Posted: September 27, 2013
As Ohio State continues to expand its role in the commercialization of research, it is important that we create an environment that facilitates and rewards research creativity and entrepreneurship. To support and stimulate entrepreneurial activity among our researchers, three university-wide awards will be presented this year to reward our most successful faculty, staff, and student entrepreneurs. Nominations were sought in the following categories: Innovator of the Year, Early Career Innovator of the Year, and Student Innovator of the Year. One award will be given in each category.
The Innovator of the Year and Early Career Innovator of the Year awards recognize Ohio State researchers who are working actively to promote commercialization of university intellectual property, through invention disclosures filed, patents applied for and/or received, technologies licensed, or spinoff companies formed. These activities support economic development in the central Ohio region, and serve to attract companies that create a base of operations within the state. The creation of separate award categories for more established researchers and for early career researchers allows cultivation of an entrepreneurial spirit among all of our investigators.
The Student Innovator of the Year award, established in 2011, recognizes innovation and entrepreneurship among our students that has contributed to the development or commercialization of a new technology. The award, which is open to undergraduate or graduate students, may recognize a student start-up company whose success is a result of entrepreneurial talent, creativity, and energy.
The Office of Research received nominations from the college deans (two nominations per college for each category). The nominees for the Innovator or Early Career Innovator were not required to be faculty members, allowing for the recognition of commercialization activities by staff members as well as faculty. Nominations consisted of a letter from the college dean and a summary of the relevant commercialization activities from the candidate’s curriculum vitae or resume. These activities included invention disclosures, patents (applied for and/or awarded), licenses generated, and companies formed. For the Early Career Innovator category, a candidate must be either an assistant or early associate professor (if a faculty member), or have been at Ohio State no more than 10 years (if a staff member). For the Student Innovator category, nominees must be undergraduate or graduate students who are currently registered, or recent Ohio State graduates (within the last year.)
The nominations will be reviewed by a committee composed of individuals both internal and external to the university. The awards for Innovator of the Year, Early Career Innovator of the Year, and Student Innovator of the Year will be presented as part of the “State of Research” address on November 6, 2013, at the Ohio Union, U.S. Bank Conference Theater.