Indiana University is detailing measures it says will boost entrepreneurial activity at its campuses statewide. President Michael McRobbie has reorganized the IU Research and Technology Corp. in ways the school says will better address challenges such as talent identification, capital, startup space and programming for the companies behind innovations at IU. Vice President for Engagement Bill Stephan says the changes will sharpen the IURTC focus "more exclusively" on getting innovations from the laboratory to the market.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, he says the IURTC will be freed up to do what it does best. The goal is to "work directly with entrepreneurs, with innovators, and to bring the resources they need to move their ideas forward," Stephan says. "That’s where we’re really looking at for Indiana University, a model that we think makes the most sense and takes advantage of some of the resources that we have in play right now, and leverage them more effectively than we have historically." The school says the IURTC will be in a better and more efficient position to identify, provide incentives for, fund and publicize discoveries, creations and intellectual property created at IU. Stephan says the new-look IURTC will be "leaner" and better equipped to deal with multiple tasks at once.
As part of the reorganization, the IU Office of the Vice President for Research will now handle several responsibilities that had previously been under the IURTC umbrella, including tasks related to managing IU intellectual property like:
- receiving invention disclosures
- applying for patent protection
- marketing technologies to industry
- licensing the IU-generated technology to new and established companies
The university says it will provide more tools and resources to the office to help streamline commercialization efforts.
IURTC Chief Executive Officer Tony Armstrong says "the new IURTC will be recognized as the conduit for the university as it relates to commercialization efforts. This will strengthen the entrepreneurial culture across all campuses by coordinating entrepreneurial activities across the university, including those underway within the IU Alumni Association, IU Foundation, Office of the Vice President for Engagement and Office of the Vice President for Research."
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Indiana University Vice President for Engagement Bill Stephan says the IURTC will be freed up to do what it does best.