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Ohio State awarded $50,000 NSF I-Corps grant

The National Science Foundation Innovation Corps program has awarded a $50,000 grant to C.K. Shum, professor and distinguished university scholar, and Tang-Yi Yang, in the School of Earth Sciences, to develop a prototype to monitor floods, droughts and freshwater resources at basin scales globally. They will use geodetic a satellite-based gravity observational system and the associated cloud based computing tools to conduct their research.

Ohio State’s I-Corps team is composed of Shum, Yang and Ratnesh Bhattacharya, director of the university’s India Gateway in Mumbai. The NSF I-Corps program is an immersive learning experience which will prepare the I-Corps team to go beyond the bounds of traditional instruction to engage with industry, customers and competitors and translate Ohio State faculty research innovations into products and processes that benefit society.

Regarding potential commercial impact, the prototype geodetic satellite-based observation and cloud-based tool requires no expensive software licenses, has been demonstrated to be efficient. The proposed research is a direct application of data analytics methods to generate a solution to an existing real-world problem, but with high-impact to millions of inhabitants in India. Once fully built from the existing prototype and proven effective, this data analytics application is also anticipated to have a value within commercial and NGO/non-profit venues in India, and eventually to the world.

The Ohio State I-Corps team plans to work with potential Indian commercial partnerships facilitated by the India Gateway to raise awareness and share best practices in flood and water resources (groundwater) management.

The goals of the I-Corps Team Program are to spur translation of fundamental research to the market place, to encourage collaboration between academia and industry, and to train NSF-funded faculty, students and other researchers to understand innovation and entrepreneurship. The researchers awarded under this program will receive additional support in the form of mentoring and funding to accelerate the translation of knowledge derived from fundamental research into emerging products and services that can attract subsequent third-party funding. You can read more about the I-Corps Teams Program here: https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/i-cor

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