D.C. I-Corps awarded $3.45 million in renewal funding

The D.C.-area Innovation Corps program was awarded $3.45 million over the next five years by the National Science Foundation to renew the program, according to a University release.

The I-Corps program brings together four D.C.-area universities – GW, Virginia Tech, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland at College Park – to train students and faculty in entrepreneurship. UMD is the lead institution for the region.

These regional sites, or “nodes,” work to help researchers “transition fundamental science and engineering discoveries to the marketplace,” by providing the appropriate research infrastructure and training, according to the release.

Leo Chalupa, the vice president for research, said in the release that GW’s commitment to innovation and technology commercialization made it a natural fit for this I-Corps site.

In recent years, officials have touted I-Corps as a way for researchers to turn their work into marketable goods or companies.

“The renewal of this NSF grant demonstrates the measurable and continuing success of the DC I-Corps program,” Chalupa said in the release.

The regional sites support other I-Corps sites nationwide as well as offer seven-week I-Corps curriculum to their teams. More than 3,000 people have participated in the D.C. I-Corps program at the university level, with more than 5,500 participants total, according to the release.

Six teams from GW have also gone to national I-Corps, out of 1,031 total teams trained and 45 teams from the D.C. area.

Jim Chung, the associate vice president for innovation and entrepreneurship and a co-principal investigator for the D.C. I-Corps, said in the release that 33 students, faculty and postdoctoral fellows from GW have received training for the program so far.

“The DC I-Corps Node has been critical for building the infrastructure and resources for supporting innovation and entrepreneurship at GW,” Chung said in the release.

Chung said in the release that the D.C. I-Corps plans to expand implementation of a short course format to “different diverse and geographically located groups,” over the next five years.

The D.C. I-Corps also plans to expand their outreach over the next five years by launching a veterans-only cohort and focusing on researchers who have not previously received funding but are eligible for $50,000 in funding from the program by taking the short course, according to the release.

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