Prof. Tom Laue Named Innovator of the Year at UNHInnovation Event

Award given as UNH announces new initiatives to increase commercialization success

Monday, October 27, 2014
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UNHInnovation at the University of New Hampshire recently announced the establishment of a new center as well as a mentoring network and a seed fund to expand entrepreneurship throughout the university and the state using the research output of faculty, staff and students to drive economic development in the state.

"The Peter T. Paul Entrepreneurship Center will extend the work of UNHInnovation and also provide support to students throughout the university," said Provost Lisa MacFarlane. "It is the next step in our efforts to integrate entrepreneurship across all seven colleges and we're grateful for Mr. Paul's ongoing commitment to increasing entrepreneurial activity on campus. Combined with the Paul College's leadership in promoting a university wide entrepreneurship minor and a network of alumni mentors, the center will support all students who want to take what they've learned and turn it into tangible actions in the world. It is the ultimate student learning outcome."

Tom Laue, professor of molecular, cellular and biomedical science, was awarded the university's Innovator of the Year Award for his work on innovative instruments and methods to analyze biomolecular interactions. Laue is the founding director of two UNH centers: the Center to Advance Molecular Interaction Science, and the Biomolecular Interaction Technologies Center.

"Tom has done some very cool and innovative science in studying the absolute properties of molecules, including critical developments in the ultra-sophisticated instrumentation necessary for the research," said Maria Emanuel, associate director of UNHInnovation. "And as significant as these scientific achievements are the partnerships he has developed throughout the world and across university and industry sectors. These partnerships have asked interesting questions, generated funding, and conducted creative research, comprised in the development of tools that have advanced both the understanding of fundamental scientific principles of molecular interactions as well as the development of safe and effective drug therapies and one of our first startup companies."

UNHInnovation advocates for, manages, and promotes the transfer of UNH research results to the public. UNHI strives to create partnerships between UNH and the business community that results in economic development, and is responsible for licensing UNH technologies and supporting start-up companies based on UNH's innovations.

"We take the outputs of the university and make them useful," said Marc Sedam, associate vice president of innovation and new ventures. "It's not just about the money, it's about use. We want to spread ideas, and we are, whether they come from our excellent research or are student generated. Licenses are one way to measure use and their number continues to rise. Just this year there were more than 120 licenses signed by UNHInnovation, many of them driven by the InterOperability Lab, and royalties more than doubled since 2010. These additional resources will allow us to continue to have a positive impact on the state's economy."