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Coulter Foundation Award Creates a $20 Million U.Va. Endowment
May 9, 2011

The University of Virginia (U.Va.) and the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation have teamed to create a $20 million endowment to foster research collaboration between biomedical engineers and clinicians, with the goal of developing new technologies to improve patient care and human health.

The U.Va. Coulter Translational Research Partnership in biomedical engineering is being funded by a $10 million grant from the Coulter Foundation and $10 million from other University endowments.

Translational research moves new ideas and discoveries from university laboratories to new products and services that directly impact human health, often by creating small companies or by partnering with established businesses. Biomedical technologies are among the nation’s most important innovation-based economic drivers, creating small businesses and high-value jobs.

In 2005, the Coulter Foundation chose U.Va. as one of nine universities to each receive $5 million grants over a five-year period to accelerate the movement of biomedical engineering projects into commercial products and clinical practices. The invested funds have produced a 7-to-1 ratio in follow-on funding.

In addition to mobilizing resources in biomedical engineering and clinical research, the Coulter endowment will allow U.Va. to continue to integrate its Health System, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Darden School of Business, College of Arts & Sciences, School of Nursing and Patent Foundation to more quickly bring life-saving technologies to the marketplace. “Together, these schools and programs are supporting promising faculty research projects, nurturing collaborations between clinicians, scientists, students and biomedical engineers, and transforming the way research findings move from the lab to the clinic and marketplace,” said Thomas C. Skalak, the Coulter program leader since its inception at U.Va.

Having demonstrated the success of the U.Va.-Coulter model, the University is seeking to raise an additional $10 million from other foundation, corporate and individual partners to provide permanent annual funding for 10 to 12 projects per year at $100,000 – $150,000 each.

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