The University of Nevada-Reno has become the latest school to shift in tech transfer operations into an independent nonprofit organization. Among the benefits of establishing the Nevada Research and Innovation Corporation is the capability of holding equity in start-ups launched by the university.
“Many of this country’s most notable research universities have nonprofit corporations or foundations of this type,” said Ellen Purpus, who guided the new entity’s creation and serves as UNR’s assistant vice president for enterprise and innovation. “It is a model that has proven to be successful for researchers and entrepreneurs, the universities and regional economies.”
According to University President Marc Johnson, “The Nevada Research and Innovation Corporation will further encourage innovation, entrepreneurialism and commercialization at the university. It provides a mechanism to help move the discoveries and research of faculty, staff and students into the marketplace where their work will have impact.”
Along with its licensing activity, the organization is emphasizing its social mission, noting its intent to ask licensees to address unmet needs of underserved populations or regions, particularly with licensed drugs, diagnostics, and agricultural technologies.
“NVRIC will create partnerships, and the success of these partnerships will benefit the researcher or entrepreneur, the continued development of the university, and, ultimately, society,” said Mridul Gautam, vice president for research and innovation. “It’s a public good; it creates opportunity.”
As one of its first moves, the new entity has created the Inneventure Fund, a new source of proof-of-concept funding.
Source: Nevada Today