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Seven Innovators Awarded in Kentucky Commercialization Ventures 2023 IMPACT Competition

Seven innovations were awarded as part of the 2023 IMPACT (Innovative Mobile, Public Health, And Community-Oriented Technologies) Competition from Kentucky Commercialization Ventures (KCV), an initiative of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC) providing technology transfer and commercialization resources to all public Kentucky higher education institutions. The competition, which launched in 2022, is designed to encourage ideation relevant to the improvement of the social, health or economic conditions and highlight the value of innovators across the state.


This year, entries were received from all KCV partner institutions: Eastern Kentucky University, KCTCS, Kentucky State University, Morehead University, Murray State University, Northern Kentucky University and Western Kentucky University.


“We’re thrilled to have received entries for the IMPACT Competition from all seven of our partner institutions and to recognize outstanding innovations from five of those institutions.” Said Kayla Meisner, executive director of Kentucky Commercialization Ventures. “This is just one of the ways we recognize and support research happening throughout the Commonwealth that is, quite literally, making an impact on lives in our community and beyond.”


Projects awarded:

  • 1st - $25,000 – Increasing Access of Fresh Produce in West Louisville Food Desert Areas Through Sustainable Production Gill Finley, Kentucky State University

  • 1st - $25,000 – Chromatography-free Thermostable Protein Purification Dr. Chris Lennon, Murray State University

  • Runners up:

    • $15,000 – Development of Cost Optimization Tool for Smart Integrated Renewable Energy System (SIRES) Dr. Zeel Maheshwari, Northern Kentucky University

    • $10,000 – Flexible Electronics and Sensors from Ion-containing Polysaccharides Dr. Kevin Miller, Murray State University

    • $10,000 – Development of Gesture-based American Sign Language (ASL) Translation System Dr. Mahdi Yazdanpour, Northern Kentucky University

    • $10,000 – An Innovative System for Real-Time Translation of American Sign Language using Machine Learning Dr. Sherif Rashad, Morehead State University

    • $5,000 – Life-Tags: Embedded Smart Chip Technology in 3D Printed Applications Eric Wooldridge, KCTCS (Somerset Community College)


Funds received through the competition will help innovators advance their work and research at their institution. Winners will be recognized and pitches for their innovations will be shared at the KCV IMPACT Competition Demo Day on May 19.


Previous winners of the KCV IMPACT Competition include Dr. Rachel Tinius, whose BumptUp app recently made it to the semifinals in KY Inno’s Inno Madness tournament, and Dr. Daniel Boamah, who was recently accepted to the Launch Blue UAccel program.


Kentucky Commercialization Ventures launched in 2020 by KSTC in partnership with KY Innovation at the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, University of Louisville and University of Kentucky. The program provides commercialization resources for faculty, staff and students at partner institutions without a dedicated technology transfer office.


“Our support for institutions without dedicated commercialization resources is driving innovative research and meaningful solutions for some of our state’s toughest problems,” added Meisner. “We know that big ideas can come from anywhere, which is why it’s important we provide the resources and tools to amplify as many voices as possible.”


To learn more about KCV and the IMPACT Competition, visit www.kycommercializationventures.com.

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