A not-so-whacky university-based center for entrepreneurism has funded some, well, somewhat unusual research projects that actually may have commercial potential. The William J. von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism and Technology Advancement at the University of California, San Diego has awarded $430,000 to nine projects led by faculty members of the Jacobs School of Engineering, the School of Medicine, and the Moores Cancer Center.
The latest round of seed funding grants, the ninth since the von Liebig Center was set up in 2001, raises the centers grant total to more than $2.8 million in grants to fund 65 research projects with commercialization potential.
The Center funded nine of 23 applications made in the latest round of applications reviewed by an external committee of industry experts and von Liebig Center staff. Technology and business advisors from the von Liebig Center will continue to work with all the applicants to develop commercialization strategies and, if possible, help them secure other types of funding.
The nine funded projects are: Prabhakar Bandaru, professor of Materials and Aerospace Engineering, for a proposal titled, "Enabling highly efficient heat-energy conversion, through Si/SiGe Quantum Well Thermoelectrics - application to biomedical device technologies." This project aims to develop thermoelectric device modules for application to biomedical devices, such as hearing aids and pacemakers. In addition to tackling an important and pressing problem, the advantages of the proposed approach include high performance, scalability and integration with Silicon electronics. In preliminary experiments, the team has obtained one of the highest figures of merit ever for a thermoelectric material in Si/SiGe structures and now aims to extend it for practical application.
Thomas Bewley, professor of Materials and Aerospace Engineering, for a project titled, "Commercialization of a new class of reconfigurab
Contact: Rex Graham
University of California - San Diego