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NDSU student research project receives VentureWell grant


An NDSU student research project has received a $20,000 grant from VentureWell, a non-profit organization that supports an emerging generation of science and technology innovators. The NDSU grant was announced April 4 during the spring round of E-Team Grant Program grants for 2016.

The student project, Advanced Bone Technology, replicates the shape and properties of human bone for use in medical research. David Wells, professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering, is the team adviser and principal investigator for the grant.

"Advanced Bone Technology is a spin-off from the Bison Microventure, an undergraduate innovation team that I have mentored for the past nine years," Wells said. "Advanced Bone Technology was also selected by VentureWell to be one of 14 E-Teams to contribute to their 20th Anniversary celebration in Portland, Oregon, last month."

The CEO of the research project is Andy Dalman, a mechanical engineering graduate student. Other project founders are Joel Hedlof and Ben Ferguson, NDSU mechanical engineering undergraduate students.

"During 2015, the team defined several commercial product lines through a Venture Grant from the North Dakota Department of Commerce. This second increment E-Team grant will permit Advanced Bone Technology to take some important next steps in bringing their first products to the marketplace," Wells said. "Moreover, the young founders of Advanced Bone Technology are developing at a blazing pace as engineers, business people and human beings. The E-Team program is an accelerator in these processes."

VentureWell focuses on inventions that have the potential for positive social and environmental impact. The organization's E-Team Grant Program gives student teams the chance to move new technologies out of the laboratory and into the marketplace. The three-stage program provides grant funding, experiential workshops, coaching and investment-readiness training to help the teams reach their projects’ full commercial potential.

"In 2016, we are continuing our legacy as a leader in supporting science- and technology-based entrepreneurship in higher education," said Phil Weilerstein, VentureWell president. "We’ve given grants to more than 500 student teams over 20 years, and more than half of the ventures they founded are still in business today, operating in over 50 countries. We look forward to helping the 2016 E-Team grantees achieve similar success through our seed funding and series of experiential workshops.”

A pool of 90 applicants from universities across the country participated in the VentureWell spring grant program, which awarded $200,000 in grants to 21 student teams. The innovations ranged from a new home energy monitoring system to a smart adhesive patch that monitors pressure ulcers to a faucet-mounted ultraviolet water disinfection device.

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