NSF, NobleReach Emerge partner on new effort to speed biotechnology development and translation

January 10, 2023

Credit: NIST

Pilot will support select principal investigators in bringing their research to the market and society

A new $5 million partnership between the U.S. National Science Foundation and NobleReach Emerge (formerly known as IQT Emerge) seeks to identify and accelerate the translation of NSF-funded research into biotechnologies and bio-inspired designs with commercial and societal impacts. 

"Some estimates predict the biotechnology market will be worth around $3.44 trillion by 2030 — and already there are countless examples of NSF-funded research resulting in breakthrough products," said Simon Malcomber, acting assistant director for Biological Sciences at NSF. "We want to ensure that all investigators with interest and whose science has commercial potential can make it through the lab-to-market pipeline. This new partnership will give those scientists the skills they need to bring their research to the market, link them up with early-stage capital, and help them progress at speed and scale to products that address pressing societal challenges."

NobleReach Emerge will help researchers assess the potential paths to product development and the research team’s business fundamentals. Working with a team of experienced advisors at NobleReach Emerge, this tailored needs assessment will in turn be used to hire uniquely matched embedded entrepreneurs to help the research team address critical areas including product development, go-to-market strategy, pitch deck creation, and techno-economic analyses. 

"The road to translate breakthrough research into technologies can be long and winding," said Erwin Gianchandani, NSF assistant director for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships. "With this pilot effort, NSF hopes to equip interested researchers with the support and training necessary to much more seamlessly take the next step toward commercial and societal impact. Biotechnology breakthroughs contribute to a host of important applications, and we hope to support researchers as they begin their journey toward commercialization." 

The first step in the partnership will be to identify researchers based on market research, grant analysis and investigator-readiness evaluations. NSF staff will identify research with the potential for commercial applications and select and connect researchers with NobleReach Emerge. Once potential investigators are selected and engaged, the NobleReach Emerge team will work with them to prepare their research for market.

"We established Emerge with the goal of supporting U.S. research to rapidly underpin and sustain the next generation economy," said Simon Davidson, president of NobleReach Emerge. "NSF is an ideal partner, and we are thrilled to be launching this pilot to propel our shared vision for tech translation forward.

The investment aims to serve as a model for creating a sustained national technology translation program for critical technology areas with broad economic and societal applications.

To learn more about NobleReach Emerge, reach out to emerge.info@noblereachfdn.org.