Discoveries at U.S. universities help fuel the innovation pipeline and ignite the imaginations of our future advanced workforce. Top-flight research universities are key to America’s long-term success in the global innovation economy. University technology commercialization and industry engagement practices must evolve to fit the changing innovation and commercialization landscape. In March 2015, Innovation Gateway at the University of Georgia (UGA) was launched to maximize the impact of UGA research discoveries and foster economic development through industry partnerships and new venture formation. It serves as the central hub for innovation commercialization on campus, where faculty, students, entrepreneurs, industry partners, and economic developers work collaboratively to foster entrepreneurship and commercialization. It integrates and consolidates UGA’s technology transfer and startup programs, and identifies and implements the most efficient and effective pathways for moving technologies into the marketplace. This cohesive, multifaceted approach aligns resources and people within the university, community, and region to leverage opportunities that promote economic development and translate discoveries into new products, services, and companies.
Over the past two years, Innovation Gateway has facilitated a significant increase in commercialization activity, including a more than 30 percent increase in both invention disclosures and licensing revenue, a 40 percent increase in projects in the startup pipeline, and the successful launch of 17 new startups. It also led UGA’s efforts to win a $500,000 NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Site grant and a $500,000 i6 Challenge grant from the Department of Commerce, which provide additional resources to expand the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem.
UEDA Awards of Excellence Finalists presented at the Annual Summit in Long Beach on October 2-3, 2017. Summit attendees then voted for the best initiative in each category.