Successful fundraising for an academic professor's research
The TRUST-U Program initiated by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) has been encouraging academia to commercialize their research results and turn them into solid profits. One of the startup teams, "Development of Smart 3D Spacer Fabric Composite", led by Professor Syang-Peng Rwei from National Taipei University of Technology (NTUT), has received USD4M funding from Mechema Chemicals International Corp., T&T Industries Corporation, and TaipeiTech Development Inc. With the team’s technologies, Taipei Smart Materials (TSM) is established to develop light, breathable, and malleable composite products. Their revolutionary products can replace the use of traditional plaster and metal braces and have high potential in the markets of medical devices and garments. TSM aims at domestic and international markets of medical assistive devices and aspires to penetrate into the USD3Bn global market.
World's leading 3-D spacer fabric technologies will revolutionize the medical devices industry
Since 2013, Professor Rwei and his team have been receiving research grants from the MOST and made significant progress in fabric coating technologies. In 2016, TRUST-U recruited the team and helped to expedite the commercialization process. With the revolutionary technologies and market readiness, the team has successfully attracted investments from the related industries.
Professor Rwei pointed out that the old-fashioned, one-time-use plaster braces are heavy and not breathable. TSM’s new 3-D spacer fabric technologies can produce adaptive braces which are not only light and breathable but also can be reshaped through low temperature heating. The new technologies can replace traditional plaster and metal braces with a more reliable and convenient option at a more affordable cost.
TRUST-U’s startup teams have raised over USD25M funding
TRUST-U program was first introduced in 2017 in order to revitalize the innovation ecosystem from academia in Taiwan and set role models on academic startups. In 2017 and 2018, TRUST-U has recruited 35 and 34 teams respectively. As of today, 6 teams have successfully turned into startups and received next stage funding, with the accumulated investment amount of TWD770.61 million (USD25M).
"We want to revitalize the startup and entrepreneurship ecosystem in academia through TRUST-U program, as well as setting role models,” said Liang-gee Chen, Minister of Science and Technology. “We have been implementing the program for nearly two years, and are more than pleased to see many universities have gradually developed relevant rules for academic startups, resulting in a handful of successful cases which attracted investments from private sectors. There are a few cases in the fundraising stage so we expect to hear more good news in the near future. MOST shall continue to encourage academic research teams to step out of their labs and commercialize their products or service by starting new business, with more value generated to the society."
Mr. Hung-Wen Kao
Department of Academia-Industry Collaboration and Science Park Affairs, MoST