Students in last summer's TCA work on ideas.
Photo Credit: USI Photo Services
University of Southern Indiana students from across disciplines have come together once again for this year’s summer Technology Commercialization Academy (TCA). This is the third year for the program, which was piloted in 2012.
Academy participants work full time to develop ideas and business strategies around commercialization of several Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) patents. This year’s TCA has been expanded to include more students and additional time to develop the commercial potential of Crane technologies.
In this year’s Academy, students explored NSWC Crane military patents for locomotion measurement, impact detection, and rotary electrical contact. From locomotion measurement student are developing a product for monitoring compliance to physical therapy regimen. The impact detection technology generated several applications including smart roofs for commercial buildings, smart targets for marksmen, foundation damage detection, secure tops for convertible vehicles and a tire tread condition alert system. Based on rotary electrical contact patent students are developing a customizable power strip.
Students in the Academy meet for two hours each day with faculty and spend another six hours each day working on their projects. Students utilize USI resources to develop a manufacturing plan and produce prototypes of selected technologies. They also complete preliminary market research and feasibility analyses. The Academy includes four teams of four students, each with two business and two engineering students.
The TCA will conclude with final product pitches at NSWC Crane on July 1 and USI on July 3. The USI presentations are open to the public and will be held in the atrium of the Business and Engineering Center at 10 a.m. Several participants this year are interested in starting their own business. USI and GAGE are working with them to sustain these efforts beyond the formal eight-week program.
Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville (GAGE) in collaboration with USI came up with the TCA idea in their Tech Transfer Committee. The academy was made possible through a Lilly Endowment Sustaining Grant secured by Dr. Mark Bernhard, associate provost of Outreach and Engagement, and Dr. Scott Gordon, dean of the Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education.