Ohio State’s 4 I-Corps@Ohio teams include 2 from CFAES

Four faculty-led teams from Ohio State, including two from CFAES, have been chosen to take part in a state program that will help them figure out if they can commercialize the discoveries they have made at the university.

The four teams from Ohio State are among 20 teams from universities across Ohio that will participate in the second round of the I-Corps@Ohio program.

Ohio’s program is modeled after a similar program launched by the National Science Foundation in 2012. The program is funded and supported by the Ohio Department of Higher Education (formerly the Ohio Board of Regents).

The seven-week program aims to help the chosen faculty and student teams determine if their intellectual property, such as a new technology, could be the basis of a startup company.

Gov. John Kasich has identified research commercialization as a prime factor in sustaining job creation and has stressed to college and university presidents and boards of trustees that the issue must be among their top priorities.

The four teams from Ohio State are led by:

  • Katrina Cornish, Endowed Chair and Ohio Research Scholar, Bioemergent Materials, in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science and Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Production of a non-allergenic, high-performance natural rubber alternative.
  • Thaddeus Ezeji, associate professor of animal science, Department of Animal Sciences. Development of industrial compounds from renewable resources.
  • Jon Parquette, professor of chemistry and biochemistry; Robert Tabita, Ohio Eminent Scholar and professor of microbiology and of molecular genetics. Immobilization of biomolecules by self-assembled nanostructures.
  • Yi Zhao, associate professor of biomedical engineering. Development of technology that will allow the use of smartphones to acquire microscopic images with quality comparable to mid-class commercial microscopes.

During the program, the teams will evaluate the market need and commercial potential of their proposed technologies.

Ohio State is one of six Ohio academic institutions that, along with the Ohio Department of Higher Education, govern the program.

The Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Institute at Ohio State provides administrative oversight for the program.—Jeff Grabmeier, Ohio State Media Relations