Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Michelle K. Lee today addressed the Virginia Ventures Forum, a meeting of the statewide Virginia Innovation Partnership (VIP) at the USPTO. One of only seven multi-institution initiatives to win federal funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce's i6 Challenge in 2012, VIP is bringing together universities, community colleges, corporations, investment capital, and other resources to drive promising research discoveries forward and accelerate innovation and economic growth throughout the Commonwealth.
Some of VIP’s funded projects for 2013-14 included “Development of a novel chimeric vaccine for tick-transmitted disease” at Virginia Commonwealth University, “Laser Modification of Metallic Surfaces for Industrial Applications” at the University of Virginia, and “Next Generation Diagnostics” at George Washington University. All Virginia colleges and universities were invited to apply for proof-of-concept funding. Projects selected by VIP’s review and advisory boards were granted access to VIP’s expansive mentoring network and matching funds from VIP partners. It is the Partnership’s hope that the VIP will serve as a model for adoption by other states as well.
“By working together,” Lee said at today’s event, “government, universities, and private enterprise can spur innovations that make our world a better place, while fueling entrepreneurship and job creation in Virginia and beyond.”
Also speaking at the Forum were Tom Skalak, Vice President for Research at the University of Virginia; Matt Erskine, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Development at the Department of Commerce; and Aneesh Chopra, senior advisor to The Advisory Board Company and the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer from 2009-12.