University of Washington researcher teams presented their innovations to a panel of judges for the spring CoMotion Innovation Gap Fund, which was held during a three-day virtual event in May. The fund, which awards grants of $50,000 each, is open to any UW innovator who has disclosed their technology to CoMotion, supports research that could attract seed stage investment or make a societal impact, and which has reached the conclusion of academic research grants.
The CoMotion Innovation Gap Fund is a partnership between CoMotion and the Washington Research Foundation. This spring cycle of the Innovation Gap Fund also included funding tracks from WE-REACH, Population Health the Mobility Innovation Center (MIC) and BECU Fintech. Teams presented solutions to address challenges in the areas of smart transportation, surgery, mental health, physical therapy, stroke screening, financial tools for public health leaders and more. Winning projects plan to use funds to develop prototypes, pilot clinical trials, hire regulatory consultants and student researchers, and pay for hardware that will help researchers collect data to support applications for future funding, including SBIR and STTR grant opportunities. In one case, funds will be used to explore design and manufacturing partners who can help develop and scale a huggable, empathetic robot.
Of the winning teams, four plan to spinout startups, two plan to license technologies, and several will pursue a combination of these two commercialization paths. In addition, one team will develop a self-sustainable direct-to-user business from within the UW.
Read more below to learn which projects were awarded Innovation Gap Funds including two from the Population Health track and one from MIC. Projects from the WE-REACH track will be announced soon, so check back for updates or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.