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Six early-stage technologies were awarded investments from the Translational Investment Fund for continued development toward commercialization.


Texas A&M Innovation awarded over $400,000 through its Translational Investment Fund, a program that provides investments into the development of early-stage technologies with commercial potential.

Translational funding is used to accelerate the development of research innovations and ultimately increase the commercialization potential for new technologies, either through a license to an existing company or a new venture. Funds are used to de-risk new technologies or advance them to a stage where they will be more attractive to a commercial partner.

First launched in 2020, the program recently became available to researchers throughout The Texas A&M University System when the five separate commercialization offices were merged earlier this year. This fourth funding round received over 45 letters of interest from 30 unique departments throughout seven A&M System member institutions. With the help of a selection committee, six projects were chosen to receive investments up to $75,000.

Principal investigators for the six funded projects are:

  • Sarbajit Banerjee, College of Arts and Sciences, Texas A&M University, “Enhanced electrochemical lithium recovery from produced water sources.”
  • Feng Zhao, College of Engineering, Texas A&M University, “Acellular tissue-engineered vascular graft – next validation step towards development of a commercial product.”
  • Abhishek Jain, College of Engineering, Texas A&M University, “Advanced vein-chip deployment platform for large scale pharmaceutical testing services.”
  • Wei Xu, College of Science, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi, “Development of a novel, rare earth free MRI contrast agent with enhanced imaging and biosafety,” with co-PI Dr. Leisha Martin also from TAMU-CC College of Science.
  • Zachary Grasley, College of Engineering, Texas A&M University, “Prototyping and field testing Plient concrete pipes.”
  • Amir Zavareh, College of Engineering, Texas A&M University, “A human informed full stack software operating a peripheral arterial disease screening device,” with co-PI John Hanks also from TAMU Engineering.

“Congratulations to this outstanding group of inventors who received these awards,” said Janie Hurley, Senior Director for Licensing at Texas A&M Innovation. “We are thrilled to be able to invest in further development of A&M System intellectual property to support translation to the marketplace and look forward to seeing progress of these technologies over the next year.”

Texas A&M Innovation’s mission is to provide researchers throughout the A&M System the services and support to transfer their best ideas and discoveries into new technologies that can be commercialized to impact society at large. According to Chief Innovation Officer, Pete ONeill, this is a process that requires a lot of guidance and support along the way.

“There are many steps along the pathway to commercialization and it often requires a significant amount of funding,” said ONeill. “Internal translational funding programs such as the Translational Investment Fund and the Advancing Discovery to Market fund are one way for projects to take the next step, with the goal to make them more competitive for continued development through more substantial funding programs.”

For more information on the Translational Investment Fund, visit the program webpage.

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