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U of Kentucky TTO to help Eastern Kentucky U in technology commercialization efforts

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: September 13th, 2017

The University of Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky University battled each other on the football field Saturday, but at halftime university leaders were talking on the game’s radio broadcast about a new partnership that will bring the gridiron rivals together in efforts to commercialize their research.

UK’s Office of Technology Commercialization, led by Ian McClure, and EKU’s Center for Economic Development, Entrepreneurship and Technology (CEDET), headed by Tom Martin, reached the agreement with the full support of the two university presidents, UK’s Eli Capilouto and EKU’s Michael Benson.

In essence, the deal will involve UK’s tech transfer office acting as an external contractor to help EKU get more of its research translated into commercial products.

 “As a research university, we lead the state in success in competing for external grants. That’s the pipeline for intellectual property,” Capilouto said. “We have developed the resources and infrastructure to move some of these breakthroughs to the marketplace. We are happy to partner with EKU to provide that kind of capability for their faculty when they have discoveries, and we are grateful for the partnership.”

 “Regional universities like Eastern Kentucky University conduct research and develop inventions, but the costs associated with that effort are significant for institutions focused on instruction and service to their region,” Benson said. “As a research institution, UK has the resources and organizational structure to assist EKU in the proper assessment and commercialization of basic discovery for the innovations of tomorrow. More importantly, this partnership creates a research corridor between UK and EKU, leveraging their individual strengths for the benefit of all Kentuckians.”

Terms of the deal call for UK’s OTC to act as an independently contracted partner and service provider to EKU for intellectual property and commercialization services. Those services will include:

  • Assistance with EKU intellectual property (IP) development efforts, including assessing the potential value and patentability or copyrightable nature of invention disclosures.
  • Assistance with EKU commercialization and IP procurement transaction costs, including market research, patent prosecution and docket management, identifying potential licensing partners, business development efforts to solicit interest in partnership, and negotiating and executing license agreements in coordination with EKU.
  • Conducting faculty outreach and education regarding commercialization for EKU faculty.
  • Providing guidance to EKU on commercializing non-patentable IP, particularly software.
  • Using the new partnership to help build a “research corridor” for collaborative research efforts between UK and EKU.

 “We can channel the inventive activity happening at EKU through our office and collaborate and cooperate to give those ideas at EKU the best chance at succeeding,” McClure said. “It’s all about raising the bar for the Commonwealth.”

Source: UK Now

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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