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Ohio University receives Deshpande Symposium award for technology commercialization excellence

From staff reports | Jun 17, 2016
Robert Silva, center, accepts Ohio University’s award during the fifth annual Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education. Presenting the award for Exemplary Practice in Technology Commercialization were Jack Wilson, president emeritus of the UMass system and UMass Lowell distinguished professor of higher education, emerging technologies and innovation, left; and entrepreneur Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande.
Robert Silva, center, accepts Ohio University’s award during the fifth annual Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education. Presenting the award for Exemplary Practice in Technology Commercialization were Jack Wilson, president emeritus of the UMass system and UMass Lowell distinguished professor of higher education, emerging technologies and innovation, left; and entrepreneur Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande. Photo credit: Tory Germann for UMass Lowell


The Ohio University Technology Transfer Office received the Deshpande Symposium’s Exemplary Practice in Technology Commercialization Award at a ceremony held this week in Lowell, Mass.

The university’s technology commercialization entry “best exemplified a program that helps accelerate innovations from the laboratory and research into commercialization across an institution,” according to the Deshpande Symposium’s awards committee.

The Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education brought together more than 300 university researchers, administrators and students with industry partners and leaders of venture incubators and foundations this week at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center. Participants in the fifth annual event—founded by UMass Lowell and the Deshpande Foundation—shared best practices, successes and challenges in implementing entrepreneurial education and action into all aspects of campus life. Individuals, colleges and universities that are at the vanguard of promoting entrepreneurship were recognized for their accomplishments with awards during the conference.

The Ohio University Technology Transfer Office is part of an institution-wide innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem that includes the Innovation Center and TechGROWTH Ohio as well as the Center for Entrepreneurship and Edison Biotechnology Institute. The university’s success in technology commercialization stems from team efforts among these cross-campus partners.

Ohio University was recognized, in part, for the following efforts and successes in technology commercialization:

The Technology Transfer Office directly provides assistance in moving technologies quickly from the laboratory to a path of commercialization by evaluating market potential and providing intellectual property protection.  During fiscal year 2015, the office reported $10.5 million in royalty income from research technology licenses and had 15 new patents issued. Currently, it maintains more than 25 technology licenses in biotechnology/medical devices, energy/environment and transportation.

Ohio University’s technology business incubator, the Innovation Center, offers space and customized business assistance services to startups. It has helped more than 200 companies create more than 1,200 jobs since its founding in 1983. The center’s 2013 and 2014 impact reports detail the creation of 123 jobs in 2013 and 140 in 2014, generating an estimated $10.5 million in labor income and an estimated $1.3 million in state and local tax revenues. 

TechGROWTH Ohio is a $40 million public-private partnership composed of the Ohio Third Frontier program, Ohio University and the private investment community. The program has invested $6.2 million in 12 portfolio companies and has created or retained more than 450 jobs. In addition to the funds invested in startups, TechGROWTH Ohio has directly assisted companies in winning an additional $174 million from revenue, loans and grants since its launch in 2007. The program also has helped create one of the largest rural angel investor networks in the country.

The Ohio Innovation Fund was launched in 2016 by Ohio University and The Ohio State University as an intermediate-stage venture capital fund supported by an initial investment of $39 million from the two universities. Support from the fund will be available to help foster innovative companies that emerge out of research conducted at Ohio University, Ohio State and other universities in Ohio. Fundraising efforts are underway to add additional institutional partners.

“We are honored to receive this important recognition from the Deshpande Symposium,” said Joseph Shields, vice president for research and creative activity and dean of the Graduate College. “The award is testimony to the dedication of our entrepreneurial ecosystem staff, and to Ohio University’s commitment to ensuring that the people of Ohio and beyond benefit from technological advances.”