NJIT received $6 million from National Sci

NJIT received $6 million from National Sci

Basuray-NJIT Award
picture: Chemical engineer Sajnik Basurai (right) works with a Ph.D. student Niranjan Haridas Menon and postdoctoral researcher Charmi Chandy to commercialize a point-of-care device that detects low levels of animal-borne diseases.

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Credit: Ingit

NJIT has received a $6 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to translate scientific and engineering discoveries into market-ready technologies that will improve quality of life in areas ranging from health care to sustainable energy to data privacy.

The grant, awarded by the agency’s Technology, Innovation and Partnerships Directorate, will accelerate the development of promising prototypes and enable market validation and other commercialization activities. It will also work to enhance the culture of entrepreneurship at the university by financing and organizing training workshops in the field of technological translation for undergraduate students. students, postdoctoral researchers and faculty, through the newly established Center for Translational Research at NJIT.

“New Jersey Institute of Technology’s goal is to become a regional leader in research translation,” said Atam Dhawan, senior vice provost for research and principal investigator on the grant. “We have several game-changing technologies that are on the cusp of commercialization. This grant provides critical support for these projects.”

Dhawan explained that the grant is designed to support New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Technology Translation and Innovation Accelerator (TITA) program, which investigates the potential commercial benefits of university research in the early stages of the translation and market validation process. Launched by his office last year, TATA offers seed grants of up to $75,000 per project over three phases of development, as well as guidance and feedback from an industry advisory board made up of inventors and entrepreneurs. Inventors must have external partners.

Over the next four years, the new NSF grant will provide seed funding of $50,000 to $100,000 per project for up to 10 TITA researchers. It will, for example, provide support to help developers go beyond the initial proof of concept, including identifying interest and acceptance by potential users, to identify buyers of the technology, such as doctors, municipalities or companies.

To date, four projects have received TITA grants under the current NJIT program. For example, Sajnik Basurai, associate professor of chemical engineering, is developing a modular point-of-care microfluidic device capable of rapidly detecting many animal-borne diseases, including infectious diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans. He pointed out that 75% of emerging pathogens originate in animals. “If we can measure it in the field easily, quickly and inexpensively, we can prevent its spread,” he said.

Salam Daher, an assistant professor of informatics, is working on software and hardware that will accurately measure irregular wounds and create custom wound dressings. “Health care workers still use rulers and cotton swabs to measure wounds,” she noted. “We use 3D tracking technology. We can also simulate the progression of the healing process.”

The Center for Translational Research, managed by Dhawan, will serve as a training and development hub on campus and will also organize workshops, forums and demonstration events to attract collaborators, advisors and external investors.

The center includes facilities such as the Microfabrication Innovation Center for Prototyping and the Microdevice Translation Research Center at NJIT’s VentureLink campus. The latter will include patient beds for testing healthcare devices and a control room for investors. Through the center, the grant will fund postdoctoral researchers who provide technical support to projects and students in NJIT’s Undergraduate Research and Innovation Program who help develop them during URI’s summer session.

The NSF award is the latest milestone in a recent string of research awards and honors.

An interdisciplinary team of biomedical engineers, chemists and biologists recently received $5.8 million from the National Institutes of Health to fund a biomedical research program designed to propel undergraduate students into high-level scientific careers focused on health care. The NIH training fellowship, the first of its kind at the university, will provide nine second-year students — three per year for the next three years — with full tuition and stipends, individual mentoring and career development experiences as they conduct high-level research, including dissertation writing , is under preparation. For the highest Ph.D. Programs. One of the goals of the initiative is to diversify the scientific workforce by recruiting talented students from underrepresented groups.

Earlier this year, the NJIT Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) received the organization’s inaugural Award of Excellence for programs that nurture and support inventions from inception to translation, drawing on talent throughout the community: from undergraduates to graduate students, to members Teaching staff.

“The mission of the NJIT Chapter is to recognize and promote invention in translational research and technology,” the organization said in a statement. Chapter activities foster opportunities for faculty and student inventors to facilitate access to intellectual property assets and learn entrepreneurial pathways from research and innovation to translation to market and commercialization, thereby influencing economic growth. For these goals and the valuable programs they support, the New Jersey Institute of Technology Chapter Award of Excellence was presented.

Founded in 2021, the NJIT chapter quickly assumed a larger role, as a regional hub to bring together researchers from other universities, policy makers and business leaders to exchange and disseminate ideas and forge partnerships to address complex problems at the national and international level. At its meeting last spring, for example, the chapter brought together for the first time the heads of research and innovation programs at eight universities in the metro area, including Princeton, Columbia and Rutgers, to discuss the benefits of collaborating on ideas and expertise. and resources.

On campus, the chapter promotes and commercializes translational research through campus R&D programs, grants, clubs, and accelerator programs; It offers outreach and educational activities focused on invention, such as workshops and seminars on innovation and intellectual property development; It provides guidance and advice to faculty and student inventors on further development of intellectual property assets.

Later this year, Dhawan, Chapter President, will co-chair the National Institutes of Health (NIH) meeting titled “Research Translation and Innovation Partnerships in Point-of-Care Technologies Conference and Technology Expo.” He encourages NJIT researchers and inventors to not focus solely on scientific achievements, but to consider the social and economic conditions that may stand in the way of their implementation.

“Inclusion is everything,” he said. “We must inform and engage the larger community as we develop new technologies. Without widespread awareness and acceptance, we can get lost.”

Since its inaugural meeting focused on climate change, NJIT members and attendees from other institutions have emphasized emphatically that success in slowing global warming will depend on a network of stimulating and productive partnerships between distinct groups: scientists who model changes and devise ways to mitigate them, nimble institutions, and A workforce capable of translating inventions into tools, informed policymakers, and perhaps most importantly, engaged communities.

Class members must hold patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. NAI Executive Director Jamie Rene delivered the keynote address at the NJIT Chapter’s induction ceremony for new members earlier this year.

Since 2014, 11 NJIT inventors have become NAI Fellows, academic inventors who have demonstrated “a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have had a measurable impact on the quality of life, economic development, and community well-being.” They include Nirwan Ansari ’82, Rajesh Devi, Atam Dhawan, Craig Gottesman, Sominath Mitra, Yun Qing Shi, Kamalesh Sircar, Gordon Thomas, Mingzhou Zhou, Trina Arinze, and Tara Alvarez. NJIT President Teck Si Lim is also a Fellow.

In awarding the NJIT Chapter with its inaugural Award of Excellence, the NAI noted, “Their President is Dr. Teck Lim, an NAI Fellow who has been an active supporter of the Academy for many years. Under his leadership, the Institute’s national reputation is assured and it is ranked as one of the best engineering schools in the country.” Money magazine this year as one of the best colleges in the U.S. So it’s no surprise that they have one of the best NAI campuses as well.


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