In 2013, the UNH-IOL will enter its 25th year. In 1988, the needs of two competitive companies to work together to their mutual benefit helped form the InterOperability Laboratory. Since then, the thousands of companies partnering with the UNH-IOL all have benefited from this collaborative experiment between industry and academia.
On March 19, 2013, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued UNH’s first Design Patent for the Tablet Pedestal/AT Pad Stand, a device developed by Dr. Therese Willkomm. Dr. Willkomm is the Director of ATinNH, the New Hampshire state-wide assistive technology program with the Institute on Disability, and also an assistant professor in the occupational therapy department.
What happens when you have a round-table discussion among entrepreneurs and early stage companies in Durham’s incubator Idea Greenhouse, led by the Seacoast regional manager of the Small Business Development Center, with experts who know how to write a winning SBIR proposal, know how to reduce the roadblocks related to intellectual property and have state funding to seed research/business partnerships? You have all the ingredients of a collaborative program that offers a pathway from innovation to commercialization and job creation for NH.
The ORPC Innovation Catalyst Seminar Series is hosted monthly during the academic year. The Series allows for the discussion of issues and case studies, led by experienced speakers, that are of common interest and relevant to technology innovation and commercialization. In February, ORPC hosted a lively discussion on Innovations in Mobile Apps.
Our speakers presented different experiences and driving forces behind their own app development activities to a packed house of faculty, staff, students, and budding app developers from around New Hampshire.
Since President Obama signed the America Invents Act (AIA) in September 2011, people with even a passing interest or remote connection to the patent system have had March 16, 2013 circled on their calendar. The United States Patent System has been turned on its head, with some proclaiming victory. Common sentiments are that the law brings U.S.
New legislators were sworn in recently in Concord, NH and the NHIRC is ramping up to inform them about the program and its impact on the state’s jobs and economic development. NHIRC Day will be held on February 5th at noon in St. Paul’s Church where legislators are being invited to meet representatives from some of New Hampshire’s most innovative companies to learn how translational research funding helps companies innovate, stay and grow in New Hampshire, and how the NHIRC is a proven job creator for NH with 20:1 leverage on dollars spent.
On November 27, 2012, I attended the Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference in Manchester, New Hampshire to showcase Dr. Therese Willkomm’s assistive technologies. I have the pleasure of working with one of UNH’s most creative and inventive faculty members, who is regularly referred to as the MacGyver of Assistive Technology (AT). Dr. Willkomm literally travels the world lecturing on rehabilitative technologies and constructing extraordinary tools on site to help those with disabilities.
I review many of the published research or research-focused press releases and news articles coming from UNH. As a publicly funded state institution, I recognize that publishing research and disseminating information is not only the faculty’s highest concerns, but also UNH’s top priority. However, commercializing UNH’s innovations is an integral part of the University’s long-term mission.