WASHINGTON and ROCKVILLE, Md., Feb. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI), a leader in commercializing market-relevant science and technology, has been awarded a grant of $495,000 from the U.S. Economic Development Administration's (EDA) Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) through the 2015 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced the award earlier this month.
Judges in the RIS program evaluated more than 170 applications across two competitions: the i6 Challenge and the Seed Fund Support Grants competition. In total, $10 million was awarded to 25 of the applicant programs. Begun in 2010 as part of the Startup America Initiative, the competition is now in its fifth year. This year's i6 program applicants were evaluated for their ability to scale innovative science and technology through assembling sophisticated supportive structures in regional communities that a company or organization works. BHI's entry was for the expansion of its Venture Commercialization Model (V-COMM).
"The expansion of V-COMM into the biohealth and biotechnology markets in Maryland is pivotal to the growth of our economy both nationally and regionally," said Richard Bendis, BHI President and CEO. "We want to thank the EDA and the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship—particularly Julie Lenzer—for recognizing our innovative achievements to drive biohealth/tech development through this substantial grant."
"This award to BioHealth Innovation is yet another indicator of the excellent work the organization is doing and of the vitality of the biohealth and biotech sectors in Montgomery County," said County Executive Isiah Leggett. "Commercialization of technology is the linchpin that transforms ideas into businesses and benefits for the public. I congratulate BHI on this award and look forward to more great work from it."
V-COMM is designed to drive technology development and develop entrepreneurial practices in the areas of medical technology, vaccines, and bioHealth cybersecurity within the biohealth industry of Maryland. V-COMM's expansion from this grant will enable BHI to review a greater number of technologies, and help to spur the development of new companies, while raising capital, and creating jobs.
"We are thrilled to have BioHealth Innovation as a partner in actively growing our biohealth economy," said Councilmember Nancy Floreen. "This new EDA grant represents the fabulous work BHI is doing on a regional basis."
"This 2015 Regional Innovation Strategy cohort of grantees is truly an exciting group – the diversity in programs and regional representation proves that innovation and entrepreneurship are igniting all corners of the country," Assistant Secretary Williams said. "From Puerto Rico to Pittsburgh, and Seattle to Blacksburg, these programs will reach all kinds of communities and help entrepreneurs gain the edge they need to succeed."
About BioHealth Innovation, Inc.
BioHealth Innovation, Inc., is a regional innovation intermediary focused on commercializing market-relevant bio-health innovations and increasing access to early-stage funding in Maryland. BHI is known for providing commercial assistance to scientists and founders, educating and infusing Maryland's life science community with new and young entrepreneurs and fueling startups within Central Maryland's bio-ecosystem by connecting young companies to funding and business resources. Learn more at www.biohealthinnovation.org.
SOURCE BioHealth Innovation, Inc.