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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce
Funding Opportunities Background

Office of Innovation and
Entrepreneurship (OIE)

University of Alabama in Huntsville


Huntsville, Alabama

Project Name

UAH i6 Challenge Virtual Proof of Concept Center (POCC): The Growth & Acceleration of Products (GAP) Project



Award Amount

$500,000 for UAH Virtual Proof of Concept Center (POCC): The Growth & Acceleration of Products (GAP) Project

The GAP project is a strategic approach to utilize resources at UAH and within the community to bring ""shelved"" technologies into the marketplace through identification and funding of entrepreneurs and the provision of a range of services to convert ideas, research, and prototypes into viable commercial products. A current “GAP” exists between government-sponsored basic research, applied research, and corporate R&D investments, which results in many conceptual, pre-proof-of-concept and laboratory prototypes projects, (often the key drivers of innovation), being orphaned. University startups, as well as industry and government spin-offs, are often the only vehicle for funding nascent technology to the point where it garners additional outside investment or is attractive to a licensing partner. The proposed GAP project will identify and foster the growth and acceleration of ideas into viable commercial products by creating a virtual Proof-Of-Concept Center.

The region supported by this effort consists of 15 counties located within the “commuter shed” of the Huntsville, AL community. While federal funding is heavily relied on and poses some vulnerability, it also presents an opportunity. Research universities take steps to move technologies into the marketplace and the Huntsville community has access to a great deal of stagnant technologies that can be resurrected and introduced into potential commercial markets. Adoption by new high tech business startups that will be located within this region present a win-win situation for all involved.

Partnerships have been established with government organizations, large corporations and small businesses that will benefit from the further development and prototyping of technologies through the POCC. The GAP project will begin to establish the methodologies, selection of technologies, advisory board establishment and operations necessary to expedite technology maturity levels and facilitate new business growth anticipated for participation in the I2C, Innovation to Invention Center, a business incubator located on campus with construction to begin in 2016.