A twinkle in the eye—just the hint of an idea—is all some faculty have when they contact UC’s entrepreneurial and technology transfer experts.
"Some come with a very vague idea, others come with a fully formed idea and some even have a prototype ready,” says Geoffrey Pinski, director of the newly reorganized UC Office of Entrepreneurial Affairs and Technology Commercialization.
The new office, led by Dorothy Air, PhD, associate vice president for entrepreneurial affairs and technology commercialization, has been transformed to take on a much more integrated approach to entrepreneurial activity at UC.
"We are taking a more comprehensive look at ideas and working to identify the right resources and bring the right partners to the table from the beginning,” says Air.
Pinski, formerly interim director of the Intellectual Property Office, handles day-to-day operations of the university’s intellectual property functions. Activity is focused on working with faculty to stimulate invention disclosures, seek legal protection for inventions that demonstrate commercial potential, implement marketing campaigns to seek licensees and negotiate the terms of license agreements. The office has to be selective as they choose which inventions to protect, but Pinski is quick to say that he welcomes all ideas and wants to learn about every single one.
"It really just takes one technology to push a university over the edge in terms of licensing income,” he says.
"The new office concentrates on seeking the best commercialization pathway, and collaboration is a key strategy for achieving success. While it all starts within the university, working with external resources such as BIOSTART, Hamilton County Business Center and CincyTechUSA to move ideas from a concept to a company is essential,” says Air.
The life-science company OsteoDynamics, founded by UC’s Amit Bhattacharya, PhD, and Nelson Watts, MD, is a great example of the collaborative nature of commercialization. The company, which will develop a new diagnostic tool to test a patient’s risk of bone fracture based on the concept of "bone shock absorbance,” was formed with the help of Integrated BioScience Solutions, LLC, (IGBS) and BIOSTART.
OsteoDynamics will be based out of BIOSTART and David Ralph of IGBS will serve as the chief executive officer.
The bone shock absorbance technology and its associated know-how, developed at UC by Bhattacharya and Watts, was licensed to OsteoDynamics from the university. OsteoDynamics also received $125,000 of seed financing from Southern Ohio Creates Companies—an Ohio Third Frontier-supported program.
"OsteoDynamics is a great example of how UC can work with faculty and business partners to leverage the great work happening on campus into positive economic gain for our community,” says Air, who is also a loaned executive from UC to CincyTechUSA.
To contact UC’s entrepreneurial affairs and technology transfer team, visit ipo.uc.edu or call (513) 558-6293.