Technology Readiness Acceleration Center
The Technology Readiness Acceleration Center (TRAC) brings graduate students and scientific entrepreneurs together to facilitate entrepreneurship, startup creation and company growth.
Get on the Right TRAC
The University of South Dakota working in collaboration with Sanford Health, has established the Technology Readiness Acceleration Center (TRAC) to focus on commercializing innovations, supporting entrepreneurship and developing research for market readiness. This allows USD and Sanford researchers to see their research elevate from tests in a laboratory to real-world applicable technologies.
TRAC pairs USD graduate students with faculty inventors and trains them to be apprentices in the development and commercialization of novel technologies through education, innovation and entrepreneurship. Students chosen to participate in the TRAC program will earn up to $10,000 per semester.
Help Us Bridge the Gap
TRAC will allow you to further your education while working towards bridging the gap between academia's research and commercial business's finalized products. USD is offering this unique opportunity to partner with industry leaders to innovate and build on established technology.
Work directly with USD and Sanford researchers in the areas of:
- Vaccine manufacturing in USD’s certified Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) lab
- Drug loaded implantable polymer medical device
- 3D cell culture systems
- Colorectal cancer treatment
- System to search and organize big data
- Gene editing for plants
Students in the TRAC program will:
- Earn up to $10,000 per semester to learn and develop commercialized technologies
- Gain industry-relevant experience
- Work in both the laboratory as well as R&D with commercialization
- Network with researchers and tech developers
- Have opportunities to start your own business after completion
- Participate in workshops, the Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®), the Innovation Expo, the Governor’s Giant Vision Business Plan Competition, the SDBio Annual Summit and more
Year 1In their first year of this two-year graduate program, students learn about workshops in intellectual property, entrepreneurship, technology development and laboratory skills.
Year 2After students hone their skills necessary to properly work in the field, they will enter into their second year of school, focused on a particular medical technology owned by either USD or Sanford Health. Students will develop market-focused applications for that particular technology. By the end of their second year, the students will seek continued funding to expand on such development.
Rural areas tend to have a smaller number of entrepreneurs in the high-tech fields, and our region is no exception. The TRAC apprenticeship program intentionally supports the development of students to find pathways into entrepreneurship in our region. Post-graduation employment opportunities – not to mention enhanced possibilities for startups – will increase regional connectivity from new and existing stakeholder relationships.
In addition to building strong relationships with the TRAC advisory board members, TRAC will help future entrepreneurs to create a network throughout the state that will guide and mentor this next generation of industry leaders with the tools necessary to make measurable contributions to the economy through entrepreneurship and employment. Businesses will be created in five Opportunity Zones in Vermillion and Sioux Falls. TRAC will provide competitive stipends to graduate assistants as they learn to develop and commercialize technologies.
There is a crucial gap in investments between technology in the academic side of research and the commercial side. TRAC bridges that gap. TRAC will work to improve on technology already in place and bring entrepreneurship to the region
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Office of Research & Sponsored Programs
The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs supports and expands competitive research and creative scholarship at USD. The office oversees USD's research function, assisting faculty and researchers, generating student opportunities, and establishing and administering policies governing the conduct of research and overseeing the management of research programs.