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Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center Awards Grant

Mil’shtein Will Assess Commercial Potential of Invention

Beebe Nelson and Sam Mil’shtein

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Prof. Sam Mil’shtein of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has won a $5,000 Assessment Award from the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center (MTTC). His proposal involves high performance transistors applied to radio frequency and wireless transmissions, and the grant will fund evaluation of the technical capability and customer needs.

Based on earlier research on multi-gate transistors, Mil’shtein’s group recently developed a new technologyߞ;a universal method to improve the performance of field-effect transistors. Beebe Nelson, visiting assistant professor of marketing, is collaborating on the project and will lead the market-test interviewing at companies. Both are working with Paul Wormser of the office of Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property.

The MTTC was created in 2004 as a program in the Massachusetts Economic Stimulus Bill. Its goal is to support technology transfer activities from public and private research institutions to companies in the state. The MTTC is based in the UMass President’s Office.

The assessment awards, though small, provide crucial funding to validate the commercial viability of new technology. In the highly competitive process, researchers also value the critiques from external reviewers who are knowledgeable about commercial issues.

Mil’shtein’s grant was one of just five awarded for the assessment of a new technology’s commercial application; the MTTC also awarded five Technology Investigation Awards to demonstrate a new technology’s viability. More than 60 proposals were submitted for the 2006 round of awards and they included technologies from 18 different universities and research institutions in diverse fields. The awards were made to investigators for new commercial applications of technologies that include medical devices, clean energy technologies and water purification.

Dr. Abigail Barrow, director of the MTTC, says, “There were many more promising technologies that could benefit from funding than we could award in this solicitation. The MTTC looks forward to working with the awardees to support the commercialization of these technologies in Massachusetts and we also hope to work with the investigators at the institutions that didn’t win awards in this round, to help them find other sources of funding and commercialization partners.”

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