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The Newsletter of the MTTC for the Massachusetts

entrepreneur & tech transfer community 

November 20, 2014

Dear All,


For the successful commercialization of new technologies, small proof of concept grants can be invaluable in enabling inventors to show how the technology would actually work in a commercial environment.  The MTTC has been a major funder in Massachusetts of this type of award.

The MTTC is currently in the review period for the MassCEC funded Catalyst Awards. Past funding to clean tech researchers and start-ups have enabled these awardees to secure follow-on funding of over $35 million.  The next solicitation for this program will open in early 2015.

With the recently funded Innovation Commercialization Seed Fund, the MTTC currently has an open solicitation for university researchers in all technology areas to apply for grants up to $40,000.  We look forward to seeing new ideas that could be the foundation of new companies - and industries - in the Commonwealth.   


 The MTTC Team - Abi, Julia, Michele and Barbara   Follow us on Twitter 
MTTC Update
Funding Opportunities
Spin-off and Start-up News
Events of Interest
Quick Links
MTTC Update

Innovation Commercialization Seed Fund Awards

Maximum Award $40,000    Due date: December 11, 2014


MTTC is pleased to announce an open invitation to apply for these awards, which were funded by the Massachusetts legislature in July 2014. The Program's primary intent is to stimulate the commercialization of technologies developed by Massachusetts research universities. Awarded funds are intended to support the demonstration of the commercial viability of a technology. Awards can be used to develop a prototype or to gather initial data in order to show proof of concept or to obtain data that shows how the technology compares to existing technologies and what the competitive advantages are. Proposals will be accepted that are joint proposals from a research university in Massachusetts and other research hospitals and institutions, provided that the research university will be the contracting agency if an award is made. Students may apply for an award if they have a qualified Principal Investigator at the research university who will be the lead on the proposal. For more information and to apply, visit:

Funding Opportunities

Massachusetts Life Sciences Center funding:


Life Sciences Milestone Achievement Program - MAP

The Life Sciences Milestone Achievement Program (MAP) is a program from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center for early-stage companies, providing funding to perform and complete essential value-creating milestones. The program's goals closely align with needs expressed by the marketplace, including filling a gap in the funding environment and empowering companies to attract additional funding. The grant awards range from $50,000 to $200,000 and will move technologies and companies forward. Target applicants for the Life Sciences MAP are early-stage Massachusetts based companies that can define and articulate a critical milestone needed in order to drive their business forward, and they are currently working with or have previously worked with a mentor or mentors.  

Applications will be accepted via the MLSC application portal from December 8 up until the deadline of February 2, 2015 at 12:00 noon EST. 

For more information visit


New collaboration between the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) that will provide the Massachusetts life sciences community with a unique opportunity to access the International Space Station (ISS) to conduct life sciences research. This partnership includes a grant competition called the "Galactic Grant Competition," which will fund up to $500,000 for support of flight projects from any life sciences company with operations in Massachusetts.




For more information visit

Spin-off and Start-up News

UMass records best-ever year for startup businesses

The University of Massachusetts created six new startup companies within the past year, its best-ever annual performance, and set new records for patent applications and the number of faculty members disclosing inventions, President Caret said today.

In addition to the six new startups, the University of Massachusetts recorded 157 patent applications and 180 faculty invention disclosures for Fiscal Year 2014, which ended June 30. In all three categories, it was the University's best-ever yearly performance.

The University also was granted 54 patents for ideas that have the potential to be commercialized. UMass generated more than $31 million in licensing revenue in Fiscal Year 2014. Read more on  

The six companies spun out of UMass inventions this year were:   

  • Voyager Therapeutics. "RNA Interference" by Phil Zamore, Guangping Gao, Neil Aronin and others at UMass Medical School. The company is developing gene therapy methods to treat several important neurological diseases including ALS, Parkinson and Huntington's Disease.   
  • Felsuma. "Geckskin-adhesive Technology" by Professors Al Crosby and Duncan Irshick at UMass Amherst. Geckskin is a three-dimensional and transformational adhesive that can attach and release repeatedly from multiple surfaces with high bonding strength.  
  • Aha! Productions/Innovation Accelerator. "Obscure Features Hypothesis" by Joseph McCaffrey from UMass Amherst. The firm's first product, Analogy finder, offers a software package that seeks out analogous solutions to problems by hunting through patent databases, research libraries and other sources.  
  • Sonation. "Expert System for Musical Accompaniment" by Chris Raphael from UMass Amherst. The company is developing music software technology that transforms singing and playing instruments into a more interactive fun experience.
  • TATT, LLC. "Use of siRNA to Preserve Organs for Transplant" by Timothy Kowalik and Marc Uknis from UMass Medical School. The technology relates to the use of siRNA to improve organs being used for transplantation by minimizing organ rejection, transplantation-mediated transmission of viral infection, and the triggering of apoptosis in transplanted tissue.  
  • Agalimmune Ltd. "Cancer Immunotherapy" by Uri Galili from UMass Medical School. The company is developing innovative immunotherapies for the treatment of solid tumors.

Harvard spinout Alfred lands $2M in funding to expand in Boston, NYC

Alfred, the Harvard-born maker of an app that lets users hire a personal butler to do everyday chores like laundry and grocery shopping, has landed $2 million in seed funding and will expand both in Cambridge and in New York City.

