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Director's Chair

Positioning CURF for Continued Success

Dear Colleagues,

Last month, our Board of Directors met for a mid-year update to hear from a wide range of guest speakers from the research community. Our office continues to work diligently to be a model for research collaboration, technology maturation, commercialization, and entrepreneurial support. In addition, we continue to develop our resource planning to scale our service offerings to support the growth of translational research in support of ClemsonElevate’s strategic plan. As the end of Spring semester approaches, I would like to share some key takeaways from the meeting focused on positioning CURF for continued success.

Made possible by the highly competitive $6M NSF ART grant, Clemson STRIDE aligns Clemson's culture, community, and vision to ClemsonElevate through stimulating the translation of research. The vision of Clemson STRIDE in supporting research translation includes (1) aligning campus culture and ecosystem, (2) promoting, supporting, and celebrating research translation initiatives and successes, and (3) establishing guidelines and channels of engagement between administration, faculty, students, and staff constituencies. Wade Fulghum, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Commercialization at NC State, which serves as Clemson's NSF ART mentor institution, presented to the CURF Board, highlighting NC State's venture development process and start-up support. Through the support of Clemson leadership, faculty, students, and staff, as well as NC State as the mentor institution, Clemson STRIDE will support CURF's mission of stimulating and supporting innovation and research translation at Clemson University.

The NIH Temporomandibular Joint/Disease (TMJ/D) SYMPHONY Initiative enables Clemson faculty and students to conduct nationwide translational research with direct clinical impact. Dr. Hai Yao, Associate Vice President for Biomedical Innovation at Clemson and PI of the program, spoke to the CURF Board of Directors regarding the first phase of the TMD IMPACT project, TMJ SYMPHONY. Working with nine universities and three NIH institutes, Dr. Yao and the Clemson team will establish and lead a nationwide translational network to develop TMJ treatment technologies. To aid Clemson's program leadership, CURF plans to scale resources to support Biomedical Innovation development, translation, IP management, and commercialization.

CURF’s Technology Maturation Fund has granted $1.5M in Clemson Research Awards over the past eight years (FY15-23). The CURF Board unanimously approved and additional $1M investment into the CURF Quasi-Endowment, which was established in January 2023 with an initial investment of $1M, bringing the total to $2M. To continue enhancing our support and alignment with the ClemsonElevate Strategic Plan, CURF aims to pursue philanthropic opportunities supporting research translation, commercialization, and start-up service initiatives for Clemson faculty and graduate student entrepreneurs. Through the support of Clemson donors, CURF can position itself to provide Clemson inventors with additional resources to succeed.

With a wide range of opportunities for continual growth at CURF, I thank you for your commitment to increasing research at Clemson University. Furthermore, as we approach the end of the semester, I wish you much success and look forward to promoting and developing your innovations. If you need any additional support, please feel free to submit an Inquiry Intake Form here.
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