College of Louisville researchers and innovators love a great problem. And in 2020 — a 12 months of challenges — they continued pushing ahead, creating and commercializing groundbreaking applied sciences that may enhance the best way we work and dwell. They had been acknowledged for these contributions on the presentation of the second annual EPIC Innovation Awards, held January 28.
“Innovation is completely vital to UofL’s mission,” stated UofL President Neeli Bendapudi. “It’s what drives us and conjures up us. Our three most vital objectives as a college are to be an excellent place to be taught, to work and to speculate, and the work of those innovators contributes to all three.”
The second annual occasion, hosted nearly this 12 months by the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Innovation and its expertise switch arm, the Commercialization EPI-Center, honored UofL innovators who had lately been awarded a patent or whose expertise had been licensed to an organization for commercialization in fiscal 12 months 2020, which ended June 30, 2020.
Two giant awards had been additionally introduced: Paula Bates was given the Innovator of the Yr Award, and Theo Edmonds, Brad Shuck and Laura Weingartner all accepted Trailblazer awards on behalf of their groups. Every was delivered a red-and-black glass flame — the image for the occasion.
“Our workplace, and UofL as a complete, are dedicated to taking the sensible, groundbreaking analysis occurring on our campus out of the lab, out of the classroom, and translating it into innovations and merchandise that enhance the best way we work and dwell,” stated Government Vice President for Analysis and Innovation, Kevin Gardner. “And, this previous 12 months, our researchers labored tirelessly to develop improvements that in a really possible way, could save lives — all whereas coping with the added challenges of COVID-19.”
Innovator of the Yr, Bates, is a serial inventor and cancer researcher, recognized for an extended observe document of creating sturdy partnerships with business to commercialize her applied sciences. In 2020, she partnered with different UofL innovators to develop a potential breakthrough in our struggle towards COVID-19 that’s believed to dam the virus from infecting human cells. The expertise was licensed to a now publicly-traded biomedical firm, which is working with UofL to additional develop it for market.
As for the Trailblazers, who’re awarded for work in new areas of innovation for UofL, Edmonds accepted the award for the Cultural Wellbeing Index, a software that helps firms enhance company tradition and organizational wellbeing. To commercialize the expertise, Edmonds launched UPOP, UofL’s first-ever public benefit corporation spin-out.
Shuck accepted for the Worker Engagement Scale, a software program that helps firms measure workforce engagement. The expertise’s non-exclusive license to startup Unitonomy marks the first license out of the UofL College of Education and Human Development — adopted by the second and third, additionally secured by Shuck, when the expertise was licensed to 2 different firms in the identical 12 months.
Lastly, Weingartner accepted the award for “The eQuality Toolkit: Practical Skills for LGBTQ & DSD-Affected Patient Care,” a first-of-its-kind guide geared toward better-training future medical professionals on caring for LGBTQ and different non-normative sufferers. The guide is supposed to offer sources and steering in order that medical faculties, residencies and persevering with medical teaching programs throughout the nation are capable of implement coaching and supply higher sources for extra equitable care.
All advised, fiscal 12 months 2020 was the best on-record for innovation at UofL, with a complete revenue of $9.4 million pushed by a powerful 12 months for startups and offers. It additionally was UofL’s finest 12 months on-record for aggressive analysis funding, with complete new awards of $170 million.
“This was an excellent 12 months for innovation and analysis — additionally our greatest 12 months on document,” stated Allen Morris, govt director of the Commercialization EPI-Center. “Our innovators all share in that success, and I stay up for persevering with that work collectively in 2021.”