LEXINGTON, Ky. – In the fall of 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA) partnered with the National Science and Technology Council to launch a national competition in search of the nation’s most inclusive research and development (R&D) ecosystems. The Lab‐to‐Market Inclusive Innovation Ecosystems Competition recognizes the most impactful organizations, programs, and ideas in the nation that focus on engaging underrepresented communities and promoting pandemic response. The Kentucky Commercialization Ventures (KCV) initiative was recognized as a visionary leader for its partnership with Kentucky’s regional universities and community and technical colleges.
The company is a public‐private partnership led by the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation and supported by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, and the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. The initiative unites all of Kentucky’s public universities and community and technical colleges to advance
the state’s growth in technology‐focused research and development.
While the KCV partnership is less than a year old, it is already working with faculty and staff to turn their technologies into marketable products and create needed revenue that will allow the partnering institutions to thrive and increase their capabilities. As KCV grows, it will continue to build a culture that promotes inclusiveness in innovation and ensures that these opportunities are available to all of Kentucky’s universities, including those that have traditionally been underserved.”
Out of three available categories of awards and over 160 applicants nationwide, Kentucky Commercialization Ventures was selected for the Visionary prize for creative and actionable ideas for to improve inclusivity in R&D ecosystems. The $25,000 prize award will be used to improve statewide education in innovation and highlight the rapidly growing commercialization community statewide. Candidates were judged by a panel of experts and interagency staff in coordination with the SBA’s Office of Innovation and Technology.