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Jessica Chesher

Managing Editor

Innovation eReview

January 2013 Edition

In This Issue:


The new year has already yielded the second Inauguration of the president and the swearing in of new legislative bodies. Governor Cuomo announced the 2014 New York State Budget this week. It can be viewed on the newly launched OpenBudget.ny.gov, a website offering increased access and transparency to New York’s budget, and touted as a tool to improve government performance and enhance citizen engagement. The budget proposes $136.5 billion in spending, and would close a $1.3 billion budget gap. No new taxes or fees are proposed. 

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Industry Tools: Technology Commercialization Clinics

What is technology commercialization? 

New York State invests heavily in university research. Technology commercialization is the process of transforming the result of that research and investment into commercially viable products or processes to create businesses and jobs in the state. 

What do Technology Commercialization Clinics do? 

The journey from university research to established company producing products or processes for sale is complicated and time consuming. Technology Commercialization Clinics (TCCs) facilitate the commercializing process by vetting new research for commercial viability. Selected graduate and law school students, under the guidance of experienced faculty, spend hours conducting analysis on a specific technology for a range of clients, from single person startups to multi-national corporations. This research delves deeply into what the technology does, its potential uses, the current market landscape, and potential legal or regulatory issues. These reports then allow the companies to make informed decisions about whether to continue on the commercialization path, and if so, how to maximize chances of success.

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Resource Spotlight: Excell Partners, Inc.

Got $eed? 

An important step for all companies, especially those that are trying to commercialize new technologies, is acquiring funding or seed investments. The commercialization process can be costly and investing in very early stage technology can be risky. This high risk means there are few venture funds that make seed investments.

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Resource Spotlight: The Shipley Center for Innovation

Technology Commercialization Clinics (TCC), like the NYS STLC, are located in at least six research institutions throughout the state to facilitate the transformation of university research into commercially viable products or processes. This commercialization effort can in turn create businesses and jobs contributing to New York’s economy. One such TCC, located at Clarkson University in Potsdam, is the Shipley Center for Innovation. The Center works with student and faculty technologies from Clarkson and also has formal agreements with St. Lawrence University and Canton-Potsdam Hospital to provide commercialization services to them. They work with other regional innovators as well.

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Company Profiles: Shipley Center Startups

The Shipley Center for Innovation at Clarkson University works with a number of startups. Beyond the 12 external projects being managed by the TCC the Center has worked on more than 100 projects since 2010. They have facilitated the launching of multiple student and faculty companies, four of which are highlighted below.

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Industry News: Cooperative Patent Classification

As globalization continues, it becomes increasingly important that innovators and companies be able to perform effective patent searches. Patent classification is a code used to categorize an invention, an important tool for performing a comprehensive patent search. Determining patent classification clarifies patent searches by eliminating potential ambiguity created by terminology. It also provides the ability to search a group of patents that have similarities which makes for easier determination of patent infringement.

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Industry News: David Kappos Will Step Down as Director of the USPTO

David Kappos, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO during the first four years of the Obama administration, will step down as director of the USPTO in February. He has been widely praised for his four-year tenure which highlighted the importance of patent and IP issues as a driver of economic growth, exports and job creation for the United States. In addition to ushering in the implementation of the America Invents Act, his tenure saw the implementation of quality metrics regarding patent evaluation, including transparency measures such as the dashboard, providing insight into USPTO logistics.

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Industry News: Two New York State Innovators receive National Medal of Technology and Innovation Awards

The White House will host a ceremony honoring the recipients of the National Medals of Science, and of Technology and Innovation. Two Technology and Innovation awardees come from New York State: Dr. Jan Vilcek, of New York University’s Langone Medical Center, and Dr. Norman McCombs, of AirSep Corporation in Buffalo, NY.

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NYS Events: Conference on Building Human Capital for NYS Innovation Economy

Save the Date!! April 15, 2013, New York City 

The NYS STLC and the New York Academy of Sciences are jointly sponsoring a conference on Building the Professional Infrastructure to Drive New York’s Innovation Economy. It will focus on optimizing New York State’s significant educational resources devoted to educating the professionals necessary to transform laboratory research into commercial products and services. The transfer from lab-to-market is looked to as essential to New York’s future economic growth. Transforming laboratory research involves not only scientists and engineers, but also a host of other professionals, including business managers, marketing specialists, financial analysts, intellectual property attorneys and corporate transaction lawyers. These business and law professionals provide the indispensable professional infrastructure necessary to support an innovation economy.

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Featured Debate: Too Many Patents?

Is it too easy to obtain a patent? Are too many being granted? 

When an esteemed member of the judiciary; Richard A. Posner publishes an article: Why There are Too Many Patents in America, (July 12 in the Atlantic Monthly) questioning whether the patent system is working, we can be forgiven some perplexity regarding the issue. One thing is for certain, the patent system is receiving a lot of criticism, and lack of confidence in the patent system is not good for investment in patent based technology.

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