The fellowship helps accelerate the commercialization of novel clean energy technologies in such areas as solar energy, wind energy, advanced materials, vehicles and fuels that are developed within research institutes and universities.
The winners, selected from a pool of 12 finalists, were selected by an expert panel of reviewers based on the commercial potential of their technology and its state of development.
The awardees included two researchers at UC campuses:
"We are very pleased with the quality of the applications and the enthusiasm demonstrated by the students and their faculty advisors that participated in this program," said Rosibel Ochoa, executive director of the von Liebig Center at UC San Diego, who will oversee the program. "This program offers the selected von Liebig Fellows, the opportunity to focus over the period of one year on a technology development and commercialization plan that will increase the likelihood that their technologies will successfully translate into real-world solutions."
All von Liebig Fellows receive business mentoring from the von Liebig Center's technology and business advisors and are teamed with one to three MBA Fellows from the Rady School of Management or San Diego State University, who will provide business model development while learning about technology development by working with the von Liebig Fellows.
"Understanding customers and their needs is critical for successful translation of new technologies to market," said Lada Rasochova, director of the Entrepreneurship Programs and managing director of the Rady Venture Fund at the UC San Diego Rady School of Management. Rasochova is working closely with the von Liebig Center to implement the program. "Business students bring product and business development expertise into the technology translation process. They will be working directly with technical students shaping the new products to meet market needs," said Rasochova.
Over the next 12 months, von Liebig Fellows will be awarded $40,000 to conduct proof-of-concept studies, technology development and preliminary market research to determine the commercial feasibility of their technologies. Fellows will receive mentoring from the von Liebig Center's technology and business advisors and will have the opportunity to team with MBA Innovation fellows from the Rady School of Management and San Diego State University.