updated: 5/29/2012 12:50:48 PM
Indiana University business students and Purdue University engineering students have teamed up as part of IUPUI's new Innovation-to-Enterprise program. The initiative calls on students to help bring a faculty member's patent to market.
May 25, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A new program takes advantage of the academic diversity at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis by partnering undergraduates from various disciplines with a mentor to help bring a faculty member’s patent to market.
Kelley School of Business Indianapolis students Jim Plew and Chandra Rishi learned the business implications of a dialysis invention through the Center for Research and Learning’s Innovation-to-Enterprise Central program. The two partnered with three biomedical engineering students in the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology to research how to commercialize a dialysis invention by IU vascular surgeon George Akingba, M.D., Ph.D.
“Dr. Akingba patented the device, but there’s still a lot of research that needs to be done,” Rishi said. “So that’s what we worked on. We compared the device to its competitors and went through all the government regulations and possible future funding.”
Dr. Akingba’s patented modular arterio-venous shunt device helps open and close a tube that connects blood flow during dialysis. His invention could improve the tube’s durability. Based on their research, the students will offer Dr. Akingba advice on whether to start a company based on his device or to license it to someone else.
“We were brought into this to provide some kind of value from the business end,” Plew said. “It put pressure on us, but we could show what we’ve learned in the business school and how we can infuse that into this setting.”
The Innovation-to-Enterprise Central program gives faculty like Dr. Akingba a chance to move their inventions forward and offers the students a practical lesson using another field of study.
“There’s only so much engineers and physicians can do,” Dr. Akingba said. “You always need the business people to help you keep your direction and your focus, so that at one point in time you can decide if your startup is a money pit or a pot of gold.”
The Center for Research and Learning’s program is available to full-time undergraduate students in good academic standing with an interest in research commercialization.
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Source: Indiana University Communications