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K-State Today

September 12, 2022

Celebrating 80 years of innovation

Submitted by Livy Seirer

K-State Innovation Partners 80th anniversary — 1942 to 2022.

In September 1942, Kansas State College President F.D. Farrell called together several outstanding individuals to organize themselves as the board of directors of the Kansas State College Research Foundation — which became K-State Innovation Partners in 2020.

Today, Sept. 12, K-State Innovation Partners is celebrating the 80th anniversary of its establishment and reflects on the growth and evolution that have taken place since.

The Kansas Board of Regents established a patent policy for Kansas State College on Oct. 31, 1941, and it was the mission of the newly formed board to ensure compliance. The board also began raising funds for the Research Foundation's operation by requesting contributions from companies and industries that needed scientific solutions or equipment. By the end of 1943, the Foundation raised $3,550 in donations — equivalent to nearly $60,000 today.

Research Foundation firsts:

  • The first disclosure was received from Harold W. Batchelor in 1922 for making stoppers for bottles and test tubes.
  • The first U.S. patent application was filed Oct. 12, 1944, and cost $40.60. That year, the estimated cost to secure an issued patent was $80. The patent was for a plastic container for frozen foods to be used in freezer lockers.
  • The first international patent application was filed in the United Kingdom on March 20, 1947, on the potato granule dehydration process. The Industrial Management Trust of London funded the application.
  • The first U.S. patent issued was on Dec. 6, 1949, for "Dehydrating Process for Starchy Vegetables, Fruits and the Like."
  • The first consideration of license was to American Home Foods Inc. for the potato granule dehydration process patent.
  • The first royalty income was received in May 1961.

Though much has changed in the past 80 years, K-State Innovation Partners remains committed to helping K-State faculty protect their intellectual property and commercialize their technology. By connecting K-State capabilities and assets to market needs, Innovation Partners boosts economic growth and prosperity.

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