Texas schools get $3.75 million to commercialize their research

HOUSTON — Three Texas universities received a $3.75 million grant to form an “innovation hub” charged with helping to develop commercial applications from academic research.

The grant from the National Science Foundation will support a program called NSF Innovation Corps that will include Rice University, Texas A&M University and University of Texas.

The program links up teams of three — a  researcher, a business mentor and a graduate student — with training and grants that help them explore ways to commercialize their research.

The goal is to take research beyond academic papers and journals and use it to for purposes that can have a broader reach.

“This new … initiative is a paradigm shift that will facilitate a cultural change in universities and research centers designed to take researchers’ creativity and innovation to the commercial level,” said Brad Burke, managing director of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship. “It will be a driver for higher education and university research to become much more entrepreneurial.”

The National Science Foundation has developed similar programs in other parts of the country, but this is its first in the southwest.