Wright State University home page. From Invention to Market 2004: Celebrating the 
Commercial Power of Innovation

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For further information contact:
Isabelle Gorrillot, D.Sc.
Assoc. Dir. for Technology Transfer
Research & Sponsored Programs
(937) 775-2651
Fax (937) 775-3781

The forum in pictures...

Attendance at the forum “From Invention to Market 2004” was beyond expectations. Out of 230 pre-registrants, 140 came and about 15 were on-site non-pre-registered individuals. I would like again to thank all exhibitors and speakers, as well as our attendees who came to Celebrate the Promise of Innovation with us this year, and share our enthusiasm in transferring our technologies into the market place.

I would like in particular to thank Ohio Representative Merle G. Kearns (left on the picture) for her presence at the event, Mr. Steven Lake (below left), Governor Taft’s representative in Dayton, as well as Dr. Marc Cloutier (below, right) for his presentation on Third Frontier funding opportunities, at the opening ceremony of the Showcase. The active contribution of our sponsors (listed below) definitely made the event a resounding success.

Dr. Mariana Morris, Mr. Robert Hickey, and Mr. Steven Lake

President Goldenberg, Dr. Marc Cloutier, and Dr. Isabelle Gorrillot

The Opening Ceremony

The Invention Showcase officially opened at 11.30 am with a presentation by Dr. Marc Cloutier, with President Goldenberg, and Dr. Gorrillot), Special Assistant for Biotechnology at the Ohio Department of Development on the Third Frontier opportunities for funding commercially oriented research projects.

Dr. Goldenberg reminded us of Wright State University’s commitment to fostering economic growth in the Dayton area and beyond. He indicated how events such as the technology forum “From Invention to Market” contribute to encourage convergence between academia, industry and government, and leverage synergies to operate a successful transition from a manufacturing to a knowledge economy.

The Invention Showcase

The Invention Showcase was well attended and resulted in initiating licensing discussions for one of the displayed technologies, as well as establishing a second start-up company based on an entire Wright State technology platform. This is very exciting and validates the technology forum model, but we of course hope that the negotiations will close favorably.

17 exhibitors presented their inventions this year at the technology showcase: eight in Health Sciences (Biology, Biomedical Engineering and Environmental Sciences), and eight in Physical Sciences, including IT, Computer Sciences and Mechanical & Materials Engineering. I would like first to thank all the exhibitors who took time to present their inventions at the Showcase, especially to the new participants this year: Dr. Dawn Wooley, Dr. John Turchi, Dr. Ping He, Dr. Roger Gilpin, Dr. Douglas Petkie, Dr. Raghavan Srinivasan, Dr. Xinhui Zhang, Dr. Forouzan Golshani.

Above, Dr. Xinhui Zhang explains the concept behind his optimization solutions for industrial applications.

The Seminars

This year again the forum comprised morning and afternoon seminars designed to provide a baseline understanding of the technology commercialization process, both from the university and from the corporate perspectives. The ultimate goal of the seminars is help academic and industry partners to work better, avoid misunderstandings that can sometimes lead to fiascos. This year, the forum offered an entire afternoon dedicated to entrepreneurship in order to provide some practical advice to get started. All presentations are available (unless otherwise indicated) on this website.

The morning sessions focused on the initiation part of the technology commercialization process. The core message is that securing intellectual property rights needs to be considered as early as at the funding stage (Dr. Sellers), especially if the project is going to be industry-sponsored. Thereafter, researchers and the technology transfer office need to work hands in hands to make sure that access to intellectual property rights (Tim Hagan, Esq. , left) are preserved by way, for example of sound invention disclosure and documentation (laboratory notebooks), or sensible communication with outside individuals (confidentiality).
The Bayh Dole Act (1980) really jump-started the commercialization by non-profit organizations such as universities, of patents resulting from federally sponsored research. The Act provides that universities act as the legal agent of the federal government for the ownership, management, and commercialization of technologies emerging from federally sponsored research. The Wright State University “Policy and Procedures for Intellectual Property” is consistent with the language set forth in the Bayh-Dole Act. Dr. Gorrillot (right) reviewed the various aspects and implications of the Bayh-Dole Act as far as industry-sponsored research and technology commercialization, as well as the steps involved in commercializing university inventions, and key success factors to establishing a mutually beneficial business relationship between the university and its corporate partners.

An Entrepreneurial afternoon…

Dr. Golshani, our new chair of Computer Sciences, and himself a successful entrepreneur, introduced this Entrepreneurial afternoon with an excellent seminar presenting the steps from scholarly research to entrepreneurship. As previously mentioned, moving the academic culture from “scholastic” to “entrepreneurial” is a necessity to technology commercialization and involves many cultural and organizational changes. Dr. Golshani dedicated the second part of his presentation to a key implementation aspect of this mutation from scholarly research to entrepreneurship: business planning. What is a business plan? Why a business plan? How to write a successful business plan? Dr. Golshani provided a few very pertinent tips and pointed out in particular, that writing a business plan requires a collaborative effort with outside professionals, including technical, but also definitely from the finance, legal, and licensing domains. His presentation also reminded of the necessity to have a realistic view about the status of a technology, which industry and finance leaders can accurately convey.
As the business plan shapes up, many legal issues pertaining to incorporation arise, such as tax, or capital structure. Dan Fauszt, Esq. gave us a brilliant outline of these issues and advised future entrepreneurs to address them at the earliest as they will play a determinant role in the future and growth of the emerging company. The technology transfer office assists future faculty entrepreneurs in “decanting” these issues through the involvement of outside legal counsel seasoned in this art.
The entrepreneurial afternoon closed with a unanimously acclaimed presentation from Christian Howard, Vice President of entrepreneurship at the Dayton Development Coalition. Christina, herself a seasoned entrepreneur who also held senior executive positions in the banking industry, now manages a network of Angels and Venture Capitalists in the Dayton area. She shared with us the different options available for early-stage funding, such as SBIRs, Third Frontier, Angels, and VCs, and how appropriate each is to what your technology is, and the level of risk you are ready and expected to take to commercialize it. Her presentation provided very helpful tips on the way these funding sources are likely to look at your business plan.
The Seminars were also well attended (right), which made the ITM technology forum a clear success. It was especially encouraging to spot a few WSU researchers such as Dr. Dawn Wooley (right) mingling with numerous executives from Industry (below, Dr. Anthony Grady, CEO of Synerbotic, Dayton; John Lewis, from OMERIS; Myron Leffe, from Leffe & Associates, Columbus), as well as other academic institutions (Dr. Dorothy Air, Sr. AVP Entrepreneurship at UC, here with Mark Bruemmer, CEO of NetMotifs, Cincinnati).
Such interdisciplinary and multi-level interaction sows the seeds to bridging the gap between culturally different entities and people, so as to actively foster regional economic development.

The second technology forum “From Invention to Market™” was meant to be a key convergence event at Wright State University, gathering university researchers, industry executives, economic development and government leaders to establish a constructive dialogue aiming to bridge the cultural gap between organizations sometimes operating on divergent agendas. It is clear that this goal was met, and I hope that this success will inspire a growing number of WSU researchers to consider new approaches to research that would combine their scientific interests with those of the community. Economic growth depends on Innovation, and Innovation depends on applied as well as basic research. Celebrating the Promises of Innovation requires the involvement of a growing number of our researchers.

I would also like to thank Conferences & Events, Marketing & Communication, CTL, Printing Services, and the Student Union administration.
We hope to see you at our invention forum “From Invention to Market 2005”
April 7, 2005
Student Union
10.30 am-2.30 pm

 

 

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