University lab commercializes research discoveries

HOUGHTON — Since beginning in late 2013, the MTRAC program has helped discoveries in university labs turn into commercially available and potentially lifesaving products.

Earlier today, oral presentations from Michigan Tech’s MTRAC program were given to officials from the MEDC.

The focus of the program is to be able to commercialize all of the great research that is going on in universities and bring it into the commercial market.

In university labs, it’s common for the individuals involved to need funding in order to make the most of their discovery.

“It’s economic development in it’s purest form,” said MEDC University Relations Director Denise Graves, “we are filling the funnel at the top bringing research out of the universities and translating it to the commercial market, and then getting things going from there.”

The Oversight Committee consists of 11 members who represent successful business leaders. The committee is key to the success of the program.

“It’s made up of industry partners as well as venture capital professionals,” added Graves, “and those folks will review all of the presentations as well as the letters of intent, and then the oral presentations that are going on today and make the decision for funding.”

Since its inception, a total of 79 projects have been funded, 13 companies have been started, and nearly 22 million dollars has been received in follow–on funding throughout Michigan.