Ohio’s public universities may soon share more financial rewards for their research discoveries, thanks to training offered by the Ohio Department of Higher Education (formerly the Ohio Board of Regents). The state agency that funds public higher education in Ohio is sponsoring a second cohort of the I-Corps@Ohio program, modeled after a similar program launched by the National Science Foundation in 2012.
“The training is an effort to help university researchers capture the commercial rewards of their discoveries to reinvest in additional discovery,” said Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor John Carey.
Governor John R. Kasich has identified research commercialization as a prime factor in sustaining job creation and has stressed to college and university presidents and boards of trustees that the issue must be among their top priorities. The training is the second installment of training launched last summer, which continues over a three-year period as it connects to the local innovation infrastructure.
Ohio has historically ranked high in terms of university research, but officials have said that the ranking in terms of commercializing the results of that research should be higher. Implementation of an I-Corps@Ohio program is a key step in addressing the state’s commercialization challenges, which were discussed in the Condition Reports published by the Department of Higher Education in 2012 and 2013.
The I-Corps@Ohio program provides hands-on training to Ohio faculty and students in the Lean Launchpad Business Model Canvas process, which establishes a mechanism for evaluating the market need and commercial potential of their proposed technologies. At the conclusion of the technology commercialization training program, teams will be able to make market-based judgments on the potential fit of their technologies with customer needs, and make informed decisions on whether to go forward with startup companies or other forms of technology commercialization. The I-Corps@Ohio program is planned to train 60 faculty teams over a period of three years.
Medical and engineering research are seen as promising areas for commercial recovery, and 20 teams of university researchers will participate in this second round of training, which begins in May. Researchers from the following universities will participate: Case Western Reserve University, the University of Akron, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Ohio State University, Ohio University, the University of Toledo, Cleveland State University, the University of Cincinnati and Wright State University.
The I-Corps@Ohio program is governed by a board composed of representatives from the Ohio Department of Higher Education and six collaborating, Ohio academic institutions: Lorain County Community College, the University of Akron, the University of Cincinnati, Ohio State University, Ohio University and the University of Toledo, with Ohio State’s TEC Institute providing administrative oversight for the program.
About the Ohio Department of Higher Education
The Ohio Department of Higher Education (formerly known as the Ohio Board of Regents) is a Cabinet-level agency for the Governor of the State of Ohio that oversees higher education for the state. The agency’s main responsibilities include authorizing and approving new degree programs, managing state-funded financial aid programs and developing and advocating policies to maximize higher education’s contributions to the state and its citizens.
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