The financing was led by the Boston office of Spark Capital and San Francisco-based angel firm SV Angel and San Francisco-based CrunchFund. The startup also won another $50,000 from Harvard Business School's Venture Competition in May. Read more

UltraCell, MTTC/MassCEC catalyst awardee, was identified as a Startup to Watch in the October edition of an investor industry newsletter. 

The concept of treating cardboard containers with liquid enzymes and fire retardants, then turning them into insulation, was developed in 2009 by a team of insulation industry experts and University of Maine researchers. Their initial work was funded in part by a $100,000 grant from the Maine Technology Institute. In 2010, the team founded Green Comfort Safe, Inc., to commercialize the process. After receiving a patent in 2011 (which is jointly owned by the University of Maine-Orono), Green Comfort Safe merged with US Dynamics and later recapitalized as ProCell Insulation. In 2013, the newly renamed UltraCell received a $40,000 grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center, as well as a $100,000 research grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the EPA's Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program. Read more


Events of Interest
Restoring Ecosystems to Reverse Global Warming

Bringing the Power of Biology into the Forefront of the Climate Movement


When: November 21-23, 2014

Where: Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts


Organized and Sponsored by Biodiversity for a Livable Climate (BLC).

Co-sponsored by Tufts Institute of the Environment (TIE) and The Center for International Environment and Resource Policy (CIERP) at the Fletcher School of Tufts University

This conference highlights innovations in soil restoration for carbon capture, bringing together leaders from around the world in climate and soil science, restorative land management, and climate activism. It will explore the potential, the practices, and the policy implications. 

For more information and to register please visit the Event website

French-American Innovation Day - Call for Energy Storage Posters 


When: December 8th and 9th, 2014
Where: MIT Media Lab, 75 Amherst St, Cambridge, MA 02139Call for Posters:

The Office for Science & Technology of the French Embassy together with MIT and CEA, partners of the French-American Innovation Day (FAID 2014) invites students, faculty members and company researchers to submit posters describing their recent research in the Energy Storage field. Research areas concerned include batteries, fuel cells, ultracapacitors, and other energy storage technologies. Posters may address any aspect of the field from basic materials and components research to systems, manufacturing, and reuse.

Prizes: Conference attendees will vote on the student posters and the top three students posters will receive prizes
Applications due date: December 1st, 2014

To submit a poster, visit    


For more information and to register please visit the Event website

ENET Event: IP and Business Law Issues for Your Start


When: December 2, 2014 7 pm - 9:45 pm
Where: Constant Contact, 3rd Floor, The Great Room, 1601 Trapelo Rd., Waltham, MA


Pre-meeting 5:15 pm - 6:30 pm  Self-pay Dinner at Bertucci's, Waltham, MA
This forum will discuss the critical legal issues facing founders, investors, and managers of technology companies. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session.  Attendees may present their own legal questions and seek guidance from the panel.   


For more information and to register please visit the Event website

Whitehead Connects Speaker series featuring Doug Fambrough, CEO of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals


When: December 4, 2014, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Where: Mc Govern Auditorium, Whitehead Institute, 9 Cambridge Center, Cambridge 


Whitehead Connects is a new initiative that brings renowned biology and biotech leaders to Whitehead Institute to share lessons learned from careers at the nexus of academic science and industry. Following the free, public lecture, participants will have the opportunity to meet Whitehead postdoctoral fellows and learn about their latest discoveries.


For more information and to register please visit the Event website

MassBio: The Value of Innovation at the Science/Business Interface


When: December 9, 2014, 8:00 am - 10:00 am

Where: MassBio, 300 Technology Square, 8th Floor, Cambridge, MA


Now more than ever, it is vitally important to understand how to integrate stakeholders' perspectives early, and think about approval and reimbursement in parallel with innovation and R&D.


For more information and to register please visit the Event website

New England Venture Summit


When: December 10, 2014

Where: Hilton Boston Dedham, 25 Allied Drive, Dedham, MA 02026


The 9th annual New England Venture Summit, presented by youngStartup Ventures, is the industry gathering connecting venture capitalists, corporate VCs, angel investors, technology transfer professionals, senior executives of early stage and emerging growth companies, university researchers, incubators and premier service providers..
50 companies seeking initial rounds of venture funding will be chosen to present their innovative investment opportunities at the Summit.


Use discount code "actionvip" and receive 10% off the current rate


Apply to present, see more information and register at the Event website

EntreTech forum: 3D Printing - From a Market of $3.8B in 2014 to $16.2B in 2018, What's Not to Like?


When: December 16, 2014 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Where: Constant Contact, 3rd Floor, The Great Room, 1601 Trapelo Rd., Waltham, MA



  • Tanapat Kitudomkul, CEO of Vizardz LLC and Solidyte LLC
  • John Jaddou, Director of Innovation and Scouting, Cabot Corporation

Moderator:  Brian Hult, Associate Scientist, Cabot Corporation  


For more information and to register please visit the Event website

Quick Links

MTTC is based at UMass and facilitates technology transfer from all research institutions, public and private, in the Commonwealth. The Center is financially supported by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and MTDC. 


MATTO is the Massachusetts Association of Technology Transfer Offices