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Celebrating the Spirit of Entrepreneurship and Innovators

To celebrate achievements and innovation at the University of Idaho, leaders who worked on this year’s patent awards, patent applications and executed licenses will be honored during a special reception on Friday, April 29, as part of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Week.

“This is a special group of people who have spent years developing a unique idea that now is protected with a patent and/or licensed to a company,” says Gaylene Anderson, licensing associate, Office of Technology Transfer (OTT).

In addition to honoring University innovators, the University will also recognize companies that have partnered with the University to bring the research into lives of the public.

“Quite often we need to partner with a company to help get technologies to the next stage,” says Anderson. “You never know who will be interested in which projects and how it will take off.”

Anderson says honoring innovators with awards is just one small way to recognize the hard work and time that goes into the patent and licensing process.

“It is one of the most rigorous of peer review processes that I know of,” says Anderson.

Part of the process that makes it so difficult is making sure no one else is working on something similar and sometimes industry is not ready for the technology yet.

The Office of Technology Transfer helps University inventors through the sometimes long and expensive application process and connects them to businesses that may want to use the patent or create a spin-off company affiliated with the University. Anderson says the application process can get pricey – $20,000 - $50,000 – and can take three to five years to prosecute.

Patents and licenses issued to University researchers this year include a new variety of winter canola, soft and hard white winter wheat varieties, an early maturing Russet potato, a fresh market and frozen-fried processing Russet potato, the use of metal-coated nanosprings for hydrogen storage applications, a process to deposit materials on substrates such as semiconductor surfaces to create tiny, but precise features such as conductive pathways, development of a cost-effective process for the removal of phosphorus from waste water and a sensor that will provide an early diagnostic tool cancers

Other events taking place during Innovation Week include:

  • April 28: Innovations Showcase, which highlights the research and creative successes of University undergraduate and graduate students: www.uidaho.edu/innovationshowcase

  • April 29: Engineering Design EXPO, which is the region’s largest interdisciplinary exposition showcasing the world of engineering and technological innovation: www.uidaho.edu/engr/expo

  • April 29: Innovation reception and showcase for faculty, staff and student research, 4-5 p.m., SUB Appaloosa Lounge.

Learn more about activities and innovation online: www.uidaho.edu/innovation