The University of Missouri has received a nearly $4 million grant to help Midwestern universities in six states turn biomedical discoveries into marketable products.

The National Institutes of Health grant will support the Midwest Biomedical Accelerator Consortium, which will provide researchers with funding and mentorship necessary to develop products that prevent and treat diseases. The consortium will involve up to 16 universities and include a link with the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas.

MU School of Medicine senior associate dean for research William Fay says hurdles to commercialization include a lack of awareness that it’s an option and a failure to connect with the experts necessary to complete the process.

The grant includes $994,707 for the first year then $980,957 each succeeding year until August 2023.