West Virginia University administrators and researchers rubbed creative elbows and learned about the University’s technology commercialization assistance services recently. The event also featured a prize for the best intellectual property idea for a new product.

The WVU Office of Technology Transfer and the University’s new Linking Innovation, Industry and Commercialization, or LIINC, sponsored the reception.

Jonathan Boyd of the C. Eugene Bennett Department of Chemistry earned a $500 voucher for presenting the best idea for intellectual property, as judged by a panel of business experts. Boyd captured the prize with his idea for a chemistry-based diagnostic tool.

Boyd praised the LIINC approach to forging connections between researchers and people who can help advance their work.

“While the monetary award is nice, the event offered me ample opportunity to speak at length with WVU patent attorneys and faculty with licensed technologies, which is invaluable to a new faculty member in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields today,” Boyd said. “The ability to freely discuss ideas with experts who can determine patentability, discuss small business potential, and even identify investors that may be interested in your research in a released atmosphere is an unbelievable resource for all WVU faculty. Finally, it is important to note that so many different views of your research can actually offer you new ideas that you can bring back to lab, which is something that I would have never predicted before I attended this event.”

LIINC organizers targeted new faculty from health sciences and STEM disciplines in an effort to introduce them to WVU’s technology transfer services and encourage conversations about innovation and commercialization. President James P. Clements recently stressed these outcomes in his State of the University address and the 2020 Strategic Plan for the Future.

“It was an effort to help research faculty think about how they can apply their research to the marketplace,” said Bruce Sparks, director of the Office of Technology Transfer. “We offered them the chance to meet and learn from researchers who are commercialization success stories including Elliot Kennel, Al Stiller, Bing Li and Chris Kolanko. The achievements of these faculty members in working to commercialize their research make them unofficial ambassadors on innovation, invention and commercialization.”

Provost Michele Wheatly Nigel Clark, associate vice president of Academic Strategic Planning; Jose Sartarelli, dean of the College of Business and Economics Fred King, chemistry professor and associate dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and assistant vice presidents for research from the WVU Health Sciences Center Jamal Mustafa and James O’Donnell were special guests at the event along with Mary Hunt-Lieving of the Benedum Foundation – the key sponsor of LIINC.



CONTACT: Lindsay Emery, WVU Research Corp.

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