund will help U-M medical discoveries make the leap from the laboratory to the market, accelerating their potential to help patients.

Funded in part by a new $2.4 million grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s 21st Century Jobs Fund, the new effort will help the Medical School and U-M Tech Transfer identify, nurture and fast forward medical research projects with a high potential of commercial success.

The fund will officially be called the U-M M-TRAC for Life Sciences — one of seven Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization efforts announced last week by MEDC.

Over the next three years, U-M medical researchers will be able to apply for translational research funds to help them pursue early-stage proof of concept projects with high commercial potential and value.

These projects may yield new treatments, medical devices, diagnostic tools and health care information technologies. An oversight committee that will be largely composed of experts skilled in product development, commercialization and tech transfer will review and select proposals for funding.

The other $5 million for the fund comes from commitments of budget funds from the Medical School, the Office of the Vice President for Research and the Office of Technology Transfer. It’s part of a broader strategic effort to give U-M medical researchers the support they need to create the future of health care through discovery.

“The Medical School’s co-investment in this important new program will provide yet another resource to help our faculty prepare their research innovations for translation to the market, with the ultimate goal of impacting patient care,” says Dr. James O. Woolliscroft, dean of the Medical School and Lyle C. Roll Professor of Medicine.

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