CCU becomes lead S.C. institution for biomedical hub
Coastal Carolina University has been tapped as the lead institution in South Carolina for a regional biomedical technology accelerator hub funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, a division of the National Institutes of Health.
The initiative is a collaboration with more than 20 universities in the Southeast region and XLerateHealth LLC, a health care technology accelerator based in Louisville, Ky. The primary purpose of the hub is to help the universities in the Southeast Institution Development Award (IDeA) region (Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, West Virginia) to accelerate early stage biomedical technology from the laboratory to the market.
“We are excited about what this means for the potential growth for health-related businesses in the area,” said Michael Roberts, dean of CCU’s College of Science and vice president for research and emerging initiatives. “This brings together institutions across the state, and with the growth of major health care providers moving to the Grand Strand, we are positioned to play a significant role in their growth and development.”
Other participating South Carolina institutions are Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina, Benedict College and Winthrop University. The University of Kentucky is the overall lead institution, and all the partnering universities will develop and share educational curriculum, expertise and research through an online virtual hub.
The funding from NIGMS is for a three-year period and will provide resources for research, for travel and for the initial set up of the Southeast region’s virtual hub.
“This gives the opportunity for a faculty member in a research lab who has an idea for a product but perhaps doesn’t have the time or the wherewithal to develop it,” said Roberts. “That faculty member will now be able to utilize the resources of the network and the virtual hub to bring the idea out of the lab and into the market.”
Roberts said there is also potential for members of the growing health care industry in the Grand Strand area to have some of their ideas incubated by the accelerator hub and its partners. The hub will also be a resource for mentorship and business development training, and will connect researchers with like-minded business people.