CURF Maturation Fund

Funding innovation and
accelerating commercialization



Accelerating Commercialization

The Technology Maturation Fund is a program managed by CURF, and unlike any other source of funding available to Clemson faculty, the sole purpose of this funding is to support the last critical step that will significantly increase the likelihood of commercializing Clemson intellectual property.


We accept proposals from any Clemson faculty member who has had interactions with CURF via the invention disclosure and patenting or copyright process for the maturation of their already disclosed intellectual property.

While postdoctoral research associates, graduate students, and undergraduate students may participate as co‐investigators, they are not eligible to lead a project as the principal investigator.

    First Steps

    As a first step in preparing a maturation fund proposal, please consult with your Technology Commercialization Officer (TCO) about your desire to participate. Your TCO will be able to provide information about the process and help you to prepare your proposal to its best advantage.

     Submitted proposals are evaluated by criteria such as relationship to existing intellectual property at CURF, a demonstrated path to commercialization, and technical merit of the project.

    Fiscal Year 2018 Recipients

    Dr. Philip Brown

    Materials Science and Engineering 

    Dr. Brown will further refine manufacturing processes developed in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Defense for exceptionally liquid-repellant filaments, fibers and fabrics. The modified surface geometries of these products have super-omniphobic physical properties that can be used in the manufacture of water-resistant clothing.

    Dr. Delphine Dean


    Dr. Dean will pursue testing of a biosensor used to detect microorganisms in drinking water. The biosensor uses plant-based lectin arrays to capture microorganisms on electrode surfaces for detection. The sensor can be manufactured relatively inexpensively while still retaining enough sensitivity to distinguish between different types of low-level microbial water contaminants from very dangerous pathogens to more benign, but still irritating, contaminants.

    Dr. John DesJardins


    Dr. DesJardins  will continue work with 3-D printing technology, creating custom-fitting prosthetic inlays for amputees. The 3-D printing techniques can reduce pressure at the socket site by utilizing voided architecture and blended material techniques to create personalized prosthetic inlays, drastically improving both fit and comfort.

    Dr. Joe Mari J. Maja

    Edisto Research and Education Center 

    Dr. Maja will refine a fully programmable irrigation system that disperses water at three predefined thresholds, controls the irrigation valve and turns off irrigation remotely. The Clemson aWater (automatic water) System is a sensor-based control system that provides real-time data visualization at 15-second intervals. This technology will prove especially useful for agriculture in water-scarce areas.

    Dr. Kenneth Marcus


    Dr. Marcus  alongside graduate student Edward D. Hoegg and collaborator David Koppenaal from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, will further develop a novel spectrochemical device, the liquid sampling-atmospheric pressure glow discharge (LS-APGD) microplasma. The technology can be applied for elemental and isotopic analysis of solid, liquid and gas samples.

    Dr. Ya-Ping Sun


    Dr. Sun will conduct research on carbon dot technology to expand its use in bio-imaging, electronics and diagnostic/analytic applications. These carbon dots exhibit high-spectral performance and represent a biocompatible and nontoxic alternative to the semiconductor quantum dots currently in use.

    Dr. Naren Vyavahare


    Dr. Vyavahare will continue development of targeted microparticle-based therapies for cardiovascular and lung diseases caused by elastin degradation. The loss of elastin, a protein that provides elasticity and resilience to tissues, is a primary cause of aortic aneurysms, vascular calcifications and lung emphysema.

    Dr. Tong Ye


    Dr. Ye will create a functioning prototype Pulse-illuminated Edge Deduction (PED) nanoscope, a super-high resolution microscopy technology that works by using two types of excitation pulses and performing pulse-to-pulse subtraction with the resultant signals on a confocal microscope.

    **We are currently not accepting Maturation Fund proposals.