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K-State Today

December 23, 2011



Trewyn discusses university commercialization efforts for webinar series

By Communications and Marketing

Ron Trewyn, vice president for research, was a featured presenter in a webinar about how universities plan to meet President Barack Obama's initiative for university research commercialization.

The webinar series, "President Obama's Initiative on University Research Commercialization: How Universities Plan to Respond," was offered Dec. 20 and was presented by the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and Association of American Universities.

It was sponsored by the National Venture Capital Association, the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds and the University-Industry Demonstration Partnership representing the venture capitalists angel investors and Global 1000 private funders of research commercialization.

For the webinar, Trewyn gave a 10-minute presentation on Kansas State University's commercialization initiatives and took part in a Q-and-A. Also presenting was Barbara Entwisle, vice chancellor for research at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

In his presentation, Trewyn discussed several of the entities the university uses to commercialize intellectual property.

In 2007, K-State partnered with the city of Manhattan, Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, North Central Kansas Community Network, Kansas State University Foundation, Kansas State University Research Foundation and Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization to form a new program to recruit technology-based companies to the region, called the Knowledge Based Economic Development LLC.

At K-State, patents and intellectual property developed at the university is managed by the Kansas State University Research Foundation. Its portfolio includes 231 issued U.S. patents, with an additional 45 undergoing examination. The foundation is one of the first in nation created to manage intellectual property in academia.

Patents and technologies managed by the Research Foundation and other state universities are licensed to industry through the Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization, a not-for-profit technology transfer initiative. Since 1994, the Institute for Commercialization has created more than 170 jobs in the region, which average $57,000 annually. In the past 11 years the institute has also generated nearly $165 million in new revenue into the economy of Manhattan, and each month brings nearly $1 million in revenue back to the area. Additionally, it has created nearly 25 startup companies.

Information from Trewyn's presentation is available for download on PDF.

The webinar series was in response to President Obama's September 2011 announcement of new steps to help America's universities and research labs convert ideas into new products, create startups, expand the economy and create high-value 21st-century jobs. In coordination with the administration, 135 university presidents committed to working more closely with industry, investors and agencies to bolster entrepreneurship, encourage university-industry collaboration and advance the nation's social and economic interests. The commitments are aimed at helping achieve the president’s goal of strengthening commercialization of the nearly $148 billion in annual federally funded research and development.

The series is tied in to the Presidents-Investors Summit, a pre-conference event at the sixth annual University Startups Conference, Jan. 18-20, 2012. The summit will bring together university presidents, chancellors, provosts, vice-presidents, deans and the nation's leading investors in technology startups to continue the discussion on the importance of universities in startup generation and job creation. Trewyn will be among the attendees.