Industry-Sponsored Research Week
Industry-Sponsored Research Management

Best Practices in Gaining SBIR/STTR Funding for University Technologies


By David Schwartz
Published: October 10th, 2017

The Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs can be critical and significant sources of funding for university innovations and start-ups. With nearly $2 billion in funding being awarded each year, faculty innovators, start-up founders, TTO staff, and sponsored research managers must understand how to ensure their applications stand apart from the herd.

That’s why we’re offering this two-session distance learning resource: Best Practices in Gaining SBIR/STTR Funding for University Technologies. It includes these two outstanding, strategy-filled programs:

  • Dispelling SBIR/STTR Funding Myths and Misconceptions for University-Based Innovations. Many myths and misconceptions persist regarding how to apply, who can apply, what technologies are eligible, and how funds are awarded. SBIR/STTR funding consultant and former NIH scientific review officer Geoffrey White, PhD, dispels the myths and offers solid guidance on successful applications.
  • SBIR/STTR Funding: Strategies for Submitting a Winning Application. Knowing the critical factors that lead to success can make a huge difference in determining whether you get funded — and ultimately in whether your research or early-stage venture ever makes it to the commercial marketplace. This session identifies the four primary components to getting funded through these two highly competitive programs. It also addresses the key challenges facing SBIR/STTR applicants and offers expert guidance for planning ahead to ensure successful completion of major steps within the application process.

For complete details or to order, CLICK HERE >>

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Wichita State partnership with Cyber Research Group includes jobs for a dozen students


By David Schwartz
Published: October 10th, 2017

Ennovar Technology Solutions at Wichita State University, a campus-based computer technology services group, has entered into a strategic new partnership with Cyber Research Group (CRG) aimed at increasing the school’s footprint in the fast-growing cybersecurity industry and providing students with applied learning opportunities. continue reading »

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U Queensland scores research deal to turn aluminum waste into soil


By David Schwartz
Published: October 10th, 2017

Australia’s University of Queensland has entered a three-year research agreement with Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), based in the United Arab Emirates, that aims to develop ways to turn a by-product of aluminum production into soil. continue reading »

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Ford, U Michigan-Dearborn assessing faculty internship results with eye on expansion


By David Schwartz
Published: October 3rd, 2017

Industry-sponsored research managers at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and Ford Motor Company are reviewing a first-of-its-kind internship program they launched this summer, which placed UM faculty members inside the automaker’s operations for four months to work alongside and discuss innovations with like-minded researchers there. If the reviews continue to be as good as they have been so far — the partners use phrases like “very positive” and “very excited” — both parties plan to expand the internship concept moving forward, both together and with other partners.

The inaugural Ford Faculty Internship program ran from May through the end of August. “We plan on working with Ford to survey both the faculty and Ford researchers to understand what worked and what needs tweaking and ultimately to make a decision whether to continue the program,” reports John Cristiano, PhD, director of research administration in the UM-Dearborn Office of Research & Sponsored Programs. “My initial conversations with faculty who participated were very positive in terms of the networking and identification of collaborative research opportunities.”

For its part, Ford says it’s pleased with “faculty interest and participation” in the UM-Dearborn internship collaboration, but not yet certain about the mechanics of managing more such programs. “To measure the program’s success, we plan to survey participants at both Ford and UM-Dearborn” about their experiences and about the program itself, reports Amy Skehan, the automaker’s university program manager with its External Alliances, Research and Advanced Engineering group.

Skehan will talk to the Ford leads in person to find out what they thought could be done to make the internship program even better. “This is a new program,” she emphasizes, “so measuring outcomes will be critical for making a case for its expansion. So far, we are very excited about the results.”

UM-Dearborn’s Cristiano notes, too, that the final assessment of the first iteration of the program won’t be complete for some time. “The true success and effectiveness of the program won’t likely be known in the short term,” he says. “The goal is to create relationships and an understanding between faculty and Ford researchers. Initially, the connection is the result of a common technical interest, with the time spent together leading to faculty developing an understanding of the challenges and research problems. Conversely, the Ford researchers gain an understanding of the capabilities of the faculty.”

He adds: “In my opinion, the success and effectiveness of the program will be measured by both the breadth and longevity of the relationships, as well as the productivity. We know what Ford proposals are submitted for funding and will track the ones involving the summer interns.” A detailed article on the Ford Faculty Internship program appears in the September issue of Industry-Sponsored Research Management. To subscribe and get the complete article, and also receive a $100 discount on the already-low subscription price, CLICK HERE

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Webinar tomorrow: Patent Eligibility of Software Innovations in a Post-Alice Environment


By David Schwartz
Published: October 3rd, 2017

Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice v. CLS Bank in 2014, protecting software innovations through the patent process has become more challenging and filled with uncertainty. However, the Federal Circuit and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) have increasingly decided cases interpreting the Alice decision, providing more clarity as well as specific examples of how claims can be structured to maneuver around the Alice decision’s restrictions.

Research and IP professionals need to be aware of the shifting sands of patent practice for software-related innovations so they can effectively evaluate software-related invention disclosures and craft the strongest, most defensible claims when making an investment in patent protection.

