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Nominations open for 2014 Konneker Medal for Commercialization and Entrepreneurship

From staff reports | Aug 15, 2014

The Vice President for Research and Creative Activity is soliciting nominations for the 2014 Konneker Medal for Commercialization and Entrepreneurship.

The Ohio University Foundation established the award to recognize current and former faculty members, students and alumni who have demonstrated excellence in innovation, invention, commercialization and entrepreneurship.

Nominations should consist of a letter and an optional appendix of supporting documentation. Entries should address, and will be judged by the degree to which they establish, a record of demonstrated excellence in innovation, invention, commercialization and entrepreneurship by the nominee. Submissions should be sent electronically to Joseph Shields, vice president for research and creative activity, at research@ohio.edu.

Konneker_Medal The deadline for nominations for the 2014 award cycle is Friday, Oct. 31. The selection committee, which is chaired by the vice president, will include the director of the Technology Transfer Office, one dean and two faculty members. The committee will make its selection by Dec. 1. Up to three awards may be given per year. The Konneker Medal will be presented at the Innovation Awards ceremony in the Baker Center Ballroom in March 2015.

The award is named for Wilfred Konneker, an Ohio University alumnus with a distinguished record in research and entrepreneurship. Konneker received his bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1943 and his master's degree in physics in 1947. He received a doctoral degree in nuclear physics from Washington University in 1950. The alumnus founded the Nuclear Consultants Corporation in St. Louis, Missouri, and either founded or co-founded six additional high-tech start-up companies.

Konneker was instrumental in the establishment of Ohio University's small business incubator, the Innovation Center, as well as the university biotechnology spin-off company Diagnostic Hybrids, Inc. He is one of the principal architects of the Cutler Scholars program. The research laboratories housing the Edison Biotechnology Institute at the Ridges were named in his honor to recognize his leadership and service. The Konneker Alumni Center also was named for the alumnus and his wife, Ann Lee. Konneker is a member of the Ohio University Foundation Board of Trustees.

VIDEO: Wilfred Konneker discusses the Konneker Medal, innovation and entrepreneurship at Ohio University.

Previous recipients of the Konneker Medal are:

2013: William Beale

While a faculty member in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology from 1960 to 1974, Beale created a new form of Stirling engine known as the Free-Piston Stirling Engine. He obtained a patent in 1971 and later left the university to found a start-up company, Sunpower, Inc., in Athens. Beale has received 26 patents for his work, and his company spun off two additional local technology firms.

2012: David Scholl and John Kopchick

Scholl is an Ohio University alumnus and the former president and CEO of Diagnostic Hybrids, Inc. Under his leadership, the Athens, Ohio company emerged as a world leader in cell- and monoclonal antibody-based diagnostics. Scholl is a current partner in the venture capital firm Athenian Venture Partners.

Kopchick is the Goll-Ohio Eminent Scholar and Professor of Molecular Biology in Ohio University's Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and Edison Biotechnology Institute. Kopchick and his group were the first to discover and characterize growth hormone receptor antagonists, which led to the development of an FDA-approved drug (Somavert®) for patients with acromegaly.

For more information or questions about the Konneker Medal, please contact the Office of the Vice President for Research and Creative Activity at research@ohio.edu or 740-593-0370 .