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U launches New Initiatives to Enhance Research across Campus

July 13, 2012 – The University of Utah today announced significant steps in its ongoing commitment to the commercialization of technology created by faculty, staff and students.

The U is reorganizing its innovation efforts to take full advantage of university research and to better facilitate coordination of technology transfer across campus.

“We intend to be at the forefront in meeting the growing demand for entrepreneurial education, while continuing to encourage and support our faculty inventors,” said University of Utah President David Pershing.

Leading this effort, University Health Sciences is creating the Center for Medical Innovation (CMI) to develop medical device entrepreneurship education for faculty and students.  With approval, the center will be a joint effort between Health Sciences, the College of Engineering, David Eccles School of Business and the Technology Commercialization Office.

It will be directed by Dr. John Langell who is a faculty member in the Department of Surgery.

Educational components will include the successful Bench to Bedside program which provides the opportunity for medical, engineering and business students to develop new or improved medical technologies.

“I am honored to lead this new and important endeavor,” says Dr. Langell.

“By breaking down cross-departmental and inter-generational barriers, the Center will remove some of the few remaining obstacles to launching the University of Utah into the global forefront of medical innovation.”

The CMI is designed to enhance the Pierre Lassonde Entrepreneur Center and Sorenson Center for Innovation and Discovery through greater collaboration with other campus entities. Troy D’Ambrosio is the Director of the Lassonde Center where he has been mentoring students for a decade.

The CMI will work closely with the College of Engineering and Nano Institute of Utah to cultivate commercialization.  The new Nano Fabrication Laboratory in the James L. Sorenson Molecular Biotechnology Building will allow for the creation of micro sensors and biomedical devices necessary to improve biomedical implants.

As the U seeks to foster this spirit of innovation across campus Dr. Jack Brittain, Vice President for Technology Venture Development and former Dean of the David Eccles School of Business, has been granted a one-year leave beginning July 1, 2012 to help explore creation of a new institute to enhance the student side of academic entrepreneurship and technology commercialization. Dr. Tom Parks, Vice President for Research, will oversee Tech Venture Development on an interim basis.