Home » NSF selects UK and 8 others to form new innovation hub

NSF selects UK and 8 others to form new innovation hub

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The University of Kentucky is a partner in the new Mid-South Innovation Corps Hub, announced by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Hubs provide experiential entrepreneurial training to academic researchers across all fields of science and engineering. I-Corps Hubs form the operational backbone of the National Innovation Network — a network of universities, NSF-funded researchers, local and regional entrepreneurial communities and other federal agencies — that help researchers translate fundamental research results to the marketplace.

The Mid-South I-Corps Hub, which will launch in January 2023 and is funded with $15 million for five years, is a regional alliance between lead institution Vanderbilt University, UK, George Mason University, Jackson State University, Meharry Medical College, Tennessee State University, University of Louisville, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and University of Virginia.

“UK Innovate is proud to partner with these eight other incredible universities and their innovation and entrepreneurship leaders to form the Mid-South I-Corps Hub. We are grateful to the NSF for choosing our inclusive innovation corridor,” said Ian McClure, UK associate vice president for research, innovation and economic impact and executive director of UK Innovate.

“Launch Blue is excited to add NSF I-Corps to its continuum of services for university innovators at UK and public universities throughout Kentucky, in partnership with Kentucky Commercialization Ventures,” said Laura Halligan, executive director of Launch Blue. “I-Corps will serve as a follow-on opportunity to continue progress achieved through Launch Blue’s signature UAccel pre-accelerator program for university innovators. We are excited to see I-Corps’s additional value to our university innovators and their entrepreneurial growth.”

About the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps program  
Established in 2011, the I-Corps program is designed to support the commercialization of deep technologies, which grow from discoveries in fundamental science and engineering. Since its inception, more than 1,900 NSF I-Corps teams have participated in the program. This year’s five newly funded I-Corps Hubs will join the five hubs funded last year to serve national needs through the following areas of responsibility: 

  • Create and implement tools, resources and training activities that enhance the nation’s innovation capacity
  • Identify, develop and support promising research that can generate economic value. 
  • Gather, analyze, evaluate and utilize the data and insights resulting from the experiences of those participating in local, regional and national I-Corps programs 
  • Provide opportunities to diverse communities of innovators 
  • Share and leverage effective innovation practices on a national scale to improve the quality of life throughout the nation 

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