Thursday, September 24, 2015

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MSG To Evaluate the National Science Foundation's I-Corps Program

MSG has been awarded a 20-month study to evaluate the Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program of the National Science Foundation (NSF). “We are pleased to have been awarded this important contract, continuing our record of service to NSF in program evaluation,” said Dr. Dan Geller, Director of MSG’s Research and Evaluation practice.

I-Corps is a grant program open to recent or existing NSF grantees at academic research institutions. It encourages scientists to consider the commercial potential of their research by awarding teams a flat grant of $50,000 to train team members in entrepreneurship.

MSG will use a quasi-experimental design to evaluate the impact of I-Corps. “This effort builds on MSG’s ongoing and completed work for NSF, including evaluations of the SEES (Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability) Portfolio of Programs and a program to enhance Nanotechnology Undergraduate Education (NUE) in Engineering,” added Dr. Geller.

I-Corps team members attend intensive training based on the Lean Startup methodology that has its roots in Silicon Valley. Under the guidance of instructors affiliated with I-Corps nodes one or more universities working together with entrepreneurs in their region to provide the training—the teams will go outside of the laboratory and learn how to focus on the value of the innovation to prospective customers. Since the program began in late 2011, nearly 500 teams have participated.