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July 31, 2017

A ladder to the workforce of tomorrow

A college education isn’t what it used to be.
It’s a lot more.
If you want evidence, consider a program at Georgia Tech. It’s proved so successful, universities around the country are picking it up, including the University of Georgia.
The program gets undergrads to collaborate in what’s described as an on-campus startup company. Teams of students – from all kinds of disciplines – work with faculty, graduate students and post-docs on a single project.
Here’s the catch: The project they’re working on doesn’t last a semester or two. It extends for years … and years.
Students leave the team when they graduate. Newer students build on the work of those who came before them. And the collective effort advances the research aim of the faculty members involved – moving knowledge and discovery further down the road.
Called VIP, which stands for Vertically Integrated Projects, the program is the brainchild of GRA Eminent Scholar Ed Coyle of Georgia Tech. He pioneered the model while at Purdue University. But since being recruited to Georgia Tech in 2008, he’s developed it into an extraordinary model of learning that other universities are now embracing.
At its inception, VIP had just one team – the one Coyle brought with him, which worked to expand broadband capacity in sports arenas. This fall, that team will be joined by 55 others at Georgia Tech, involving hundreds of students and faculty.
“While the focus is on conducting research, the teams really are like small companies,” Coyle says. “They average 17 students, which is like a startup. Each semester, some graduate, just as employees retire in industry, while others are promoted.”
Most important, Coyle says, is that the students learn much more than the technology areas of focus – which range from underwater robotics to sustainable systems on Mars. “They gain a portfolio of professional skills, such as how to work on a complex project, how to ask for help, and how not to wait to be told what to do,” Coyle says.
Orin Lincoln agrees. A computer science graduate (Georgia Tech ’16), Lincoln worked on Coyle’s sports arena bandwidth squad, called Intelligent Digital Communications. Today, he develops software for Citrix.
“I’m now a ‘scrum leader’ for a project I’m working on,” Lincoln says, “and my VIP experience definitely helped prepare me for this job. A big part of my role on the VIP team was getting new people up to speed on our project, but without having them rely on me to answer every question. As a team leader at Citrix, I now have to manage others in a similar way.”
As the VIP program burgeoned at Georgia Tech, Coyle began to get interest from other universities around the country. In 2015, he and colleagues secured a three-year, $5 million grant from the Helmsley Charitable Trust to create the VIP Consortium, with the goal of exporting the model to other universities.
One that expressed interest was the University of Georgia. Erin Dolan, a professor of innovative science education, had been working at the University of Texas-Austin when she surveyed the landscape of innovation in teaching – and discovered VIP.
“I thought: This would be a cool way to push the envelope of innovation in teaching and research,” Dolan remembers.
She took a position at UGA but didn’t forget about VIP. “We have strong students in STEM at UGA – they’re graduating and staying in their fields,” she says. “But we do have issues of student awareness around career paths. VIP provides a really unique way to broaden their horizons.”
After bringing up VIP at a faculty meeting – at which several of her colleagues expressed interest – Dolan and her UGA colleagues spent a few days at Georgia Tech, getting an up-close look. This fall, UGA will launch its first two VIP teams. Dolan will serve as the faculty lead on a team exploring the social psychology of undergrad STEM research, and GRA Eminent Scholar Art Edison will head a team on big data.
Ed Coyle says UGA is one of 25 institutions nationwide that have implemented the VIP model, and five more are waiting in the wings. The interest, he says, is understandable.
“The experience of being on a team for two to three years is so much deeper than a senior project or class group assignment,” he says. “That’s what makes it novel.

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July 19, 2017

Carbice Raises $1.5 Million, Debuts Versatile Thermal Tape for Solving Heat Dissipation Challenges in the Electronics Industry

By Carbice
Carbice, an Atlanta-based startup spun out of Georgia Tech’s Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology that manufactures advanced materials for effective thermal design of electronic devices, announced today the electronic packaging industry’s most versatile thermal tape.
The company raised $1.5 million in a series seed round co-led by TechSquare Labs and GRA Venture Fund to launch Carbice tape with select early customers. The raise also brings to the Board of Directors former Porex Corporation CEO, Bill Midgette.

Carbice is a member company in the Advanced Technology Development Center’s ATDC Accelerate portfolio at Georgia Tech. ATDC works with Georgia entrepreneurs to help them build successful technology companies. Carbice has also been supported by the City of Atlanta and Invest Atlanta in the 2016 Atlanta-Toulouse Startup Exchange.

Carbice tape is designed to replace 100s of existing heat dissipation products with one simple and easy-to-apply solution that serves as a new high-performance platform for building future generations of electronic devices. 

“We are in a new digital world and effective thermal design has emerged as a critical path to bringing innovative new products to market,” said Bara Cola (@baratundecola), Founder and CEO of Carbice. “Carbice technology is based on a protected scientific breakthrough in materials engineering that keeps us significantly ahead of the curve. Our ability to provide this game-changing technology as a drop-in solution removes barriers and allows our customers to achieve more today and bring their products to market faster.”
Key benefits of Carbice tape include: 
  • Improved device performance
  • Reduced product size and cost
  • Fast, no mess assembly with reduced waste and simplified bill of materials
  • Lower inventory cost to address different product needs
Carbice tape early applications include advancing satellite development, semiconductor test, and home gateway products. The company is also funded by a recent phase II SBIR grant from the National Science Foundation and a grant from the Army Research Lab to feed a pipeline of new products yet to be announced.

Customers interested in evaluating the benefits of Carbice tape in their applications are encouraged to contact sales(at)carbice.com for more information. For more information about Carbice, visit http://www.carbice.com and follow @carbice on twitter, linkedin, and Facebook.

About Carbice 
Carbice Corporation is based in Atlanta and rooted in Georgia Tech. The company enables effective thermal design to drive the future of the modern, sustainable digital world on Earth, Mars, and beyond. Carbice technology is the new standard of performance for thermal materials. Carbice is committed to helping our customers achieve something new, better, or more cost effectively with an amazing customer experience. Founded in 2017, Carbice introduced the world’s most versatile thermal tape to the electronics industry. Achieve more with confidence. Achieve more with Carbice. For more information, visit http://www.carbice.com and follow @carbice on twitter, linkedin, and Facebook.

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June 30, 2017

GRA wins exemplary practice in technology commercialization award

GRA’s work to speed the conversion of research into products and companies got national recognition in June. The Deshpande Foundation presented GRA with the “Exemplary Practice in Technology Commercialization” Award at its annual Symposium for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The purpose of this award is to recognize an institution that has developed and delivered a comprehensive program that helps accelerate innovations from the laboratory and research into commercialization.

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