Teach Transfer Today

November 2020

Dear Colleagues,

As we approach the end of 2020 and the beginning of a new year, I am filled with a sense of gratitude and even optimism. I am grateful to lead the Tech Transfer team in their efforts to serve and support the University of Michigan community of innovators. I am optimistic because our research enterprise continues to shine, generating new discoveries and technologies with the potential to improve our quality of life and drive economic growth. Although we are facing significant challenges, science and innovation offer hope for a brighter future as a combination of public health measures, new vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics provide society with the tools to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is with this spirit of hope and an abiding belief in the transformative power of research and innovation that I write to share the November Tech Transfer Impact Newsletter with you.

Thank you for your continued support of the University of Michigan’s innovation ecosystem.


Kelly Sexton, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President for Research - Technology Transfer and Innovation Partnerships
University of Michigan

Accelerate Blue Fund

The Accelerate Blue Fund, which will provide early-stage investment capital for U-M startup companies, has raised $1.5M of its “first close” goal of $2M thanks to the generous donations of its Founders Circle Members and Supporters. 

Great Lakes Discovery - Request for Proposals

After a 10-year alliance with up to $130 million in funding from Deerfield Management Co. was announced in May, the U-M Office of Tech Transfer has worked quickly to solicit the first round of project proposals and staff a role that will be essential for the alliance’s success.

Jessica Soulliere Award Recipient Chuck Cole

For his positive attitude, work ethic and leadership, Chuck Cole, Associate Director of the Michigan Venture Center, was awarded U-M Tech Transfer’s Jessica Soulliere Outstanding Service Award. The award is named for our late colleague, Jessica Soulliere, who was a trusted and valued member of OTT with an exceptional work ethic and commitment to service.

Distiguished University Innovator J.J. Prescott

Creating online courthouses that improve access to justice and reduce disparities in our legal system earned J.J. Prescott, a University of Michigan law professor, this year’s Distinguished University Innovator Award. The award honors faculty who have developed transformative ideas, processes, or technologies and successfully brought them to market.

20th Annual Celebrate Invention: Recap

2020 has definitely forced all of us to redefine work and networking. As the date approached for the 20th annual Celebrate Invention we faced a choice: cancel it for 2020, or figure out how to host an impactful virtual event to connect our U-M startups, innovators, and partners. We chose the latter, and the results exceeded our expectations.