Tech Transfer Central

Social Innovation and Tech Transfer: Creating a Pathway to Greater Impact

Format: On-Demand Video with closed captions
Originally presented: Wednesday, June 28, 2023
Price: $197

“Impact.” It’s a word many TTOs are focused on more than ever as university leadership increasingly pushes to demonstrate the tangible benefits of research commercialization activity for their communities. While for many that has meant demonstrating the impact on job creation and economic development, the spotlight is now extending to social innovation that translates research into projects that directly affect lives, address critical social problems, and build trusted partnerships in the community.

Social innovations can create fantastic impact stories and bring in new sources of funding while serving an entirely new set of faculty researchers, and a growing number of universities are devoting resources and staff to support these important innovations – and using the results to demonstrate that all-important impact.

We’ve recruited leaders from two universities who have dedicated entire departments to supporting social innovation projects, and they are ready to share details about their initiatives, how they work with TTOs, and the keys to building a social innovation platform in this detailed, forward-looking program:

Social Innovation and Tech Transfer

This session will focus on how each school’s social innovation initiative supports entrepreneurship through experiential learning, pitch competitions, and graduate certificate programs, builds trusted partnerships within the community, provides intentional support and infrastructure to project leaders, and how they work with the tech transfer office to scale and support social innovation projects.

Please join Serenity Wright, EdD, Associate Director of Social Innovation at the University of Kentucky, and Karen Benzies, PhD, Director of the Social Innovation Initiative at the University of Calgary, for this insightful session. Here is a brief look at the agenda:

  • How the University of Calgary and the University of Kentucky designed their social innovation initiatives
  • The key components of a social innovation initiative
  • Benefits of a social innovation program for the university, community, and industry
  • What are the next steps in the development of social innovation at the presenting universities?
  • How to gain support, engagement, and collaboration for social innovation
  • Increasing awareness and recognition of social innovation projects across campus
  • How social innovation projects differ from “standard” research disclosures
  • How TTOs can best support social innovation projects and their leadership teams
  • Impact metrics for social innovation

Use the on-demand video for future training and education

Meet your program leaders:

Karen BenziesKaren Benzies, PhD
Director of the Social Innovation Initiative
University of Calgary

Dr. Benzies is a Professor with the Faculty of Nursing, holds Adjunct Appointments in Pediatrics and Community Health Sciences in the Cumming School of Medicine, and is Director of the Social Innovation Initiative at the University of Calgary. Dr. Benzies designs, evaluates, and mobilizes sustainable interventions to improve parental health and child development. She has acquired over $35 million in grants and led multiple teams to generate over 150 research publications. Positive results from her clinical trial of Family Integrated Care (also known as Merge) led to scale and spread to all 14 neonatal intensive care units in Alberta. Benzies is working with neonatal intensive care services across Canada to ensure Merge is available outside Alberta.

Serenity WrightSerenity Wright, EdD
Associate Director, Social Innovation
University of Kentucky

Dr. Serenity Wright serves as the inaugural leader for the Social Innovation unit within UK Innovate at the University of Kentucky. After completing a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Wright taught and served as an academic and behavior interventionist in a public school system for many years. Dr. Wright then earned her doctorate from the University of Kentucky in Policy, Measurement and Evaluation. She employs a hard science approach through a lens of cultural competency for her theoretical orientation. Dr. Wright is passionate about advocating for, and the expansion of, equitable access for resources and opportunities. She has partnered to serve and support several organizations across the state, and nationally, in their work to expand and sustain their impact for their constituents. Dr. Wright has served on several community boards, and is appointed to the inaugural Mayor’s Commission for Racial Justice and Equality.

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Digital Package

This program is delivered as a digital package that includes the on-demand video with closed captions and the slide deck from the live presentation – and you can share it whenever you wish throughout your organization.

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