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UGA Foundation commits up to $10 million for innovation

The UGA Foundation hopes to drive interest in UGA innovation and build on its success bringing new products to market. Pictured, professor Arthur Edison works with undergraduate Hailey Goldberg near an automated pipetting robot as they work together in Edison’s lab at the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center. (Photo by Andrew Davis Tucker/UGA taken in early March 2020)

By Loran Posey/UGAToday

The University of Georgia Foundation’s investment committee voted to approve a financial commitment of up to $10 million for innovation at UGA during a June 15 meeting. 

The funds will allow the UGA Foundation to partner with the Office of Research’s Innovation Gateway to bring new technology developed at UGA to the marketplace. 

“I want to thank the University of Georgia Foundation Trustees for making this significant commitment to supporting innovation and entrepreneurship at UGA,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “I am grateful for their leadership and vision to help our bright faculty and students turn their ideas and inventions into successful ventures that benefit our state, nation, and world.” 

By connecting investors with startup companies based on UGA innovations and facilitating financial partnerships, the UGA Foundation hopes to drive interest in UGA innovation and build on its success bringing new products to market. 

The financial commitment by the UGA Foundation is the latest sign of momentum for innovation at UGA, which has become a hotbed for both faculty and student entrepreneurship. In 2018, UGA launched its Innovation District initiative to accelerate research commercialization, expand university-industry collaboration, and elevate public and private investment in faculty and student entrepreneurship.

“We’re thrilled by this commitment from the UGA Foundation, which will support our primary mission of making UGA innovations available for the benefit of the wider world,” said Derek Eberhart, associate vice president for research and executive director of Innovation Gateway. “This commitment helps continue the university's positive momentum in innovation and entrepreneurship that led to the formation of UGA’s Innovation District initiative.”

This year, UGA ranked No. 2 among all U.S. universities and colleges for new products introduced to the market, marking the sixth consecutive year UGA has been included in the top five. UGA’s startup incubator has a $531 million national economic impact and UGA has generated over 775 commercial products in its history. 

“The UGA Foundation wants to do everything possible to help foster innovation at UGA,” said the foundation's chairman, John Crawford IV. “It is important that the foundation serve as a strategic partner to help support one of the university’s top goals.”

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