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September 2003 Issue

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UC Receives National Science Foundation Partnerships for Innovation Grant

Published September 2003

UC in partnership with BIO/START, Emerging Concepts, Hamilton County Business Center, CincyTech USA and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, was recently awarded a grant of approximately $600,000 over a three-year period from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Partnerships for Innovation Program.

This prestigious award will support a three-year program to establish a formal mechanism to develop a regional pool of new entrepreneurs capable of succeeding in new company formation and/or expanding existing small size companies.

The proposal, submitted by UC and its five partner organizations, details a comprehensive training program that addresses key knowledge, skills and insights needed to be successful in the entrepreneurial arena. Participants in the educational program will be connected to a pipeline of critical resources to take them from the idea stage to successful company formation. As each entrepreneur moves through the training stages, they will be applying the information learned to the creation of their own business plans. Participants who successfully complete the program will be eligible to submit their final business plans in a competition for funding ranging from $25,000-$50,000 to support the early implementation needs of their business plans. Successful program participants will also be connected to a range of experts and the Cincinnati SoundingBoard to gain valuable business advice as well as exposure to additional sources of funding.

In addition to the external partnerships, a multidisciplinary team from across the university came together to prepare the proposal. This team includes representatives from the Office of Entrepreneurial Affairs, Intellectual Property Office, Colleges of Business and Engineering, and the UC Center for Entrepreneurship Education and Research. Together, these groups, and their extensive networks, provide the breadth and depth of expertise to achieve the partnership goals.

"The team at the core of the UC proposal is a 'natural'," said Dorothy Air, PhD, associate senior vice president for entrepreneurial affairs at the UC Medical Center. "We were already working together on an informal basis to provide an infrastructure for the commercialization of novel technologies, so there was an existing sense of what such a dynamic group could accomplish together."

A formal announcement of the application process will be made in the fall. Prior to that time, additional information can be obtained by contacting Dr. Air at or 558-6054. For more information about NSF funding, visit

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