UC Davis Venture Catalyst and TechAccel LLC, a Kansas City-based technology and venture development company have announced an expanded partnership that provides increased support for the university’s Science Translation and Innovative Research (STAIR) Grant program, which provides funding for proof-of-concept research aimed at demonstrating commercial feasibility of university-generated technologies.
TechAccel will commit $50,000 in grant funding to an expansion of the Venture Catalyst STAIR grants, which are in their fifth year of enabling the commercial translation of UC Davis research and technologies through proof-of-concept funding.
This promise of additional funding is intended to elicit more agricultural-focused technologies. TechAccel’s additional funding will support a sixth STAIR grant this year focusing exclusively on a technology in plant or animal agriculture, animal health, animal nutrition, or technologies to reduce postharvest food waste and increase food safety. If successful, this expanded program may be repeated.
“We are proud to collaborate with the world-class talent at UC Davis,” said Michael Helmstetter, president and CEO of TechAccel. “Together, we see opportunities to make a greener, healthier future by helping advance agriculture, animal health and food safety technologies to market.”
Dushyant Pathak, associate vice chancellor for research and executive director of Venture Catalyst at UC Davis, agreed.
“We’re thrilled with this generous enhancement to our existing collaboration with TechAccel which has already provided support for novel translational research at the university,” he said. “TechAccel’s unique focus and its combination of business and technical expertise provide the perfect complement to our strengths at UC Davis in technology development and product innovation for societal impact.”
TechAccel is a technology and venture development organization focused in agriculture, animal health and food technology. The company invests in innovative technology and funds science advancement programs to accelerate readiness for commercialization.
TechAccel began its collaboration with the university in 2016 with participation in the UC Davis Venture Catalyst STAIR-Plus program, which supports STAIR grant recipients who successfully achieve their commercialization milestones.
As part of the program, TechAccel executives participate in the review and assessment of grant applications in agriculture, animal health, food and nutrition. TechAccel executives provide mentorship to grant-winning researchers, who may also be considered for future TechAccel emerging company investments.
TechAccel also recently announced an investment in a science advancement project underway at the Siegel Lab in the Genome Center at UC Davis. This project, led by Justin B. Siegel, assistant professor of chemistry biochemistry and molecular medicine as well as faculty director of the Innovation Institute for Food and Health at UC Davis, is directed toward identifying mutations in a wheat enzyme to produce plants capable of thriving in warmer temperatures.