JUNE 28, 2007 -- The Carolinas Photonics Consortium (CPC) this week announced the formal signing of the CPC Inter-Institutional Agreement by North Carolina State University (NCSU), University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC), Western Carolina University (WCU), Clemson University, and Duke University. At NCSU, the College of Management's Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Program (TEC) and the College of Engineering's Electrical and Computer Engineering department are part of the consortium.
This agreement provides the foundation for collaborative university work aimed at the commercialization of light-based technologies. One of the primary goals of the CPC is the commercialization of photonics-based research by awarding funds to competitively submitted proposals from the five campuses.
"The Carolinas Photonics Consortium has been very active in involving researchers across the five campuses and has moved quickly in establishing solid documentation. The region will see significant new business creation as a result of CPC," notes Sarah Smith, director of sponsored programs for the University of North Carolina General Administration.
"There is a classic gap between great research and realization of the commercial opportunity. CPC provides a bridge to move technology to regional jobs by engaging a world class collaboration of universities and providing some seed money to get the commercialization process started," comments Jeff Conley, interim director for CPC.
CPC will be announcing a project proposal program in August 2007. The program will provide seed funding for one photonics-based project from each campus over the next 12 months. The goal of the project proposal program is to identify top commercial prospects and provide some initial funding to move the concepts down the path of commercialization. Commercialization support and company development will be provided by the TEC program at NCSU. The program has been supporting technology migration from bench to market domestically and internationally for 13 years.
Each of the CPC partner institutions has nationally respected programs in photonics. NCSU's College of Engineering has strengths in materials technology, especially in the area of semiconductors for lighting systems. The Center for Optoelectronics and Optical Communications at UNCC has a core competence in diffractive optics and modeling of optical systems. WCU's Center for Rapid Product Realization provides prototyping, testing, and design expertise for new product scale up. The Fitzpatrick Center at Duke specializes in bio-photonics and imaging technology. Clemson's Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies (COMSET) is focused on the development of novel optical materials. Over $300 million has been invested over the last five years, making CPC the largest concentration of photonics-based resources in the country.