Technology Transfer Tactics’ Distance Learning Division has teamed up with attorney Tyson Benson to lead this detailed session, scheduled for tomorrow, October 4th, that will feature dozens of critical strategies and takeaways: Patent Eligibility of Software Innovations in a Post-Alice Environment. For complete program details and to register, CLICK HERE.

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UC Berkeley in alliance with Novartis to find treatments for ‘undruggable’ illnesses


By David Schwartz
Published: October 3rd, 2017

Swiss pharma company Novartis has entered an alliance with University of California Berkeley in a bid to accelerate its hunt for new medicines. continue reading »

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In India, IITs shift focus to driving industry-sponsored research


By David Schwartz
Published: October 3rd, 2017

The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) — the top tier research institutes where most of that country’s faculty innovations emerge from — have started engaging more with industry to drive research partnerships and create new work opportunities for their graduating PhD students, who often have no employment options outside academia. continue reading »

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Carnegie Mellon partners with BitClave in blockchain research for new web search technology


By David Schwartz
Published: October 3rd, 2017

Carnegie Mellon University is partnering with San Jose-based tech start-up BitClave on research aimed at revolutionizing online advertising technology. continue reading »

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International Survey of Research University Leadership: View of Technology Transfer and Sponsored Research Offices


By David Schwartz
Published: October 3rd, 2017

The International Survey of Research University Leadership: View of Technology Transfer and Sponsored Research Offices includes 70 pages of in-depth commentary and analysis based on extensive surveying of 53 colleges and universities.

This just-published, one-of-a-kind resource provides a rich set of benchmarks and data to compare against your own university’s technology transfer and sponsored research efforts. You’ll find detailed data on promoting technologies, staffing, budgets, managing patents, obtaining research grants, promoting technologies, incentivizing staff for IP creation, and publicizing research achievements, along with invaluable peer advice. This study is jam-packed with dozens of easy to scan charts and figures displaying critical data you can’t find in any other publication.

For complete details, CLICK HERE >>

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Ohio U partners with company on medicinal cannabis product development  


By David Schwartz
Published: October 3rd, 2017

On the heels of Ohio’s legalization of medical marijuana, Athens-based Ohio University has struck a partnership with Black Elk Biotechnology, which has applied for cultivation, processing and dispensary licenses. continue reading »

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Nantes U, Inserm Transfert in research deal with OSE Immunotherapeutics to develop new immunotherapy product


By David Schwartz
Published: October 3rd, 2017

OSE Immunotherapeutics SA today announces that the company has entered into an agreement with Inserm Transfert, the tech transfer organization service French government labs, and Nantes University, to collaborate on a cancer immunotherapy targeting a newly identified suppressive myeloid cell receptor (C-type lectin receptor). The agreement includes a worldwide and exclusive license option for OSE to further develop any product candidates emerging from the collaboration. continue reading »

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U Penn ramps up industry sponsorships as percent of funding jumps from 6% to 15%


By David Schwartz
Published: September 26th, 2017

The University of Pennsylvania keeps racking up successes in its quest to boost innovation and commercialization, and much of its effort revolves around industry sponsorship. The school has been firming up partnerships with major players in the university’s patient care research sweet spot, such as Novartis, Biogen and Celgene, and in just five years has engineered a huge increase in the percentage of Penn’s R&D support that comes from corporate sources, from 6% to nearly 15% of research dollars.

In addition, the university’s commercialization centerpiece, the Penn Center for Innovation, is riding a wave of accomplishments that include playing a major role in the launch of the Pennovation Center, Penn’s year-old business incubator and laboratory, and garnering raves in a Milken Institute report on schools that make the most technology transfer impact.

The seeds of PCI’s current success were planted over a decade ago, according to research leaders there. Here are their recommendations for others who wish to emulate their success:

  • Start with a careful analysis of the local research market from an opportunity perspective. “When we were still the Center for Technology Transfer, about 10 years ago, we started looking at where opportunities were going to be for business development and supporting faculty innovation,” explains John Swartley, PhD, MBA, associate vice provost for research at Penn and managing director at PCI. Research leadership “noted a substantial amount of outsourcing of research and development in the biopharma industry,” Swartley adds, most of which was being contracted out to smaller biotech companies, contract research organizations, and contract manufacturing organizations.

    “It was clear it was a sustained trend, a substantial trend,” he says. It was also clear, he notes, that some of those monies could be supporting Penn research instead — “if we could position the institution as a suitable recipient of research sponsorship and a solid business partner for those relationships. That’s when we realized we needed to start thinking about repositioning ourselves as a more attractive partner to the private sector.”

  • Integrate research-specific goals with the changing nature of the broader industry-academia interface. As research leadership at Penn pondered ways to increase biopharma industry research sponsorship, “Penn itself was in the process of emphasizing certain key aspects of its role and mission,” Swartley explains, “and starting to incorporate this thought of an expanded mission element of supporting innovation and research and developing relationships with the private sector.” The big picture changes required to meet Penn’s expanded mission, Swartley stresses, happened top-down, coming from President Amy Gutmann and Penn’s Board of Trustees. “It was a perfect marriage of the research trends we saw and Penn’s strong support for corporate research as an important part of our overall mission,” he says.

A detailed article on Penn’s success strategies in expanding its industry partnerships appears in the September issue of Industry-Sponsored Research Management. To subscribe and get the full article — and a $100 discount on the subscription price — CLICK HERE.  

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