News & Announcements

State of Ohio Provides Enhanced Support for TeCK Fund

CSU/KSU commercialization initiative receives new $300,000 grant

TeCK FundThe TeCK Fund, a joint technology commercialization and startup fund co-managed by Cleveland State University and Kent State University, has been awarded $300,000 by the Ohio Third Frontier Commission to continue its mission to accelerate commercialization of university technology and bring innovative new products to market. The funding augments a previous combined award of $800,000 that established the TeCK Fund in 2017.

The initiative is an important piece of CSU’s entrepreneurship ecosystem that seeks to accelerate the transfer of technology from the lab to the marketplace. 

“CSU and Kent State have unique research portfolios that provide significant opportunities for commercialization in a host of fields, from drug development to assistive devices to liquid crystals,” notes Jack Kraszewski, director of the Technology Transfer Office at CSU. “This additional award for the TeCK Fund will accelerate the process for licensing new innovations, while spurring the development of technology transfer opportunities with numerous companies across the state.”

The TeCK Fund provides faculty pursuing applied research projects with up to $100,000 to assist with commercialization activities including prototype creation, third-party validation, and market research, which are required to successfully spin off technologies. CSU faculty members who have been awarded funding include:

Dr. Wenbing Zhao, a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), who is developing a Privacy Aware Compliance Tracking System (PACTS) to ensure best practices are followed by nurses and patient handlers in elder care settings.

Dr. Siu-Tung Yau, also a professor in EECS, is applying funding to move his invention, A Culture-Free Platform for Rapid Diagnosis of Infections, toward market readiness. The patented technology will provide hospital labs with a new platform for rapidly diagnosing bloodstream infections and urinary tract infections.

Dr. Ye Zhu, an associate professor in EECS, received funding to commercially develop his technology, Graphic Game-Based User Authentication Schemes for Mobile Devices. Dr. Zhu’s technology has been funded by the National Science Foundation and has patents pending.

Dr. Moo-Yeal Lee, an associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering (CBE), received funding to help commercialize his technology Miniaturized 3D Bioprinting of Human Cells on a Chip for Disease Modeling. The technology, developed with support from a National Institutes of Health grant, is expected to provide more accurate selection of compounds in the drug discovery process prior to human trials.

In addition to CSU’s TeCK Fund award, the Third Frontier Commission awarded Dr. Lee’s startup company, Bioprinting Laboratories, Inc. of Pepper Pike, an additional $150,000 for the next phase of development and commercialization of his tissue culture-based testing technology.

“The second phase of the TeCK fund speaks to Cleveland State’s growing research portfolio in science and engineering, and the continued development of a culture of research translation from the university to society,” adds Dr. Jerzy Sawicki, CSU’s vice president for research. “Unique partnerships like this one with Kent State University are driving innovative discoveries that lead to practical solutions across Northeast Ohio.”

For more information on the TeCK Fund and other commercialization activities being developed at CSU, contact Jack Kraszewski.