Purdue Selects Tech Transfer Exec

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A state economic development official has been named vice president of the Purdue University Office of Technology Commercialization. Chad Pittman will take on the new role after recently serving as chief of staff with the Indiana Economic Development Corp. November 5, 2014

News Release

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Dan Hasler, president of Purdue Research Foundation, on Wednesday (Nov. 5) announced that Chad Pittman, a respected Indiana economic development leader, will be the vice president of the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization.

Pittman, who recently served as the executive vice president and chief of staff of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, was instrumental in bringing hundreds of companies to Indiana in the past five years. He earned a J.D. from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, a bachelor's degree from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business and attended the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.

"Chad's ability to connect with corporate clients and close licensing deals in a time sensitive win/win manner will be a great addition to our strong scientific and intellectual property legal base in Purdue's technology transfer office," Hasler said. "Over the past year we have made numerous improvements to more effectively serve faculty and clients in the translation of intellectual property to commerce in Indiana and around the world, leading to record 120 technologies licensed and a record 24 IP Purdue startups created. I credit our outstanding Purdue innovators, our highly effective tech transfer office, Purdue's strong connectivity to industry and an ability to operate in a customer-centric manner at light speed for this success. With Chad's addition, we strengthen those components to take these successes to the next level."

Pittman, a company commander in Operation Iraqi Freedom, continues to serve as a major in the U.S. Army Reserves. He also was corporate director for new market development for C.P. Morgan, an associate for Bose McKinney and Evans LLP, and was a co-founder and vice president of finance and treasurer for Dynomed Inc., a company that produced and distributed multimedia patient education materials to health care providers, medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies.

As vice president of the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, Pittman will spearhead Purdue's rich portfolio of available technologies and protect intellectual property coming out of the university. In addition to a record-breaking commercialization year with the Purdue Startup Class of 2014, the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization reported 272 invention disclosures, 140 issued U.S. patents, 471 global patent applications filed and royalty income of nearly $7 million, all of which is returned to the inventing faculty and Purdue University.

"Purdue has one of the most expansive technology-transfer programs in the U.S., covering all sectors of our economy. I have witnessed the success of the past year, and I very much look forward to joining the talented team of technology-transfer professionals and to working with the enormously prolific innovators at the university," Pittman said. "Together we will build on this success and increase even more our contributions to Indiana and society by moving important, life-changing innovations to the public and creating jobs for Hoosiers. This includes continuing to advance our own methods and policies to make it even easier for innovators to move their inventions to the public."

In the past year, Purdue Research Foundation made a number of policy and institutional changes after meeting with and listening to suggestions from innovators.

Those changes include student ownership of intellectual property, an express license to provide interested innovators with an expedited licensing process, SBIR Grant options and matching funds, an easy-to-use electronic disclosure system with 24/7 access to faculty, intellectual property collaboration with NSWC Crane Naval and a new online intellectual property marketing store called Flintbox that lists Purdue's available technologies. Click available technologies for the link on Flintbox.

Further, the technology office recently created an intellectual property legal team under the leadership of patent attorney Hamid Piroozi, previously of Ice Miller LLP, to offer faster and more personalized service to patent-seeking faculty. Recent patent attorney additions to the legal team staff are Bob Jalaie, senior patent attorney most recently with Woodard, Emhardt, Moriarity, McNett & Henry LLP, and Barbara Gibbs senior patent attorney most recently with Bose, McKinney and Evans LLP.

The Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, also was established to provide a team of entrepreneurial experts who can provide guidance for Purdue innovators on business plans, prototype development, funding, grant writing, regulatory requirements, mentoring and other entrepreneurial activities. The Purdue Foundry helped more than 60 startups in FY14.

"From a faculty perspective, the improvements made during the past year in technology transfer have fostered a greater interest in commercialization. While we develop the ideas and technologies as part of our research portfolios, we recognize that it takes a different type of knowledge and skill to ensure those ideas are translated into commercial successes," said Paul Robinson, professor of cytomics and a professor in biomedical engineering. "Chad's background is the perfect match for the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization. He brings a fresh and exciting perspective together with a networking resource that meets Purdue's changing needs in a changing world. He is an ideal interface between the faculty and the commercial world."

The response from Purdue innovators supports Robinson's observations.

"All of these changes to improve how we serve Purdue innovators have been recognized by our customers in our recently conducted annual customer service survey as faculty and client customer satisfaction scores showed significant improvement," Hasler said. "We continue to embrace the belief that an IP license is only one part of a university-company relationship that includes sponsored research, physical location, student hiring and philanthropy and as such work closely with our corporate and global partnerships group led by Dan Hirleman to present a 'one-stop-shop' to our valued corporate customers.

"These endeavors are possible because of the long, collaborative relationship we have with the elected officials in the greater Lafayette area. In addition, most of the companies founded on a Purdue innovation remain in the Lafayette and West Lafayette area."

About Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization

The Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the U.S. Services provided by this office support the economic development initiatives of Purdue University and benefit the university's academic activities. The office is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year by the National Business Incubation Association for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org

Source: Purdue Research Foundation