Translational Research at ERCs
The goal of the Generation Three (Gen-3) Engineering Research Centers (ERC) Program is to create a culture in engineering research and education that links discovery to technological innovation through transformational fundamental and engineered systems research in order to advance knowledge and technology and produce engineering graduates who will be creative U.S. innovators in a globally competitive economy. These ERCs are at the forefront as the U.S. competes in the 21st century global economy where R&D resources and engineering talent are internationally distributed.
Surrounding this research culture is the ERC’s innovation ecosystem, which is a symbiotic relationship between the ERC's institutions and researchers, member firms, and partner organizations devoted to stimulating entrepreneurship and innovation. Translational research plays a critical role to accelerate the use of ERC-developed technology. This can occur through research sponsored by member firms, which speeds the transfer of ERC intellectual property (IP) into the firms’ processes and product lines, In addition when ERC-generated IP is not licensed by or transferred to member firms, small non-member firms play a critical role through translational research project supported by NSF and other sources.