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NEWS
Foundation Selects UVA For Innovative Partnership
April 1, 2006

The University of Virginia Department of Biomedical Engineering is among a select group of bioengineering departments to receive a Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Translational Partners Award. The award will provide $580,000 each year for the next five years, for a total of $2.9 million, and will support multiple translational research projects involving biomedical engineering faculty and clinical co-investigators in the School of Medicine.

In addition to mobilizing resources in biomedical and clinical research, the award will allow UVA. to unite its Health System, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Darden Graduate School of Business Administration and Patent Foundation to more quickly bring lifesaving technologies to the marketplace. At the end of the initial five-year award period, partner institutions that demonstrate success may be considered for an endowment award to sustain the program.

“Thanks to the Coulter Foundation’s generosity, we will be able to create a new culture that accelerates biomedical technology transfer and commercialization,” explained Thomas C. Skalak, Ph.D., professor and chairman of biomedical engineering.

The Coulter award supports the development of technology within the university setting, where prototype testing can occur as faculty members work in teams with on- and off-campus experts. “Through this approach, which we call ‘concurrent engineering,’ good ideas receive attention earlier,” Prof. Skalak said. “Health care technologies carefully nurtured in university incubators have the potential to reach the marketplace, where they can help patients much more quickly.”

Key to the success of the Coulter-UVA partnership is an advisory committee comprising faculty entrepreneurs and industry representatives who will counsel the inventors on bringing their ideas to fruition.

Wallace H. Coulter was an engineer, inventor, entrepreneur and visionary. He was co-founder and chairman of Coulter Corp., a worldwide medical diagnostics company headquartered in Miami, FL.


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