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Ohio State Commercialization Center seen as unique model

Ohio State University has announced a new commercialization center that it calls a unique model for collaboration between university researchers and business -- one that will strengthen the state and national economies and increase university revenues.

The Technology Commercialization Center, which Ohio State says departs from typical university commercialization models, will emphasize partnerships between the colleges of engineering, food agricultural and environmental sciences, health sciences, business, law, and the Office of Research.

In a news release, OSU said the center will be housed within the Fisher College of Business and will "bring together, in one unified organization, new-technology evaluation, license negotiation, company-formation mentorship and undergraduate and graduate education on entrepreneurship and commercialization."

In addition, a Proof of Concept Center will be established to ensure inventions with the greatest potential for the commercial market will receive the most attention.

Caroline Whitacre, vice president for research, told hiVelocity in May that the center was in development.

"We need to prioritize these technologies and develop the most promising ones further within the university," she said at the time. "So the idea here is twofold: to do a thorough evaluation of these technologies, and that involves bringing in some people from outside as well, bringing in some market experts, both local and national. And using the expertise within the university to look at what's really valuable."

OSU says the strategy presents a significant opportunity to generate new revenue for the university, which is recruiting a chief commercialization officer to lead the effort. Ohio State, based in Columbus, ranks in the top ten nationally with $716 million in research expenditures in 2009 and is second in industry-sponsored research. The university's 2009 licensing revenue was $1.7 million.

Source: Ohio State University
Writer: Gene Monteith

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