UF Incubator News: Innovation Hub Expansion Nears Completion (TV20)

Since opening its doors in January 2012, the Innovation Hub at UF has provided space and resources for almost 3 dozen local technology startups, creating over 800 new jobs. Now the site is expanding.

“We were basically at capacity and yet there were a lot more companies in the community … that needed to have access to the resources and the facilities that we provide . So we were fortunate to get another $8 million from the Economic Development Administration with a $9 million match from the University of Florida,” according to Director Jane Muir.

UF Incubator News: Captozyme Named as Florida Company to Watch

Two University of Florida incubators and GrowFL are pleased to announce that startup Captozyme is among the 50 statewide winners selected for the 2017 Florida Companies to WatchSM. Captozyme, a biotechnology company developing therapeutic enzymes to prevent oxalate kidney stones, has developed its business in both the Innovation Hub at UF and the UF Sid Martin Biotechnology Institute in Alachua. It is one of 50 companies selected from more than 500 nominees throughout Florida for the award, hosted by GrowFL, in association with the Edward Lowe Foundation.

Captozyme’s management team, competitive market position and strong community involvement were among several factors that put them in contention for the award, along with the 49 other winners.

UF to Receive Additional $7.4 Million in State Performance Funding (UF News)

The University of Florida will receive an additional $7.4 million in state performance funding this year versus last year, bringing the total allotted to the university since 2014 to more than $103 million. The money will be used in UF’s ongoing efforts to hire and retain the world’s best and brightest faculty and keep the university on the path to becoming one of the nation’s very best public research universities.

UF received 95 points out of 100 – the highest score of all the 11 public universities in Florida measured in the performance-funding model created in 2014 by the Florida Board of Governors, the governing body for the State University System of Florida.

The university’s high score was due in part to increasing its number of licenses and options executed on technologies developed at the university, a measure of how successful its ideas are in the marketplace, from 147 to 261. That distinction gave UF a No. 3 ranking nationwide, according to the latest statistics released in November by the Association of University Technology Managers.

New Report: Licensing of Academic Patents Has Contributed up to $1.3 Trillion to US Economy (BusinessWire)

The licensing of university research has made a significant contribution to US gross domestic product (GDP), industry gross output, and jobs over the last two decades, according to an independent study commissioned by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), which was released today.

The report, “The Economic Contribution of University/Nonprofit Inventions in the United States: 1996- 2015,” documents the sizeable return that US taxpayers receive on their investment in federally-funded research. It shows that, during a 20-year period, academic patents and the subsequent licensing to industry bolstered US industry gross output by up to $1.33 trillion, US GDP by up to $591 billion, and supported up to 4,272,000 person years of employment.

OTL Is Hiring a Licensing Associate

Do you want to change the world? OTL needs a licensing associate to join with us in our mission, moving inventions from the labs into the marketplace where they can make the world a better place. This licensing associate position assists a licensing team by providing administrative support for all aspects of managing the protection and licensing of new technologies. It involves communication and organizational skills and an amazing ability to work with people, a finicky database, deadlines, details, and patent laws.  The ideal person for this position applies painstaking attention to the tiniest of details, yet balances a portfolio of hundreds of inventions in various states in a single leap. Yes, we want an organizational superhero with a passion to make the world a better place. Apply here if you are that hero.


UF Incubator News: Sid Martin Biotechnology Institute Named World’s No. 1 Biotech Incubator

Sid Martin Biotechnology Institute (SMBI), the leading biotechnology incubator at the University of Florida, has been awarded the Randall M. Whaley Incubator of the Year award for 2017, the highest award given by the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA). InBIA is the world’s leading organization for advancing business incubation, acceleration and entrepreneurship.

SMBI was named Incubator of the Year among more than 7,500 incubators worldwide. The annual award, sponsored by the Friends of the University Science Center in Philadelphia, recognizes the top global business incubation program and includes a cash prize. SMBI earned the award in 2013 as well, and it is the only incubator to have received the honor twice.

Milken Institute Ranks UF Third Nationally in Moving Ideas from Lab to Real World (UF News)

The University of Florida ranks third among all research universities in the country for getting its ideas out of the laboratory and into the real world, according to the Milken Institute’s 2017 ranking of Best Universities for Technology Transfer.

UF was fifth in 2006, the last time the report was issued by the Santa Monica, California-based independent economic think tank. The new ranking places UF ahead of schools such as Stanford, MIT and Cal Tech, as well as the entire University of Texas System.

UF Names New Director of Technology Transfer (UF News)

The University of Florida has a new O’Connell to welcome in Gainesville. After a thorough national search, UF has selected Jim O’Connell as the new assistant vice president for technology transfer and the director of the Office of Technology Licensing.

“Mr. O’Connell will work with internal and external constituents to provide strategic leadership and direction in building and capitalizing on facilities, expertise, and technology at the University of Florida,” said Dr. David Norton, vice president for research.

O’Connell will oversee the Office of Technology Licensing (OTL) program and be responsible for two business incubators, the Sid Martin Biotechnology Institute and the Innovation Hub at UF. OTL transfers technologies arising from the discoveries of UF faculty and staff to the marketplace in order to enhance the university’s educational and research missions.

It Was a Day to Celebrate People Who Change the World

The 11th annual A Celebration of Innovation showcase wasn’t a standing room only event — the thunderstorm that wreaked havoc the morning of April 4 made certain of that — but it was a standing up only event, at least immediately following OTL Director David Day’s farewell speech in the opening session of the startup showcase.

The startup showcase featured an opening session that celebrated innovation, a panel that included the inventor of a UF technology, the entrepreneur and investor who brought the technology to the marketplace, a surgeon who uses the invention, and the licensing officer who coordinated the transfer of technology. Following that, 12 startup companies pitched their business ideas (think Shark Tank) to an audience of investors and entrepreneurs.

Thomas Maren, Creator of Glaucoma Drug Trusopt, Inducted into Florida Inventors Hall of Fame (UF News)

Dr. Thomas Maren, a founding father of the University of Florida College of Medicine whose four decades of basic scientific research led to the development of a top-selling drug for glaucoma, has been inducted into the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame.

Maren arrived on the UF campus in 1955 and continued working as a graduate research professor until months before his death at the age of 81 in 1999.

Maren gained international recognition for his pioneering investigation of an enzyme called carbonic anhydrase and its role in fluid production and flow in the eyes, brain, spinal cord and lymph system. In 1995, his years of collaborative research with scientists at Merck and Company resulted in an eye drop for glaucoma called Trusopt which worked without many of the side effects of earlier oral medications, such as fatigue, anorexia and numbness in the extremities.