Tallahassee-based HBCU Florida A&M University (FAMU) has shared a joint engineering program with Florida State University (FSU) since 1982. Now the schools are teaming up again to offer a program meant to boost the commercialization of university research.

under the microscope

The joint College of Engineering’s new initiative is called the Technology Commercialization Acceleration Program (TCAP). Under the program selected faculty innovators will be invited to form their own teams comprising postdoctoral and student researchers and a business mentor to determine whether their inventions can be translated into profitable ventures, according to FSU’s website. The teams will learn about customer demand, test their ideas, survey their competition and more.

“TCAP gives academic researchers a feel for an entrepreneurial/business approach, which may be entirely different than the basic research they are involved in,” said Brent Edington, director of the FSU Office of Commercialization, in a statement. “Exposure to the program will help them understand the difference between basic research and commercialization and the challenges that need to be overcome to make their research a commercial success.”

So far, five teams have been accepted into the program’s first cohort. Some of their inventions include efficient solar cells, efficient sail designs, software for autonomous vehicles, biotechnology tests used to improve food safety and devices used to produce electric more efficiently.

TCAP has been modeled after the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps program, which is a set of activities geared at preparing scientists and engineers to take their focus further than the laboratory, according to the NSF website.

“I am looking forward to TCAP helping FAMU and FSU researchers bridge the gap between making their laboratory discoveries and having a marketplace presence for their innovations,” said Reis Alsberry, director of technology transfer at FAMU, according to the FSU website. “This is exactly the kind of tool we can use to make that happen for the economic benefit of both universities and the Tallahassee area as a whole.

jhunter@afro.com

Twitter: @hunter_jonathan