Innovation on Display at UT Dallas Inventor Luncheon
Inaugural Event Recognizes Researchers for Patents, Inventions, Licenses and Start-up Companies
May 5, 2010
Inventors and academic entrepreneurs gathered recently to discuss innovation and the path to commercializing technologies at the University’s first Inventor Recognition Luncheon. The event was sponsored by the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC), which was formed in 2008 to protect and advance commercially attractive intellectual property at UT Dallas.
Recent Patent Recipients at UT Dallas
Dr. Kenneth Balkus, professor of chemistry, “Mesoporous Compositions for Use in Drug Delivery”
Dr. Jeong-Bong Lee, associate professor of electrical engineering, “Tapered Hollow Metallic Microneedle Array Assembly and Method of Making and Using the Same”
Dr. Louis (Bob) Hunt, professor emeritus of electrical engineering, “System, Method and Apparatus for Controlling Converters Using Input-Output Linearization”
Dr. Duncan MacFarlane, professor of electrical engineering, “Apparatus and Method for Patient Movement Tracking”
Dr. Kenneth Balkus, professor of chemistry; Dr. John Ferraris, head of chemistry; Dr. Duck Joo Yang, associate dean, “Polymer Electrolyte and Fuel Cell Using the Same”
Researchers who obtained a patent, disclosed an invention or received a license for their technology between September 2008 and December 2009 were recognized at the luncheon, as were innovators who had founded start-up companies.
Researchers funded by the Texas Ignition Fund or the Texas Emerging Technology Fund were also spotlighted. Funding from these sources helps shorten the time between when a technology is created and when an actual product is ready for commercialization.
According to Robert L. Robb, associate vice president for technology commercialization, the gathering helped recognize faculty members who spent considerable time beyond their research commitments to patent and commercialize technologies.
UT Dallas President David E. Daniel presented each patent recipient with a plaque and emphasized the increasingly important role universities must play to encourage innovators and entrepreneurs.
“It’s a critical time for universities to step forward and actively protect and promote inventions,” Daniel said. “We created the Office of Technology Commercialization to help researchers and to maximize the impact and usefulness of our research, and the professionals at OTC have the tools and expertise to do that. Every UT Dallas researcher should consider utilizing this resource whenever the research might be of practical use outside the University.”
Start-up companies were emphasized as part of the University’s commitment to move promising technologies out of the academic arena and into the marketplace. UT Dallas start-ups include:
- Kidney Stone Tech.
- Magnetic Resonance Research Accessories.
Dr. Duncan MacFarlane, professor of electrical engineering in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, was among those recognized for receiving a patent and forming a start-up company. MacFarlane and his team developed an optical technology to track patient movements during an MRI scan. This enables the machine to adjust its focusing coils for real-time tracking of the patient, which produces more accurate scans.
MacFarlane acknowledged the benefits he experienced working with the OTC.
“The Office of Technology Commercialization is a professionally run, highly effective organization that energetically works with the inventors and interested managers to drive the adoption of worthy inventions,” MacFarlane said. “Over the next years, this office will inspire researchers to invent and will guide them towards commercially relevant patents. The result will be a brighter economic environment and a healthier high tech community in the region.”
According to Robb, time is of the essence for researchers looking to patent an invention. The first step is disclosing the invention to the OTC, even before research results are published. This is important because once results are published, some patent rights are lost and an invention may become less attractive for commercialization.
The process of disclosure allows the OTC to evaluate whether the invention is likely to receive a patent and be commercially viable. Disclosures also allow the OTC to strategize about how to commercialize UT Dallas innovations. Robb said UT Dallas shares commercial revenues with researchers in the amount of 50 percent, which is among the most generous arrangements in academia. Relationships between start-up companies and the University can be even more generous in the researcher’s favor, according to Robb.
“Advancing technologies that improve lives is a significant part of a university’s service mission,” Robb said. “We think it’s important to create, invent, disclose, protect and commercialize those technologies for the benefit of the people who fund most of our research, the public.”
President Daniel presented plaques to patent recipients, including Dr. Louis (Bob) Hunt, professor emeritus of electrical engineering. Hunt invented an algorithm that allows a power converter to increase or decrease DC voltage from a power source.
Behavioral and Brain Sciences
Engineering and Computer Science
|A.L. Praveen Aroul
Sang Ho Lee
Sang Hoon Lee
Xavier Lepró Chávez
Ms. Stacey McLeroy
Miguel Razo Razo
Si Qing Zheng
Interdisciplinary StudiesLi Tao
|Natural Sciences and Mathematics|
Ms. Marilou de la Cruz
Márcio Dias Lima
Raquel Ovalle Robles
Duck Joo (DJ) Yang
|Texas Ignition Fund Recipients|
and Computer Science
|A.L. Praveen Aroul
Technology License Recipients
|Engineering and Computer Science||Louis Hunt