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REF NO.: 55

SUBJECT: Memorial University inventions receive funding from Springboard Atlantic Inc.

DATE: Nov. 8,2006

A novel diagnostic marker for pediatric cancer and a wavetimer are just two of the inventions that received awards through two key Springboard Atlantic Inc. programs.
            A total of $50,000 in funding was awarded to four Memorial University researchers from Springboard which provides $20,000 for promising early stage inventions through its Proof-of-Concept Program and $10,000 for investment-ready technologies through its Patent and Legal Fund.
            “These two programs support innovation early in the development process, when it’s often needed the most,” said Sara Jane Snook, executive director, Springboard Atlantic. “We provide the academic researchers with some critical seed money to jump start their projects.”
            Under the Patenting and Legal Fund:
  • Dr. Kenneth Kao, Faculty of Medicine, received $10,000 for Pygopus: a molecular target for neurological disease and cancer diagnosis and therapy
  • Dr. Mohsen Daneshtalab, School of Pharmacy, $10,000 for Novel Series of Chlorogenic Acid Derivatives with Promising Antifungal Activity
  • Dr. Robert Gendron, Faculty of Medicine, received $10,000 for MAB to Tubedown as a Diagnostic and Prognostic Marker in Pediatric Cancer
 
Dr. Brian Veitch, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, received $20,000 under the Proof of Concept fund for Wavetimer interface with wave sensing technology.
             
            “Springboard Atlantic is enabling researchers to transfer their innovative ideas out of the laboratory for the benefit of Canadians,” said Dr. Christopher Loomis, vice-president (research). “These include discoveries with commercial potential that can and will contribute to the economy of our province and country.”
            Through Springboard, there are technology transfer offices on almost all of its 14 members’ campuses staffed with employees who are knowledgeable about disclosures, patents and licensing agreements. This staff works collaboratively with the researchers to ensure that their ideas are protected and developed as they move forward with the commercialization process.
            “Many researchers excel in the lab but are the first to admit that they are not business people,” added Ms. Snook. “The network provides the knowledge, the experience and the resources to move the technologies out into the Atlantic Canada economy.”
            A complete description of the winners can be found on Springboard’s website: www.springboardatlantic.ca
            The Springboard Proof of Concept and Patent and Legal awards are funded by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency through the Atlantic Innovation Fund. Springboard Atlantic works to bring vital research out of the university labs into the private sector. 
            The Springboard network is made up of 14 universities across Atlantic Canada who work collaboratively to advance the commercialization of academic research.

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For further information, please contact Deborah Inkpen, communications co-ordinator (research), Memorial University, at 737-4073 or inkpend@mun.ca.

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