Our Fight Against COVID-19

“The situation we face today would have been unimaginable for many of us just weeks ago. As COVID-19 has changed the way we work and live, the U-M Tech Transfer team has been giving considerable thought as to how we can best assist in the fight against COVID-19. While the landscape is quickly evolving, what follows are the initial steps we’ve taken as an organization to support our researchers, move relevant technologies into the marketplace more quickly, and help direct regional activities in support of front-line health care workers. As always, we are inspired to demonstrate how world-class university research can fuel a region and solve the world’s biggest challenges. Now, more than ever.”

Kelly Sexton
Associate Vice President
Research, Technology Transfer and Innovation Partnerships

For Our Partners Outside U-M

U-M’s COVID-19 TECHNOLOGY PORTFOLIO

We have begun to aggregate all of our technologies that we believe may be of value to researchers and front-line health care workers engaged in the COVID-19 fight, with an emphasis on those that are available open-source and open access as possible. From a 3D printable face shield design to a high-throughput assay for the accurate and rapid measurement of viral mutation rates, we believe we have technologies that can be of value today. Below, you will find the technologies that we’ve identified from our portfolio thus far. We will be adding to it over the days to come, as we consider the evolving needs of those working toward a cure and managing the care of those with the disease.

Furthermore, we are working through our national technology transfer industry organization, AUTM, to encourage our colleagues at other leading U.S. research universities to contribute their immediately available, high impact, COVID-19 related technologies to the association’s Innovation Marketplace. These technologies, identified with the tag #COVID19 should all be available with limited hurdles, with the intention of getting them out into the hands of researchers and health care workers as quickly as possible.

COVID-19 TECHNOLOGIES (LINK TO TECH)

OUR COVID-SPECIFIC LICENSE

In hopes of speeding the dissemination of relevant technologies, we have drafted a Covid-specific end-user license agreement to remove barriers to research. If, when assessing our portfolio, you identify a technology with a specific application for your use in COVID-19 research, please reach out to the licensing team member managing the case for options in this regard.

RESOURCES FOR U-M STARTUPS AND SMALL BUSINESSES

Whether your U-M startup company is pivoting to assist in the COVID-19 fight, or pressing forward in these challenging times, members of the U-M Venture Center team are on call to help. Please visit our COVID-19 STARTUP RESOURCE LIST, and reach out with any questions you might have concerning funding, support services, or suggestions on relevant resources that have yet to be listed. We will continuously update the page as new information comes in. And please feel free to share the link with others that may find it helpful.

COVID-19 STARTUP RESOURCE LIST

COMPANIES INTERESTED IN COLLABORATIONS WITH U-M’S COVID RESEARCHERS

In order to efficiently facilitate connections between companies and the newly-forming U-M SARS-CoV-2 research community, we are asking potential collaborators to complete the following questionnaire.

COVID RESEARCH COLLABORATION FORM

RALLYING SUPPORT TO THE FIGHT

Over the past several years, U-M Tech Transfer built a considerable network of startups, entrepreneurs, innovators, and venture capitalists, and now we’re actively looking for ways to leverage that network in service of the fight against COVID-19.

We are encouraging regional companies to donate their personal protective equipment to front-line health care workers.

We are also supporting a newly formed UM Covid Rapid Response Task Force that is working to rapidly develop and evaluate emerging and alternative sources for finished Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), sterilization tools, and other in-demand materials. We encourage companies interested in collaborating in this effort to complete this survey:

U-M SURVEY OF REGIONAL MANUFACTURERS
IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19

We are always looking for ways to get engaged, using our capabilities as a connector in the regional innovation ecosystem to advance research and assist our health care professionals on the ground. If you have thoughts as to how we might be able to help, please write to us at techtransfer@umich.edu.

For Our U-M Researchers

ASSISTING RESEARCHERS IN ADDRESSING COVID-19

If you are a researcher at the University of Michigan pursuing work that may help in the fight against COVID-19, we are here to help. Please reach out to a member of our staff today to discuss how we might be able to assist.

For more information on the U-M Office of Research response to the COVID-19, please visit their COVID-19 page.

U-M STARTUPS ENGAGED IN COVID-19 FIGHT

In addition to the number of U-M startups who have come forward to donate PPE, manufacturing capabilities, and the like, to the fight against COVID-19, a number have rolled out COVID-19 specific initiatives.

Here are a couple examples:

Ripple Science, a U-M software startup doing web-based participant and patient recruitment and management for clinical studies, translational research, and usability testing studies, is offering to help those running COVID-19 vaccine trials.

Arbor Biosciences, a U-M genomics startup, is offering a SARS-CoV-2 hybridization capture kit free of charge (up to 96 Rxn size) to researchers worldwide who are studying the epidemiological and phylogenetic properties of this novel virus.

We have always been proud to serve the researchers of the University of Michigan as they seek to translate their discoveries into positive societal impact. The current situation we are facing reminds us of just how truly fortunate we are to be serving this brilliant, driven community of innovators who have dedicated their lives to solving the most pressing problems facing humankind.

-The Tech Transfer Team