Rutgers University Creates Disruptive Innovation Fund to Commercialize University Technologies

Rutgers University Creates Disruptive Innovation Fund to Commercialize University Technologies

Funding provided by Texas entrepreneur with intellectual property expertise

NEW
BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Rutgers has established a “Disruptive Innovation Fund” through
an agreement signed this week with IP Navigation Group of Dallas, which has committed
up to $1 million to support commercialization of technologies developed at the
university.

“Our
faculty and students continually create exciting technologies and innovations
that have great potential in a wide range of markets, from software to
pharmaceutical manufacturing, which is why we have established this fund,” said
Michael Pazzani, vice president of research and economic development. “It’s the
recognition of the ability of our faculty and students to solve the nation’s
most important problems and bring these solutions to market that motivated IP
Navigation Group to make this significant commitment.”

DJ Nag

Dipanjan Nag, Office of Technology Commercialization

Erich
Spangenberg, founder and chairman of IP Navigation Group, said: “Our firm believes
that Rutgers is a leader in two important areas: talented faculty and students
and an approach by the university’s leadership that facilitates the ability of
this talent to flourish. That’s why we’re making this investment.”

Spangenberg
says the intent is that the fund be “technology agnostic,” adding, “If it is a
'big' idea, we should not be limiting where the fund is deployed.”

The
agreement between Rutgers and IP Navigation Group calls
for an executive committee “with substantial experience in innovation and
technology development, commercialization and monetization” to manage the
Disruptive Innovation Fund. The panel will review proposals from faculty and
students to award at least two grants a year of up to $500,000 each. Along with
providing management support, the committee will work with funded innovators to
help them obtain financing from other sources. An advisory committee is being formed,
drawing from the region’s academic, business, investment and legal communities,
particularly leaders connected to economic development in New Jersey, to work
with the Disruptive Innovation Fund.

The
Office of Technology Commercialization, led by Dipanjan Nag, is part of the Office
of the Vice President for Research
and Economic Development
, which promotes excellence in
research at Rutgers and provides oversight for the education of the next
generation of researchers. Research is fundamental to the university’s overall mission
and enhances its education and service missions. Education at both the
undergraduate and graduate levels is delivered by faculty directly involved in
the discovery of new knowledge. Rutgers’ students and faculty bring their
expertise to communities throughout New Jersey, the nation and the world, reaching out to elementary, middle and high schools, as well as to government,
foundations and the corporate community.

In addition to
discovery–based research, Rutgers is increasingly involved in commercialization
of research through the transfer of new technologies to industry, contributing
to the economic development of New Jersey and the U.S. From the discovery of
streptomycin—the cure for tuberculosis—to the technology behind Ask.com,
Rutgers continues to make a tremendous impact in the commercial world.

Media Contact: Ed Tate
267-934-3475
E-mail: edward.tate@rutgers.edu