University of Maryland, Morgan State team awarded $29,952 for Emerging Technologies Internship Program

March 12, 2024

The University of Maryland and Morgan State University will partner for a new, cross-campus Emerging Technologies Internship Program thanks to a $29,952 Course & Program Grant from VentureWell.

The team was selected as one of 19 grant recipients through a competitive national review process.

The nine-week, paid internship will guide students in evaluating the commercial potential of technologies licensed through their respective campus technology transfer offices. Students will employ the National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps) process to assess technologies, including customer discovery, market research, design thinking, licensing and intellectual property, technology development road-mapping, acquiring funding, and logistics.

The program will also leverage the expertise of each university’s technology transfer office, design thinking training through UMD’s Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and both entrepreneurs-in-residence and startup fundamentals workshops through the Maryland Innovation Extension.

“Internships are often the first professional experiences that set students up for a good job after they graduate,” said grant Co-Principal Investigator David Steele, program manager for UMD I-Corps and hub coordinator of the NSF I-Corps Hub Mid-Atlantic Region. “Offering this professional development and experiential learning opportunity fills a gap in higher education, especially for those from underrepresented groups in STEM.”

Both UMD and Morgan State will also benefit from having students dive deeper into their intellectual property portfolios.

“Both universities possess IP that could benefit society,” said grant PI Raymar Dizon, associate director of the Office of Technology Transfer at Morgan State University. “While many technologies are not commercialized due to the lack of resources to spin them out of the university system, this program could make great strides towards bringing beneficial products to market.”

Students also have the opportunity to help form a startup company based on their work in the internship. “Not only will they support university research transitioning out of the lab and into the marketplace, they can also create a job for themselves too, if they are interested,” said Steele.

The initiative culminates with students presenting their findings, strategy recommendations, and potential startups to a panel of university leaders, industry experts, and potential funders.

The Emerging Technologies Internship Program is now accepting applications. The program will run from June to August 2024.