Prema Menon, Dryver Huston, Tian Xia, Randall HeadrickInnovative and creative work at UVM has enriched the lives of many thousands of UVM students. Such work has also greatly benefited the community by advancing new ways of thinking about the environment, social systems and human health, as well as supporting statewide economic development.

As the breadth and magnitude of our research grows, we seek to provide opportunities for our faculty and students to successfully bring innovations to market and launch new companies. We believe this is critical to our success as a research university and in fulfilling our mission as a land grant university.

To accelerate this translation of new knowledge into tangible benefits to society, we are pleased to offer two programs: PRE-SPARK and SPARK. Both programs bring the experience and insight of a panel of distinguished and successful entrepreneurs to the critical evaluation of promising, innovative applications of new knowledge.


  • To accelerate the process of moving discoveries into the marketplace for the benefit of society.
  • To develop an environment at UVM that fosters and facilitates moving innovative, collaborative research toward commercialization.
  • To increase competitiveness for research funding involving small business and/or commercialization.
  • To educate faculty, fellows and students on how to transition innovative ideas and discoveries into commercial applications.


PRE-SPARK is a new program for those investigators who are close to being ready to apply for SPARK funding, but are not yet sufficiently far along in their technology, prototyping or intellectual property protection. We are pleased to note that EPSCoR and NASA-EPSCoR are partnering with us to underwrite our new PRE-SPARK awards. Find out more about PRE-SPARK


SPARK facilitates the discovery-to-innovation-to-commercialization process for those researchers who are in possession of or have applied for patent or copyright protection of their intellectual property. We are pleased to note that the investments made to UVM Faculty through the SPARK Program have helped launch several successful companies, such as Benchmark Space Systems, Wiser Systems and Packetized Energy. Find out more about SPARK


Please contact Andrea Elledge at with any questions.

Ryan McDevitt and Darren Hitt of Benchmark Space Systems

Product and team of Packetized Energy