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The Curators of the University of Missouri


St Louis, MO

Project Name

Innovation Interchange of Greater St Louis



Award Amount

Federal Share

Local Match



The University of Missouri (UM), in collaboration Southern Illinois University (SIU), will create the Innovation Interchange of Greater St Louis to better connect academic research expertise with industry, facilitate opportunities and provide support for regional entrepreneurs, and connect graduate students with internship and employment opportunities. Greater St. Louis boasts a vibrant, engaged innovation ecosystem with strong bioscience, technology and advanced manufacturing innovation clusters. UM and SIU together employ over 4,000 R&D faculty, perform nearly $400 million in externally funded research and development (R&D) annually, and train over 100,000 students each year. However, identifying and accessing these universities’ wealth of R&D resources can be difficult for businesses and entrepreneurs, creating a costly economic gap and missed opportunity in the region’s innovation ecosystem.

The Innovation Interchange program uniquely bridges this gap by fostering quality-screened, efficient interactions between university researchers and companies seeking expertise, skills and a highly trained workforce to meet R&D challenges. UM and SIU will collaborate to fully integrate their seven campuses into Greater St. Louis’ innovation economy via a secure web-based R&D and internship matchmaking portal with an opt-in design that ensures high engagement from all parties. Complementary Interchange programming ensures broad outreach to diverse participants and leverages a wealth of existing regional innovation resources to rapidly scale and sustain engagement.

Through new technology and product development, new venture creation, and internship facilitation, the Interchange is anticipated to generate a significant annual economic impact per year after launch. After the end of the grant, the Interchange expects to create around 25-35 conventional jobs and 50 student opportunities annually.

Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE)

Build To Scale (B2S)
formerly Regional Innovation Strategies Program (RIS)

SPRINT Challenge

STEM Talent Challenge

Accelerate R2 Network Challenge

National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship (NACIE)

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