Of the researchers who receive small business innovation grants from the federal government, just 10 percent are minorities and 6 percent are women.
According to Angelique Johnson, an African American female researcher who received one of those grants for a flexible cochlear implant that could help deaf people hear, being a minority can be a hurdle for obtaining private investments.
“People aren’t familiar with us,” she said.
UofL is trying to change that by applying for a federal grant and implementing a new program to provide mentoring and help for minority and women faculty to try and get their research discoveries to market.
“Part of the problem, just as with anything else in society, is you need role models, you need mentors. You need to look out there and see somebody that looks like you, somebody to emulate, somebody that will teach you. We’re trying to create that next generation,” said William Pierce, UofL’s Executive Vice President of Research and Innovation.
See more about UofL’s goal to “create that next generation” of women and minority researchers in the video below.