Category Archives: Technology Transfer

N.C. A&T named 1890 University of the Year, honored for innovation and overall excellence

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has been named the 1890 University of the Year.

N.C. A&T shared the award with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. The honor was presented by the Council of 1890 Universities of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. The council presents the 1890 Teaching, Research and Innovation Awards to honor achievements at the 18 land-grant universities created by the federal Morrill Act of 1890.  All are historically black universities.

A&T also received the Innovation Award for the largest increase in transferring intellectual property into new products, processes, or services from 2012-2013 through 2013-2014. A&T shared this honor with the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff.

Among the innovations that A&T researchers have introduced recently are the world’s first hypoallergenic peanuts and a process to replace some of the petroleum content of asphalt with a substance derived from hog manure.

“It’s a tremendous honor for the extraordinary work being done on our campus by administrators, educators, researchers and our students,” Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. said.

“As we continue the journey to fulfill our strategic plan, A&T Preeminence 2020, it is imperative that we continue to make strides in the areas highlighted by this Council and beyond.”

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Research commercialization webinar course begins Tuesday, produced by NIH and free to researchers

What: Research Commercialization Introductory Course

When: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., October 7 to November 20. Lecture 1: The Importance of Commercializing Research, Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 1:00 to 2:30 pm ET

Registration: The course is free.  Click this link to register for all sessions: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/158991634 (or copy and paste this URL to your browser: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/158991634).

Once registered, you will receive an email reminder 24 hours before each session.

About the course:

Each lecture is a live 90-minute online class with Q&A.

Now on its seventh run, the Research Commercialization Introductory Course is a popular online course designed to help science and engineering researchers better understand how research commercialization works. Over 5,000 students, faculty and researchers have taken this course since it’s been offered.

Research commercialization involves taking articles, documentation, know-how, patents, and copyrights, which are created during research activities and getting them to users and patients for real societal impacts. In some cases, commercialization involved taking patents based on the research and licensing them to a company. This usually involves also having the researchers consult to the company. In other cases, commercialization involves forming of creating a startup and applying to federally funded commercialization programs. In all cases, though, research commercialization typically involves defining the nature of the research being commercialized (e.g., in a patent or intellectual property agreement), establishing a commercial relationship with another party (e.g., employment, a sale or license), and negotiating a contract (e.g., compensation).

Areas covered in the course include intellectual property, patents, copyrights, trade secrets, trademarks, licensing agreements, employment agreements, consulting agreements, tech transfer, creating and funding companies, and federally funded Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs

Who should take this course?

The Research Commercialization Course is recommended for all science, engineering and medical researchers in public or private research institutions (e.g., grad students, post-docs, and faculty). This is an indispensable course for S&E grad students looking for jobs in the next 6-18 months.

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N.C. A&T’s Eco-Core: Part of the solution to coal ash

Screenshot from UNC-TV website

Dr. Kunigal Shivakumar explains Eco-Core to UNC-TV from his lab in the Fort IRC

In five fast-paced minutes, UNC-TV tells you just about everything you need to know about Eco-Core, the material N.C. A&T engineers have created from fly ash, part of the coal ash produced by coal-powered power plants. Its tremendous fire resistance, strength, water resistance and very light weight make it a miracle material and part of the solution to the coal ash problem.

Click here to see the report from “North Carolina Now.”

Welcome back! Here’s a summer news recap: Hypoallergenic peanuts, EPICS, NC TraCS & more

To all who were gone over the summer, welcome back. Here’s a rundown of the top research-related news at A&T since May:

Faculty members, department chairs, and deans: We want to write about your research, scholarly and creative activity!  Let us know about it; click here for email.

Hypoallergenic peanuts developed by N.C. A&T licensed for use in food products, immunotherapy

Hypoallergenic peanuts, peanut butter, and other peanut products are a step closer to grocery stores with the signing of an exclusive licensing agreement for the patented process that reduces allergens in peanuts by 98 percent.

