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VIPC Awards Commonwealth Commercialization Fund Grant to College of William and Mary

CCF grants support startups, critical early technology testing and market validation efforts

This funding will allow us to advance our FoG research in a commercial direction with a product that will provide significant benefits to sufferers of Parkinson's Disease.”
— Dr. Gang Zhou, Professor of Computer Science, William & Mary

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES, March 21, 2023 / -- The Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC) today announced that the College of William and Mary (William & Mary) has been awarded a Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF) grant of $75,000 to support a product commercialization project led by Dr. Gang Zhou. VIPC’s CCF programs have distributed more than $46 million to Virginia-based startups, entrepreneurs and university-based inventors since 2012.

William & Mary is a public research university based in Williamsburg, Va. Dr. Gang Zhou is a professor of computer science at William & Mary whose research is focused on Freezing-of-Gait (FoG), which often leads to falls for sufferers of Parkinson’s Disease. This CCF grant will allow Dr. Gang Zhou and his collaborators to develop and validate a minimum viable product (MVP) that uses AI and wearables to detect FoG in real-time and deliver vibration-based alerts to patients, helping them avoid falls and injuries. This project is a collaboration between William & Mary and Professors Ingrid Pretzer-Aboff and Leslie Cloud at Virginia Commonwealth University.

“We are thrilled to receive a CCF grant from VIPC,” said Dr. Gang Zhou. “This funding will allow us to advance our FoG research in a commercial direction, and we will emerge from this project with a product that will provide significant benefits to sufferers of Parkinson's Disease.”

“We are pleased to award a CCF grant to support Dr. Gang Zhou’s research at William & Mary,” said Sean Mallon, VIPC’s VP for Commercialization. “VIPC’s CCF higher education grant program plays an important role in getting funding to entrepreneurially-minded university researchers as they work to take innovations from lab to market. Dr. Gang Zhou is committed to transitioning his world-class FoG research into a valuable commercial product that will help those suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.”

CCF accepts applications and awards funding on a rolling basis to Virginia’s small businesses and university-based innovators. The CCF Higher education grant program seeks to fund high-potential Virginia-based academic research teams that are developing technologies with strong commercial potential. The grants support early technology and market validation efforts such as customer discovery, market research, business model validation, development of prototypes or a minimum viable product (MVP), customer pilots, intellectual property protection, team development, and more. For more information on funding opportunities and eligibility requirements, or to apply visit:

About Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC)
VIPC: Connecting innovators with opportunities. As the nonprofit operations arm of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA), VIPC is the commercialization and seed stage economic development driver in the Commonwealth that leads funding, infrastructure, and policy initiatives to support Virginia's innovators, entrepreneurs, startups, and market development strategies. VIPC collaborates with local, regional, state, and federal partners to support the expansion and diversification of Virginia’s economy.

Programs include: Virginia Venture Partners (VVP) | VVP Fund of Funds (SSBCI) | Virginia Founders Fund (VFF) |Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF) | Petersburg Founders Fund (PFF) | Smart Communities | The Virginia Smart Community Testbed | The Virginia Unmanned Systems Center | Virginia Advanced Air Mobility Alliance (VAAMA) | The Public Safety Innovation Center |Entrepreneurial Ecosystems | Regional Innovation Fund (RIF) | Federal Funding Assistance Program (FFAP) for SBIR & STTR | University Partnerships | Startup Company Mentoring & Engagement. For more information, please visit Follow VIPC on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

About the Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF)
VIPC’s Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF) was launched on July 1, 2020 to foster innovative and collaborative efforts in Virginia. Combining two legacy state programs, the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) and the Virginia Research Innovation Fund (VRIF), CCF seeks technologies with a high potential for economic development and job creation and that position the Commonwealth as a national leader in science- and technology-based research, development, and commercialization.

Angela Costello, Vice President of Communications
Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC)
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