At its fifth annual Innovators' Dinner last week, UNHInnovation (UNHI) made good on its mission to recognize the full sweep of innovation, including intellectual property and creative work as well as more typical technological innovations. UNHI's annual Innovator of the Year Award went to the Prevention Innovations Research Center (PIRC) for its groundbreaking work in evidence-based practices to end sexual and relationship violence and stalking and for its business model, which helps sustain the work of the center.
"The objective of UNHInnovation is to move the ideas created at UNH outside the university to help make the world a better place," says Marc Sedam, associate vice provost for innovation and new ventures. "I can think of few better examples than the Prevention Innovations Research Center, so its choice as Innovator of the Year was easy. PIRC curricula, the only evidence-based violence prevention curricula in the market, are being used on more than 600 campuses to reduce relationship violence. If fully implemented, thousands upon thousands of students across the U.S. will be safer because of PIRC. If that doesn't make the world a better place I don't know what does."
Led by co-founders Jane Stapleton and Sharyn Potter, associate professor of sociology, Prevention Innovations Research Center has gained national recognition for its collaborative sexual assault prevention strategies and its leadership role in issues of sexual assault and violence on college campuses. In fiscal year 2015, PIRC licensed its Bringing in the Bystander® program to 106 colleges and schools, earning $111,000 in licensing revenue.
The Innovators' Dinner celebrated innovation at UNH in its many forms, recognizing dozens of faculty and staff for first-time disclosures, licenses, patents and trademarks. Governor Maggie Hassan launched the festivities with remarks that amplified the importance of UNH's role in fostering entrepreneurship in the state.
A presentation by Sedam highlighted ways in which UNHInnovation is bringing UNH-created ideas and products to a wider world. Successes in the past year include revenues of $732,000 and 371 licenses, which represent an increase in licenses of more than 700 percent since 2013. Over the past five years, UNHInnovation has tripled revenues and doubled startup creation.
Sedam also noted the growing momentum of the Peter T. Paul Entrepreneurship Center, which distributed its first Summer Seed Grants to four teams of student entrepreneurs in June, and the upcoming move of both UNHInnovation and the InterOperability Lab to a new space in downtown Durham.
Prevention Innovations Research Center received UNHInnovation's Innovator of the Year Award at the fifth annual Innovators' Dinner Oct. 1, 2015. From left: P.T. "Vasu" Vasudevan, UNH provost and vice president of academic affairs; PIRC co-directors Sharyn Potter and Jane Stapleton; Marc Sedam, associate vice provost for innovations and new ventures (rear); Robert Eckstein, PIRC lead trainer and curriculum development specialist; Vicky Banyard, professor of psychology and PIRC research and evaluation consultant; Caroline Leyva, PIRC lead trainer and curriculum development specialist; Jan Nisbet, UNH senior vice provost for research; Katie Edwards, assistant professor of psychology and PIRC research and evaluation consultant; Tim Benoit-Ledoux, UNHI licensing manager; Chelsey DiGiuseppe, UNHI marketing manager. (Photo: Kate and Keith Photography)