UNeMed hosts Sixth Annual Innovation Week and Innovation Awards
“Honoring Individuals for New Inventions, Patents, & Licensed Technologies,” read the headline for the recent UNMC Research Innovation Week. The celebration, hosted by UNeMed Corp., took place Oct. 15-18.
UNeMed is a leading corporation that handles the support and transport of new technology and commercialization of inventions at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, located in Omaha.
“It’s a whole process. The investigator comes in with an invention and we research the market. If it’s an innovation and if there is a market for it, we also match them to an industry. We are the matchmakers,” said Dr. Constantino who is a part of the UNeMed team.
Innovation Week and an Innovation Awards Ceremony, held on the last day of the event, raised awareness about UNeMed’s work among students, inventors, researchers, technicians and representatives from its sister company, NUtech Ventures in Lincoln. Innovation Week and Innovation Awards aimed to encourage the scientific community to interact with different business representatives in Nebraska and beyond to share ideas and information about inventions, patents and commercialization.
Oct. 15 marked the kickoff of the sixth annual event, which included a meet-and-greet with UNeMed staff, free snacks, seminars related to technology transfer, and – last but not least – a drawing for a free iPad and free T-shirts, an Innovation Week tradition.
Oct. 16th featured a special seminar presented by Dr. Gary Madsen, Entrepreneur-In-Residence at UNemed. In his presentation, “What is an EIR and how can he help you?” Madsen explained his key role within the company.
Oct. 17th continued with a seminar on the topic of the America Invents Act, which was signed this September and represents the most significant change in America’s patent system since 1952.
Innovation Week wrapped on Oct. 18 with the awards ceremony, which highlighted inventor’s achievements, including patent and license attainments.
One of two special awards presented was the New Invention Notification, which recognizes an invention that could significantly impact health care. The recipient, Dr. Greg Oakley of the UNMC College of Dentistry, won the award along with an unrestricted $10,000 grant to support his research of cancer, specifically in the topic of DNA damage and repair.
A second award, the UNeMed Emerging Inventor Award, was presented to Dr. Tammy Kielian, professor in the pathology and microbiology department at UNMC. Kielian received an unrestricted $25,000 grant to support her research in neuroscience, neuroimmunology and infectious diseases.
“The most important thing is raising awareness, letting people know we are here — here to help in different ways, provide different services. Not just filling inventions and patents, but we also provide new materials in their labs and sponsor research agreements,” Constantino said.
More than 200 people attended Innovation Week; 99 inventions were awarded and recognized from the past; and 13 patents were issued and 12 technologies licensed.