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IUPUI forum showcases commercialization and entrepreneurial opportunities


INDIANAPOLIS — The IUPUI Innovation to Enterprise Showcase & Forum brought together researchers from across the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus Nov. 28 to present opportunities for collaborative business development with the outside world.

A well-represented group of potential business community partners and investors attended the event, hosted by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and the Indiana University Research and Technology Corporation, and took an interactive and in-depth look at over 30 innovative and entrepreneurial projects arising from the research programs at IUPUI.

A wide range of investment opportunities were featured in the Innovation Showcase, including startups in health care and pharmaceuticals, alternative energy, workforce training, and cell phone apps for historical tours. Some of the exhibits included physical prototypes or other demonstrations of potential new products.

The diverse mix of the Innovation Showcase is evidence of IUPUI’s commitment to encouraging research commercialization and entrepreneurship on campus. According to Kody Varahramyan, IUPUI vice chancellor for research, “Our goal has been to encourage and grow the invention culture on campus, which, as manifested by this event, has been resulting in a wide range of research commercialization opportunities of interest to the business and economic development community.”

The event presented a unique opportunity for IUPUI researchers to establish good contacts with visitors from the Indiana business community, and to identify areas of interest for collaborative business development. Stanley Chien, professor of electrical and computer engineering in the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology and a lead investigator for one of the project exhibits, said he “had never talked to so many people in a poster session before” and found there was a good deal of interest from attendees.

According to James Gladden, dean of the IU School of Physical Education and Tourism Management, it was important for the IUPUI faculty to see the many exciting campus research projects with commercialization and entrepreneurial potential. “It was also great to have our community partners here to look at what we are doing,” Gladden said. “Their feedback on this and other similar events is going to be helpful, as IUPUI continues to move forward in this critical area.”

The School of Physical Education and Tourism Management is in the early phases of developing academic/industry collaboration with the American College of Sports Medicine to create a distinctive center for innovation in physical activity and sports. Gladden and co-researcher Rafael E. Bahamonde, of Indiana University Bloomington, presented the project during the showcase.

Other showcase projects included the marketing of a novel bone healing solution developed to address high-risk problematic fractures, thereby potentially improving the quality and cost of orthopaedic surgery; an interactive computerized task that measures 18-to 24-month-olds’ ability to learn novel words and is being developed into a clinical tool to screen children at risk for language delay; and the development of a smartphone app that will bring cultural and historical tours of Indiana cities to visitors and residents using compelling photographs, films and oral history, to name a few.

“IUPUI is committed to actively engaging the strengths of the university to support the social and economic development of Indiana and the nation, and the most effective way to do so is to establish strong relationships between our faculty and the business community,” said Marie Kerbeshian, vice president for technology commercialization at the IU Research and Technology Corporation.

For more information about research commercialization efforts at IUPUI, contact Karen White, research development and commercialization facilitator in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, at 317-274-1083 or .