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ASU unveils entrepreneur initiative


March 30, 2007

After entrepreneurs and startups have established a game plan for their business, where do they go to build their product ideas – especially when resources are lacking?

ASU's College of Science and Technology at the Polytechnic campus, in collaboration with the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Affairs, has launched the Advanced Technology Innovation Collaboratory (ATIC) to provide a solution to this challenge. ATIC takes entrepreneurs' innovations from paper to an actual prototype.

ATIC is the latest venture to help innovative entrepreneurs in the greater Phoenix area make use of ASU's assets. ATIC ideally complements ASU Technopolis' entrepreneurial education, coaching and networking services to entrepreneurs in the Valley.

“Many innovators and entrepreneurs in the Valley lack the resources to take a genuine product idea from its design concept to a real ‘hands-on' prototype model,” says Bulent Bicer, ASU's senior officer for corporate relations. “The Advanced Technology Innovation Collaboratory provides engineering, design and product development services to entrepreneurs and small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who have a solid, innovative product idea.”

With faculty and students up to date on cutting-edge technologies as well as a vast array of technology disciplines, from software to manufacturing to graphics design and marketing, ATIC helps entrepreneurs take their conceptual designs to a manufactured prototype to be able to move to the next step: commercialization.

Product development is a complex process and that makes ASU a natural ally to SMEs,” says Anshuman Razdan, director of ATIC. “ATIC brings ASU's knowledge capital, access, network and project management under one umbrella to make it easy for SMEs to work with ASU.”

ATIC's first clients include a local small enterprise, Kutta Consulting Inc., that received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to provide incident commanders (ICs) with two- and three-dimensional imaging visualization tools necessary in tracking where first responders, such as firefighters, are located in a building once they go in to respond to an emergency. The tool will help ICs direct resources more efficiently and effectively, lowering the risk of loss and saving lives.

Another local small enterprise benefiting from ATIC is Nucleic Solutions, a company founded by a nationally recognized ASU biochemistry senior, James Cronican, with the help of ASU's Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative. ATIC has been working with Cronican to design and create a prototype of his idea of an automated DNA-RNA extraction system that isolates biomolecules for biotechnology research and development applications.

“This program not only benefits the entrepreneurs, but also ASU students,” adds Timothy Lindquist, interim dean of the College of Science and Technology. “It's a great way for students at the Polytechnic campus to gain hands-on experience on real-life projects and work face to face with clients. The experience sharpens their engineering technology knowledge, and builds their communication and project management skills.”

While ATIC is part of the College of Science and Technology, it is intended to serve as a collaborative focal point, bringing in faculty from any program area at ASU's Polytechnic campus and other campuses for their expert input. Potential collaborators include engineering, business, health and wellness, printing, electronics, software, computers and even alternative energy.

For more information about ATIC, contact Jane Laux at (480) 727-1647 or jane.laux@asu.edu, or visit the Web site http://atic.asu.edu.