The Nanotechnology Institute™ (NTI) is a nationally recognized, 13-member, multi-institutional, non-profit organization whose unique mission is to accelerate nanotechnology commercialization through interdisciplinary translational research from academic laboratories to industry. Founded in 2000 by the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, and Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/SEP) and supported by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, comprises 13 Southeastern PA Research Institutions with over 4000 research faculty and over $1 billion of annual research expenditures. The NTI’s goal is to bridge the gap between nanotechnology research and commercialization to develop the regional economy.
The NTI serves as an innovative model due to the unprecedented level of collaboration codified its groundbreaking intellectual property and revenue return agreements. The NanoCommercialization Group, a key innovative concept, serves as a manager of NTI IP, identifies and markets all nano-related IP developed by NTI institutions, increases the potential of IP through identifying IP packages resulting in increased potential, provides due-diligence and Proof-of-Concept funding, provides corporations with a single point contact for technology scouting, license negotiation and facilitates the formation of start-up companies.
The NTI has been supported on a continuous basis since 2000 with a total of $22M in funding to date. The NTI supports grants ($60,000 to $750,000) to university faculty for later-stage translational research projects, provides matching funds for Sponsored Research Agreements, loans to small companies. Since inception the NTI has awarded $17M in funding resulting in $260M in leverage. The NTI has accrued over 750 IP assets, and its member institutions have executed 48 licenses, created 33 start-ups that have attracted over $10M in private capital and created over 175 jobs. In 2012, the NTI funded the Pennsylvania Rapid NanoNet, a 6-institution resource for companies to provide critical access to facilities for prototyping, fabrication and characterization.
Vascular Magnetics Inc. has licensed revolutionary nanoparticle-based magnetically targeted drug delivery system for the treatment of peripheral artery disease (PAD). This technology, developed by Dr. Robert Levy at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, has received funding from NIH and the American Heart Associated plus $550,000 in funding from The Nanotechnology Institute over 5 years and subsequently received an additional $200,000 from the University City Science Center’s QED Program. NTI funding helped to support critical proof-of-concept experiments to support and strengthen its Intellectual Property (5 issued patents; 8 applications); the QED funding helped advanced the technology further, help recruit a CEO, form the company and allow them to secure its first venture funding, $7M in Series A funding from the local venture firm Devon Park Bioventures in February 2012. The company is currently in pre-IND discussions with the FDA and identified key manufacturers for their stents and nanoparticles.