Head shot of Dr. Yu

Dr. Jianmei Yu

N.C. A&T signed the agreement with Xemerge, a Toronto-based firm that commercializes emerging technologies in food, agriculture, and a variety of other fields. Xemerge has opened an office at the Gateway University Research Park south campus in Greensboro.

“This is one of the best technologies in the food and nutrition space we have seen,” said Johnny Rodrigues, Chief Commercialization Officer of Xemerge.

“It checks all the boxes: non-GMO, patented, human clinical data, does not change physical characteristics of the peanut along with maintaining the nutrition and functionality needed, ready for industry integration from processing and manufacturing to consumer products.”

The process was developed by Dr. Jianmei Yu, a food and nutrition researcher in A&T’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, and two former A&T faculty members, Dr. Mohamed Ahmedna and Dr. Ipek Goktepe, both of whom are now at Qatar University.

“Treated peanuts can be used as whole peanuts, in pieces or as flour to make foods containing peanuts safer for many people who are allergic,” Dr. Yu said.

“Treated peanuts also can be used in immunotherapy,” she said. “Under a doctor’s supervision, the hypoallergenic peanuts can build up a patient’s resistance to the allergens.”

Research funding was provided by the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Clean-energy developer Adewuyi, other faculty honored with 2014 Research Excellence Awards

A nationally recognized pioneer in clean-energy development has been named Senior Researcher of the Year at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

Over a career of more than 25 years, Dr. Yusuf “Debo” Adewuyi has skillfully fused chemical engineering and environmental science to explore new dimensions of energy production, including the use of nanoscale materials and sound-wave technology for pollution control.

Dr. Adewuyi is one of five individual researchers and one research team selected this year for N.C. A&T’s highest research honor, the Research Excellence Awards. In addition to Dr. Adewuyi, the honorees are:

  • Dr. Justin Zhan, Department of Computer Science, Outstanding Junior Researcher;
  • Dr. Stephanie Kelly, Department of Business Education, and Dr. Lifeng Zhang, Department of Nanoengineering at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, co-winners of the Rookie of the Year award;
  • Dr. Salil Desai, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Intellectual Property Award; and
  • The NSF CREST Bioenergy Center, Interdisciplinary Team Award.

They were chosen from a field consisting of faculty members selected as researchers of the year by their colleges and schools. The winners and nominees will be honored Friday April 11 at the annual Celebration of Faculty Excellence.

Details on the winners follow the jump.

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Engineering Research Center gains key collaborator for commercializing its revolutionary technology

Mir Imran, InCube Labs founder and CEO

Mir Imran, right, InCube Labs founder and CEO, tours one of the Engineering Research Center labs at N.C. A&T

InCube Labs structure and capabilitiesThe NSF Engineering Center for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials is introducing a significant new collaborator today.  Executives of InCube Labs of San Jose are at N.C. A&T  to sign an agreement to work together on bringing the ERC’s technology to the medical marketplace.

InCube takes basic biomedical technology and develops medical applications that physicians can use to improve patient outcomes. InCube has spun off more than 20 companies that produce implantable devices, drug delivery combinations, and interventional devices and use novel biomaterials. That background positions it well for implementing the ERC’s novel magnesium alloys and other technology for implantable, bioresorbable medical devices.

Significance of the agreement

Dr. Leon Esterowitz of the National Science Foundation says InCube’s commercialization expertise addresses a critical gap in the way biomedical technology is developed today. Dr. Esterowitz is the NSF program director working with the ERC.

“Translating knowledge from biomedical science into clinical applications has been compared to crossing a ‘valley of death’ because of the many issues that separate the scientist at the research bench from the M.D. at the bedside,” Esterowitz says.

“Forty years ago basic and clinical research were linked in institutions such as NIH. Medical research was largely done by physician-scientists who also treated patients. That changed with the explosion of molecular biology in the 1970s. Clinical and basic research started to separate, and biomedical research departments emerged as a new discipline.

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