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Recognizing the Innovations of Academia

Graphic depicting academic accomplishments
Credit: Pixabay

Robin Bunch of the Technology Partnerships Office (TPO) was recently invited to Morgan State University’s “Innovation of the Year Awards” program to judge a selection of technical areas of research. Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a public research university in Baltimore, Maryland. It is Carnegie-classified as a high research institution providing an education to a diverse student body. Through these efforts, Morgan State University generates approximately $1.1 billion in annual economic impact throughout Maryland.

The Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) at Morgan State University established the “Innovation of the Year Awards” program to recognize and promote significant contributions from the University’s community including faculty, staff, and students. OTT’s primary mission is to transfer the University’s intellectual property and technologies from the research labs to the commercial market and industry. This transfer helps to stimulate the local economy. Developing this awards program allowed OTT to spotlight the community’s innovations, bringing greater attention to commercially promising technologies.

Robin Bunch knows what it takes when it comes to OTT’s mission. She is a lab liaison within TPO and devotes her time to helping transfer technologies to market. As a judge for the program, she provided insights into the various technologies presented to her. She was given summaries of life science, physical science, and information science technologies, followed by an assessment period for commercial potential.

“It was an honor to be a judge at Morgan State University’s awards program. It was great to connect to other individuals in the tech transfer community and see what areas of focus they are dedicating their research. I saw many innovative technologies at this program and look forward to seeing the progression of these toward commercialization. Attending events like this is an excellent way to bring the tech transfer community together with the overall goal of improving society through needed technologies,” said Robin.

This event provided a chance for Robin to learn about the research focus of other organizations within the region. It allowed her to see what could be connected to NIST to further the overall innovation ecosystem of tech transfer. Judging was part educational and part synergistic as she simultaneously learned about new technologies and advised the community on commercial potential. Robin remained focused on technologies that could disrupt the market and innovations that could drive the local and national economies. In doing so, she helped push the mission of tech transfer another step forward.

Released February 22, 2022, Updated March 30, 2022