TAP Director Testifies Before Congress on Accelerating Technology Commercialization for Bio-Terrorism Defense

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Scott Magids, director of the innovative Technology Advancement Program (TAP) offered by the Clark School’s MTECH unit, testified before Congress on June 9 about MTECH’s five-part method to accelerate technology commercialization, as applied to bio-terrorism defense.

He testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. The subcommittee on Bioterrorism and Public Health Preparedness includes Senators Edward Kennedy (the ranking member) and Barbara Mikulski.

"Congress has become interested in the topic of technology commercialization—especially in the areas of bioterrorism and public safety," said Magids. "Technology innovation in these areas is not making it to the public arena fast enough because of the gap that exists between an individual technology creator and a viable company capable of bringing usable products to the marketplace."

Magids said this gap exists because of a lack of readily available professional management talent for technology creators, inadequate seed funding and insufficient motivation for inventors to pursue commercialization.

To remove such obstacles, Magids explained, the Clark School’s MTECH unit has developed a proven five-part method to accelerate technology commercialization through venture creation, both at the University of Maryland and in the surrounding region. The five components of the method are: education; hands-on support and funding access; internal and external communications; operating initiatives; and entrepreneurship culture-building.

Magids summarized the Clark School's education initiatives to increase technology commercialization, including entrepreneurship courses, the annual regional Technology Start-Up Boot Camp, the New Venture Challenge business plan competition, and faculty seminar series.

He outlined TAP's role in hands-on support and funding access, which advance high-potential startups from infancy to sustainable commercial enterprises.

MTECH is the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute, a Clark School unit which provides technology entrepreneurship services and research. TAP is one of several MTECH programs.

Magids's complete Congressional testimony

Published June 10, 2005