Researcher Michael Voor and team are behind one of two grants awarded to UofL for developing health-tech innovations.
Researcher Michael Voor and team are behind one of two grants awarded to UofL for developing health-tech innovations.

The Kentucky Network for Innovation & Commercialization (KYNETIC) has selected its first round of promising university-born health and medical technologies, each of which will receive training and $33,000 for development.

Six projects were selected this funding cycle, two of which are from UofL:

  • Pediatric NeuroRecovery Posture Control System (researcher Andrea Behrman)
  • Vertify Probe: Intraoperative Device for Measurement of Bone Quality (researchers Stuart Williams, Maxwell Boakye and Michael Voor)

KYNETIC is a statewide program supported by $6.6 million in funding, including a $4 million Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (REACH) grant from the National Institutes of Health and matching funds. The goal is to advance the most promising biomedical research innovations — including pharmaceuticals, devices and apps — from the state’s eight public universities and the Kentucky Community & Technical College System (KCTCS).

KYNETIC grants support six-month, milestone-driven projects focused on quickly determining whether or not each technology is viable as a commercial product. Awardees will receive funding for product-focused research and development, attend trainings, and get advice from program staff, industry, investors and other experts on identifying needs, navigating regulations and protecting their intellectual property. 

Paula Bates, professor of medicine at UofL, who co-leads KYNETIC, said the idea is to spur innovation and economic development through collaboration.

“I’m very pleased with the strong projects awarded in this cycle of KYNETIC, each of which will have a positive impact on human health,” she said. “Collaboration and innovation go hand-in-hand, and that’s our goal with KYNETIC. It’s a really powerful way to use our collective expertise to help to turn great ideas from our state into products that improve people’s health and wellbeing.”

Applications for the next cycle of KYNETIC funding are open now through February 14 and require a two-page pre-proposal. Funding cycles are offered twice a year and are open to faculty, staff, trainees and students. Competitive renewal opportunities are available.

Launched in 2019, the KYNETIC program builds on UofL’s strong history of translational research support, which includes a prestigious suite of programs for turning research into products.

“Through these programs, UofL supports commercialization of the work being done by our researchers here,” said Jessica Sharon, UofL’s director of innovation programs. “The goal is to translate research into products that can improve, or even save, lives.”

KYNETIC is led by UofL, the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, and Kentucky Commercialization Ventures, and works closely with Kentucky’s regional universities and KCTCS.