Office of Research News

Call for Nominations: 2016 Innovator of the Year

Posted: October 3, 2016

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, Caroline Whitacre, senior vice president for research, and Matt McNair, vice president of economic and corporate engagement, will be presenting three university-wide awards to Ohio State’s most successful entrepreneurs in January 2017.  Nominations are 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 are intended to recognize an Ohio State researcher who is 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 is intended to recognize innovation and entrepreneurship that has contributed to the development or commercialization of a new technology. This 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.

We are requesting a maximum of TWO nominations from each college for each category (a total of six nominations per college). A nomination should consist of a letter from the college dean and a summary of the relevant commercialization activities from the nominee’s curriculum vitae or resume. These activities include invention disclosures, patents (applied for and/or awarded), licenses generated and companies formed.

The nominees for the Innovator or Early Career Innovator need not be faculty members, allowing for the recognition of commercialization activities by staff members as well as faculty. 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).

Nominations, and questions prior to nomination, should be submitted to:

Caroline Whitacre
Senior Vice President for Research
Office of Research
208 Bricker Hall
190 North Oval Mall

Nominations must be received by November 21, 2016. They 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 January 25, 2017, at the U.S. Bank Conference Theater in the Ohio Union.

2016 Innovator Call for Nominations

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