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5 Questions with Marc Sedam, New Hampshire Innovation Research Center

Now in its 25th year, the New Hampshire Innovation Research Center is the bridge connecting collaborations between industry and the University of New Hampshire. Since it was created by an act of the Legislature in 1991, the NHIRC has awarded more than $6 million in state funds to support research projects and has been responsible for the creation or retention of 650 jobs. Marc Sedam, Associate Vice Provost for Innovation and New Ventures, talks about center.


Marc Sedam ~ NHIRC

1. Part of the mission of the New Hampshire Innovation Research Center is to attract new business to New Hampshire. What does that look like on a day-to-day basis?

The NHIRC is funded directly by the state to promote university-industry collaborations based on industry need. We have 1-2 funding cycles each year.

2. Can you share some of the latest product and process innovations to come out of an NHIRC collaboration?

The IRC recently funded research on the interoperability of medical devices and the ‘big data’ of medicine, as well as research aimed at improving the electrical conductivity of carbon nanotube wire, to the point where it can replace copper for power applications.

3. Companies can get assistance with their proposals to NHIRC from university researchers. How does the process work?

Companies applying to the NHIRC need to have a partner that is a New Hampshire college or university. So the assistance piece is usually a research strength that the University has or can help with, that extends the capacity of the company’s efforts. Companies either come to the program with a university/college partner already identified, or can come to us needing a partner and we can do matchmaking.

4. From a personal perspective, what drives you in your work? What things about NHIRC make you excited every day?

I always get excited about universities and industry working together. When the RFPs come out, I enjoy seeing what New Hampshire businesses are up to and where their research might take them in the future. University-industry collaborations drive economic strategy in most areas of the US and it would be great to see more of that in New Hampshire.

5. What does NHIRC have on the horizon that’s particularly exciting or, well, innovative?

We’ve begun providing Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer education and training that has been well received. New Hampshire has under performed relative to the states around us in acquiring SBIR/STTR funding in the past, so we’re glad to see there’s real interest in this work.

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