The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is giving a funding boost to startup companies formed around research conducted at the school. The goal is to get UNC-based research commercialized.

“Some of the best and brightest ideas in science and business are right here on campus, and we can advance both their application and the University’s mission by investing and accelerating their growth early on,” said Chancellor Carol. Folt in announcing the fund Wednesday.

“By bridging the capital gap for our own startup companies, we can make sure the innovative ideas and products created by early-stage companies reach the individuals who need them most.”

Commercializing university-based technology is a challenge for most institutions, and helping boost such efforts is one of the goals recently included in a program announced by Gov. Pat McCrory.

UNC-CH trustees voted to establish the investment pool, which is called the Carolina Research Venture Fund.

The goal is to “help University startup companies overcome funding gaps, accelerate growth and more quickly bring Carolina’s best-in-class research to real-world application.”

UNC-CH annually ranks as one of the top 10 research universities in the U.S. 

A board of directors will oversee the fund.

The fund launches with $5 million, derived from investment earnings on non-state funds, the university said. 

“As the Carolina Research Venture Fund proves its success, we will continue to invest in and energize its growth with additional capital,” said Folt.