A project that forges new business oriented relationships between West Virginia University researchers and representatives of private companies focused on turning ideas into new products has caught the attention of a national economic development organization in the form of a major award nomination.

WVU’s Linking Innovation, Industry and Commercialization project, funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, is designed to establish a pipeline between faculty researchers and the private sector to increase opportunities for research funding, technology licensing, partnerships, and jobs.

Thursday, during one of LIINC’s periodic signature showcase events where WVU faculty shared their energy and environmental research with a private sector audience on the lookout for new, creative ideas, methods, and projects, LIINC Program Manager Lindsay Emery announced that the program has been named by the University Economic Development Association as a finalist in its 2012 Awards of Excellence Competition in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship category.

Emery has been invited to present details of the successful economic development initiative at the UEDA Summit in October in Chattanooga, TN where WVU President Jim Clements will also be a major participant as he leads a discussion of trends, issues and tactics driving university led economic development.

Established in 1976, UEDA works to expand economic opportunity by leveraging research, community resources, campus planning, talent development, and technology commercialization. UEDA is the only national organization dedicated to bringing together the key public and private partners that fuel modern economic development. Universities join UEDA to share best practices, expand domain expertise and build new partnerships among private industry, government agencies and the economic development community.

LIINC showcase events provide a platform for creation of relationships that encourage a mission-oriented entrepreneurial culture for WVU students and faculty as well as the private sector. The outcomes of the alliances enhance the University’s contribution to economic growth in the region. For example, on Thursday, representatives from companies like Hopewell Ventures, KeyLogic, CONSOL Energy, American Electric Power, Chesapeake Energy, First-Energy the National Energy Technology Laboratory and Aither Chemicals interacted with WVU researchers.

In addition to the showcase events, LIINC has provided coaching and support to researchers who have little or no prior experience sharing their work to business representatives.

Emery explained that LIINC encourages researchers to present their work in a concise applied-research format that forces them to think from a business perspective and not just from a scientific standpoint. LIINC showcases like Thursday’s energy and environmental research event have drawn praise from private sector participants.

In Chattanooga on Oct. 21-24, WVU representatives will explain LIINC’s success in a 15-minute presentation. Winners will be selected by individuals attending the summit. UEDA judges that picked the finalists are from Arizona State University, the University of Kansas, Purdue University, the University of Alaska, Virginia Tech and other prominent institutions.

UEDA officials call the recognition, “the leading awards program for colleges and universities engaged in economic development.”



CONTACT: Lindsay Emery; LIINC
304.293.0391; lindsay.emery@mail.wvu.edu

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