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From campus to corporate: ORAU Sponsoring Institutions explore university research and development creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship

Business experts and university leadership discuss efficient ways to bring university research to the marketplace at annual workshop

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2013
FY13-13

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—ORAU welcomed more than 100 representatives from leading universities across the U.S. and abroad at its 68th Annual Meeting of the Council of Sponsoring Institutions recently. Experts and leaders from academia, government and private industry explored effective strategies, lessons learned and models of success in speeding university discoveries from research and development to the marketplace during this two-day workshop.

Bethany Acampora (center) from Clemson University discusses research and technologies with Thomas Russo from George Washington University (second from right) as other participants from the ORAU 68th Annual Meeting of the Council of Sponsoring Institutions observe.

Bethany Acampora (center) from Clemson University discusses research and technologies with Thomas Russo from George Washington University (second from right) as other participants from the ORAU 68th Annual Meeting of the Council of Sponsoring Institutions observe. Click image for high resolution version.

“With a consortium of 109 Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU had a unique opportunity during this event to convene the right people who could take what was discussed back to their institution and make a significant impact on moving research into the marketplace quicker,” said ORAU President and CEO Andy Page. “So many people would benefit if more of the research and technology at the university level could be applied and available sooner to organizations and the public—not to mention the jobs this could create.”

One of the keynote addresses presented by Lesa Mitchell, vice president, Advancing Innovation, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, focused on next-generation approaches to entrepreneurial growth at universities. She discussed successful models to support commercialization, best practices and success stories. Mitchell urged institutions to “reward and celebrate both failures and successes” as an incentive when trying to move concepts to market. She said the right culture must be created and maintained to make it happen and stressed “collaborators are key” in the process.

ORAU President and CEO Andy Page and ORAU Vice President for University Partnerships Dr. Arlene Garrison

ORAU President and CEO Andy Page and ORAU Vice President for University Partnerships Dr. Arlene Garrison kicked off the two-day workshop at ORAU. Click image for high resolution version.

The other keynote speaker, Christopher McKinney, associate vice president, Office of Technology Transfer and Economic Development, Georgia Regents University, and ORAU Board member, provided numerous case studies of research-to-market success stories and failures, including some still in the process. During his “Creating the Future” presentation, McKinney emphasized the importance to “think differently,” citing the cliché that if we continue to do what we have always done, we will get the same result. He said innovators must “see opportunities others do not see” and act on them.

“The feedback from workshop participants has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Dr. Arlene Garrison, vice president for University Partnerships at ORAU. “Several new people joined this annual meeting this year, and others have participated for several years; the common theme in the feedback is the participants said they appreciate the information and expert advice in addition to the opportunity to network with people in similar job positions from around the world.”

A complete list of speakers, topics, panelists and links to presentations is available online.

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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