Creating Startup Universities

Lindsay Emery

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    32 comments  ·  General » University-Industry Partnerships  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Lindsay Emery supported this idea  · 
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    Lindsay Emery commented  · 

    In response to alaskabrat007's inquiry:

    LIINC hosts a variety of on-campus events to encourage interdisciplinary creative thinking, technology transfer activity, and research between faculty, graduate students, and industry representatives. First, college-specific dinners focus on graduate student research, and maintain a 1:1:1 ratio with each student, faculty advisor, and industry representative. Second, based on WVU faculty requests, college-specific panels bring in peer faculty who share their experience for balancing teaching, research, service and entrepreneurial pursuits. Third, the most expansive LIINC events are receptions showcasing faculty research in three disciplines identified as WVU research strengths: security and intelligence research, bioscience and biomedical research, and energy and environmental research. These receptions include panel presentations from industry representatives, which serve as opportunities for companies to share with university faculty what type of research and development they are seeking. This knowledge inspires applied and mission-oriented research from WVU faculty.

    LIINC offers administrators, faculty, and students a unique opportunity to share their research with an audience unlike those they regularly interact with at academic conferences. Rather than presenting to their peers, researchers were presenting to members of the private sector and to the business representatives that are constantly on the lookout for new, creative ideas, methods, and projects. As most researchers had little to no prior experience sharing their work to such an audience, introductory coaching, specific outlines, and constant communication were necessary to increase their likelihood for success. One-on-one, in-person meetings have been held with every single graduate student and faculty member that has presented a poster at a LIINC event. A popular military format, the quad chart, is introduced to and required of all poster presenters to help them share their research in a concise, applied-research format. This incites the STEM students and faculty to think from a business perspective and not just scientifically. LIINC has held over 60 one-on-one meetings of this nature, and has received overwhelming praise from the private sector on the simplicity, comprehension, and applicability of the quad chart format.

    For those involved, LIINC has impacted and changed the way faculty and students think about research. A faculty member from the WVU Department of Physiology and Pharmacology shared that in her 20 years of doing research, she had never considered commercialization. However, after attending the bioscience and biomedical LIINC event, she met with a patent attorney to discuss her research and IP potential. This is one example of translating a faculty researcher’s basic science approach to ask and answer the question: How can I apply my research to the marketplace? Addressing this question attracts an entirely new purpose, perhaps one with a more tangible meaning, for faculty and students alike. While this innovative perspective is not new, its novelty on WVU’s campus illustrates how impactful LIINC has been in opening doors in the commercialization realm, and that story has been told in numerous internal and external media outlets.

    A WVU faculty member wrote: “I was greatly impressed by this event and strongly urge continuing similar events until we reach a saturation point (which we will see plainly by attendance patterns) after which we might try spacing the events out more in time.” An industry representative had a similar comment: “I was very pleased with the event and the caliber of representatives from both the university and industry present at the event. I thought the event was incredibly well organized and communication was excellent. Overall, the event was fantastic and I look forward to attending next year's.” A PPG representative, who serves as the university liaison for the Pittsburgh/Morgantown region, said that of all of the university events he had attended, the LIINC graduate student dinner was by far the best format he had ever seen. Over 95% of the survey respondents for the thirteen events agreed that WVU should host more events, with a majority of respondents, faculty and industry alike, stating that they established contacts with whom they will continue conversation, and found the event valuable with respect to their research and/or future business interests.

    Lindsay Emery shared this idea  · 

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