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Research Newsletter
January 20, 2015  

National Science Foundation (NSF) & American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS)

The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) have launched the Beyond the Box National Digitization Innovation Competition. The initiative will award $1 million to the individual or team who develops a novel way to accurately and efficiently capture digital images of insect specimens and their associated data from a standard museum drawer of insects.

The Beyond the Box Digitization Challenge has been designed to stimulate individuals or teams to solve a problem that is hindering scientific research and innovation - the inability to quickly and accurately digitize specimens and associated data in a standard tray of insects in a natural history museum. Solving this problem will help advance research as well as contribute to improved public health, environmental management, and agriculture by providing scientists, farmers, health care providers, and citizen scientists with access to our nation's insect collections. Moreover, the solution to this problem will almost certainly find additional applications in scientific and commercial settings. The winning entry will receive up to $1 million for the development of a hardware and software system that automates digitization of pinned insect specimens, without damaging the specimens--one of the most challenging biocollections digitization tasks.

Visit the Beyond the Box website for more information on the challenge.

 
Ohio Third Frontier (OTF), Ohio Development Services Agency

The goal of the Ohio Third Frontier Technology Validation and Start-Up Fund (TVSF) is to increase economic growth in Ohio through start-up companies that commercialize technologies developed by Ohio institutions of higher education and other Ohio not-for-profit research institutions. Two separate mechanisms have been set up to achieve these goals:

Phase 1 –Technology Validation The specific objectives of this phase are as follows:
• To generate the proof needed to move technology to the point that it is either ready to be licensed by an Ohio start-up company or otherwise deemed unfeasible for commercialization.
• To fund validation activities, such as prototyping, demonstrations, and assessment of critical failure points in subsequent development, scale-up, and commercialization.

Phase 2 – Start-Up Funds The specific objectives of this phase are as follows:
• To support Ohio start-up companies that have licensed technology developed at Ohio research institutions during the critical early life of the company, and accelerate the time to market of this technology.
• To generate the proof needed to either commercialize the technology or move the technology to the point where additional funds needed for commercialization can be raised.
• To fund activities in order to generate the needed proof.

The TVSF will support technology that falls within the following areas: Advanced Materials related to advanced polymers, ceramics, composites, carbon fibers and nanotubes and specialty metals and alloys; Aeropropulsion Power Management; Agribusiness and Food Processing; Fuel Cells and Energy Storage; Medical Technology related to imaging, surgical instruments/equipment, implant devices, and regenerative medicine; Software Applications for business and healthcare; Sensing and Automation Technologies; Situational Awareness and Surveillance Systems; Solar Photovoltaics; and Shale.

Potential CWRU Applicants - Contact:
Michael Haag, MS, MBA, Executive Director, Technology Management, 216-368-6106 or mhaag@case.edu.

For more information on the TVSF visit the Ohio Third Frontier website.

 
New Outside Interests Disclosure Form

Case Western Reserve University is committed to ensuring its faculty an open and productive environment in which to conduct teaching and research. The institution's concern with conflict of interests reflects the ever-increasing complexity of our society, our various relations with each other and with outside institutions, along with the heightened national and governmental sensitivity to such matters.

University policy requires that all faculty and other researchers who contribute to scientific development disclose their outside interests at least annually. The 2014 Outside Interests disclosure process will begin the first week of February. The Office of Research Administration has transitioned to Click Sparta to administer the 2014 process. Sparta has had a positive impact on streamlining the pre-award system and by using specialized Sparta Conflict of Interests (COI) software we have created a much more user friendly COI system. Sparta COI will have the look and feel of Sparta which will ease transition to the new software.

Pertinent information that had been part of the Spiderweb disclosure process will not prepopulate the Sparta COI disclosure form, but any data disclosed in Sparta COI will remain to be updated or changed as the need arises.

A number of information sessions have been organized in February and March, and we hope you can join the Office of Research Administration COI staff for an opportunity to learn about the new Sparta COI software for the annual disclosure process. Attendees can stop in for a quick tutorial of the new system, or you can complete your disclosure during the session with assistance from the COI staff.

 
NEW Limited Submission: NSF Collections in Support of Biological Research (CSBR)

Key Deadlines: March 23, 2015, 5:00pm (CWRU Internal Submission Deadline), July 13, 2015, 5:00pm EST(agency application).

The Collections in Support of Biological Research (CSBR) Program provides funds: 1) for improvements to secure, improve, and organize collections that are significant to the NSF BIO-funded research community; 2) to secure collections-related data for sustained, accurate, and efficient accessibility of the collection to the biological research community; and 3) to transfer collection ownership responsibilities.

The CSBR program provides for enhancements that secure and improve existing collections, result in accessible digitized specimen-related data, and develop better methods for specimen curation and collection management. Requests should demonstrate a clear and urgent need to secure the collection, and the proposed activities should address that need. Biological collections supported include established living stock/culture collections, vouchered non-living natural history collections, and jointly-curated ancillary collections such as preserved tissues and DNA libraries.

For more information on this limited submission opportunity, visit the Office of Research Administration website.

 
eRA Information: Ext-UAT and Commons Demo Will be Unavailable Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The External User Acceptance Test (Ext-UAT) and the Commons Demo environments are scheduled to be offline Wednesday, January 21, 2015 from 9 am to 5 pm in preparation for the winter system-wide software release. As part of their standard practice before each quarterly software release, eRA Commons updates the Ext-UAT and Commons Demo environments with the changes that will take place in production the following week.

Please note that this process will not affect the production environment.

 

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