AHSEVILLE,Technology transfer and development efforts in Western North Carolina received a major boost this week in the form of a $340,000 federal grant.

The Western North Carolina Office of Technology Transfer received the funding through the efforts of Congressman Charles Taylor, who represents the 11th District.

The office is a collaborative effort of The Institute at Biltmore, the Education and Research Services, Inc., the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Clemson University.

“I believe this will be a catalyst for significant economic growth in Western North Carolina,” Taylor said in announcing the grant. “This project is a vehicle for connecting ideas with businesses and people who can turn those ideas into jobs.”

The Institute at Biltmore said that an early focus of the office would “translating energy conservation and efficiency technologies into marketable products and services. The Western North Carolina Office of Technology Transfer will develop the required assessment tools for the project, and serve as primary liaison between entrepreneurs, inventors and research universities.”

The office will also work with:

  • Higher educational institutions and research universities, by assisting in the identification of intellectual property management and commercialization opportunities

  • Serve inventors and entrepreneurs from across the region by providing assistance in technology, market assessment and business planning, as well as creating a team of experienced mentors to nurture promising ventures.

  • Serve existing businesses in the region by providing links to technology resources and experience that are not currently available.
  • “Technology transfer is an important tool in economic development because it makes it possible to transfer the technology from the laboratory to reality – or commercialization,” said Bob Goodale, project manager at the Institute at Biltmore, in an interview with The Asheville Citizen-Times. “That ends up creating jobs and wealth, and that means you’re creating more wealth than there was before. And that spreads around Western North Carolina.”

    The office is expected to be opened at the Enka Campus of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.

    For information about the office and the Institute at Biltmore, see: strategicplan.org