TCS Licensing Group Launches Two New Webinar Series

The TCS Licensing group launched two new webinar series this Fall.  The first, the Industry Partnership Series, explores open innovation opportunities that exist in the industry. The companies presenting will discuss their areas of interest and how they work with universities to further innovation. The second, the Innovation Series, focuses on different aspects of intellectual property protection. The installments focus on patent prosecution, inventorship in academia, patentable subject matter, preparing effective invention disclosures, and software that impacts the research community.

“Our hope for these series is to educate faculty on how to prepare an invention disclosure, to review patent prosecution, and explore partnership and innovation opportunities with industry to further research in the lab.” – Amit Kumar, Senior Director of Licensing. 

Learn more about these webinars and register for upcoming topics on our event webpage.

TCS Attends BIO Conference

After two years of attending virtually, it was exciting to represent UConn at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) International Convention in San Diego this past June. BIO is the world’s largest advocacy association representing member companies, state biotechnology groups, academic and research institutions, and related organizations across the United States and in 30+ countries. UConn had over 100 assets showcased this year, and I had the opportunity to meet with industry liaisons to discuss possible partnerships.

One of the biggest takeaways from the event is the pharmaceutical industry’s increasing interest in working with universities early in the research process. I met with several industry liaisons who will be working directly with TCS in the near future. They will be scouting our technologies and potentially moving UConn technologies from the bench to market. TCS is excited to the explore potential partnerships made possible through the conference and put UConn research on the road to meeting needs and changing the biotech world.

Author: Ana Lena Fidantsef, Industry Liaison

TCS Promotes Funding Opportunity with Global Biotech Company

Dr. Ana Fidantsef, of the TCS Licensing team, collaborated with CSL in promoting the 2022 Research Acceleration Initiative across UConn and identifying faculties whose research aligned with CSL. CSL Ltd is a leading global biotech company operating in over 35 countries, with headquarters in Australia. CSL develops and delivers innovative biotherapies to help people living with life-threatening medical conditions. CSL’s Research Acceleration Initiative aims to fast-track discovery of innovative biotherapies through partnerships between CSL and global research organizations. These partnerships provide funding and access to industry experts for scientists working on novel therapeutic strategies. Successful applicants will receive up to $200k p.a. for up to 2 years (max $400k funding).

The 2022 Research Acceleration Initiative was launched in December, 2021 with a focus on innovative research projects that address unmet medical needs and that are aligned with CSL’s Therapeutic Areas and scientific Platform.  A total of 6 applications were submitted by UConn’s faculty through TCS by the close of deadline.

Other opportunities like this can be found on TCS’s Innovation Funding Opportunities webpage.

Author: Dr. Amit Kumar, Senior Director of Licensing

Dr. Neeraj Visen joins TCS as Licensing Director for Engineering

Technology Commercialization Services is happy to announce the addition of a new team member, Dr. Neeraj Visen in the role of a new Licensing Director for Engineering.

Neeraj has a doctoral degree in engineering, a project management diploma, and over 18 years of experience in technology transfer in university environments in both Canada and the USA and in private sector. He has broad experience generating start-ups and license transactions, including deals with Fortune 500 companies for both physical and life science technologies. Additionally, his experience working in the private and technology start up sectors brings insight into collaborations with industry.

Neeraj looks forward to mobilizing UConn research to the world. “This job is exciting and gratifying. Every day technologies come out of universities that change the world for the better. It is a global effort and I am proud and happy to be part of that community, and the UConn research community.”

TCS Welcomes Michael Invernale as Senior Licensing Manager

TCS welcomes Michael A. Invernale as the new Senior Licensing Manager for Physical Sciences.  He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Boston College, where he worked on nanoparticles for aqueous soluble semiconductor nanocrystals. Michael also holds a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Connecticut, spanning the Chemistry Department and the Institute of Materials Science; his dissertation focused on organic conducting polymers with a variety of properties, including color-changing functionality. Michael was also a postdoctoral associate in the Langer Lab at MIT, where his studies centered around novel sensing platforms using microneedle arrays and conducting polymers for diabetes therapeutics.

While at MIT, a UConn start-up company, Alphachromics, which was co-founded by Michael and his PhD advisor, Gregory A. Sotzing, gained traction and attracted him back to Storrs. Throughout his graduate and entrepreneurial work, Michael engaged with Tech Transfer, intellectual property, and marketing of nascent technologies.

Now back at UConn, Michael is excited to be a part of UConn’s research world once again: “I am very eager to engage with faculty and to make a meaningful contribution to the successes of the many incredible technological innovations generated at the University on a daily basis. There is no dearth of talented individuals here who give us the opportunity to learn about their amazing new scientific achievements and to find ways to bring them into the broader marketplace. This office plays a unique role in the life cycle of technology, and it is a vibrant place to work for any curious and creative individual.”

Author: Michael Invernale, Senior Licensing Manager for Physical Sciences

TIP Digital Company Tackles Mental Health

Mental health remains a concern for all of us, but especially among the parents, teachers and organizations that see the devastating effects of declining mental health among our teenage population, primarily among young girls. From February to March 2021, emergency rooms visits for suspected suicide attempts were over 50% higher among girls aged 12–17 compared to that same period in 2019, according to a study published by this summer by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

When speaking about the state of our youth’s mental health, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy states, “This is a critical issue that we have to do something about now. We can’t wait until after the pandemic is over.” 

When TIP Digital had the opportunity to work with CEO Wendy Ward and her team at futuresTHRIVE, a tech company focused on developing mental health intervention tools for schools and pediatric doctors, we were thrilled. Not only is Wendy and her team focused on a topic near and dear to many of us at TIP and the broader Stamford community, but they are addressing a devastating gap in current mental health diagnoses: baselining a child’s mental health characteristics from age 4 so as to identify high-risk patients and intervene early on. 

futuresTHRIVE will graduate the TIP Digital program in February 2022 after reaching some impressive milestones: 

  • Raising an additional $125,000K. 
  • Receiving a recommendation from the National Science Foundation for a grant investment of $256,000 for design phase 2. 
  • Out of 263 participants, being among the 8 finalists at the prestigious Ignite Healthcare Fire Pitch Competition. 

We are excited to continue to work with Wendy and her team as they become alumni of the program and can’t wait to see all the success they achieve and lives they positive impact in 2022 and beyond.  

If you are a doctor or school practitioner interested in learning more about futuresTHRIVE’s product or becoming a strategic partner in their success, please email Wendy Ward at info@futuresTHRIVE.com. 

Author: Margaret Feeney, Director of TIP Digital 

TCS Launches Online Portal for Invention Disclosures

Technology Commercialization Services (TCS) has launched a new online portal for submission of new invention disclosures for faculty, staff and students across all campuses. The new online portal will make it easier and more efficient for inventors to submit their invention disclosure and will also allow them to track its progress through the intellectual property protection process. The forms allow the inventors to attach any relevant documents such as manuscripts, posters and the signed signature page. In addition to the standard invention disclosure form, a separate form is available for software inventions.  Both forms can be accessed using the link https://uconn.wellspringsoftware.net/.

TCS works with innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, and industry partners to transform UConn discoveries into products, companies, and jobs that benefit society and fuel economic development. Through a coordinated approach between tech transfer, licensing, and startup teams, TCS provides services that enable success for faculty, business, Connecticut, and beyond.

Author: Amit Kumar, Director of Licensing