Center for Cell Manufacturing Technologies (CMaT) Hosts Ideas2Impact Bootcamp

Achievement date: 

The National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Cell Manufacturing Technologies (CMaT) Engineering Research Center (ERC), headquartered at Georgia Institute for Technology, hosted an Ideas2Impact Bootcamp focused on creating value propositions for cell manufacturing technology research. Organized by Dr. Cynthia Sundell — Co-Industrial Liaison Officer (ILO) of CMaT, Manufacturing Technologies Senior Director of Life Sciences for the Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences, and Principal for the Georgia Tech VentureLab — the half-day Bootcamp event featured a Research Impact Statement (RIS) workshop and guidance from partners in industry.


The general objective of the Ideas2Impact Bootcamp was to better engage audiences and stakeholders with improved communications about cell manufacturing technology research. Faculty, students, partners, and staff in CMaT’s Innovation Ecosystem (IE) completed “stakeholder discovery” exercises together online during the COVID 19 pandemic to evolve research efforts towards greater commercialization opportunities. The trainee participants created Research Impact Statements (RIS) and then practiced pitching their value propositions with a commercialization mindset. Feedback obtained from both mentors and customer discovery interviews following the event provided trainees with valuable input for further refining their presentations and proposals, allowing them to be more effective in establishing relationships and contacts for the emerging industry.


The Ideas2Impact Bootcamp was held concurrently with the CMaT Annual Retreat, which was held online during the COVID 19 pandemic. The sessions were mandatory for CMaT graduate students but open to any CMaT participant. Eight simultaneous breakout sessions were arranged for the RIS Workshop. Each student trainee was given 2 minutes to present their RIS, followed by 4 minutes of mentor feedback. Participants included 52 student trainees, 24 mentors, and 8 moderators from the CMaT IE. Optional follow-up activities gave participants opportunities to continue to revise and review their work.

In addition to the RIS Workshop, the CMaT Ideas2Impact Bootcamp included guest lectures by two industry leaders: Nakia Melecio, Startup Catalyst for Georgia Tech ATDC, presented “Talking to Humans:  The Importance of Stakeholder Discovery;” Ian Biggs, Startups Director at UGA Innovation Gateway, spoke on “Communicating the Value Proposition of your Research.”