Commercializing Rutgers Discoveries

Commercializing Rutgers Discoveries

Moving innovations from the lab to the market is the topic of March 29 panel discussion


Tom Nosker, an expert in polymer physics, took an approach to recycling plastics that many considered complicated, if not impossible. He and his colleagues transformed common discarded plastics such as milk bottles and auto bumpers into bridge beams, boardwalk planks, and railroad ties.

Tom Nosker with plastic railroad ties made by Axion International, under license agreements negotiated by the Office of Technology Commercialization
Rutgers’ “plastic lumber” – which is stronger and longer-lasting than wood and doesn’t leach poisonous preservatives into the environment – is a versatile product. But moving it out of the engineering lab and into the country’s freight railroads, transit systems, and military bases has taken skills beyond blending and shaping plastics.

That’s where the university’s Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) comes in.

The expertise of the OTC staff makes life much easier for scientists like Nosker. “They help file multiple domestic and international patents, pay fees, negotiate licenses with different companies in specific territories, and collect royalties,” Nosker said. “That leaves me free to spend as much time as I need developing new technologies.”

Nosker will join two other Rutgers faculty members who have transformed innovations into successful products at a March 29 panel discussion on commercializing technologies.

Dipanjan Nag, executive director, Office of Technology Commercialization
“There is a lot of innovative research at Rutgers that shows commercial promise, and we want to help our colleagues see these opportunities and put them to work,” said Dipanjan Nag, executive director of the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC). Nag joined Rutgers in 2009 and brings experience from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and ICAP Ocean Tomo, an intellectual property brokerage firm.

Attendees will also hear from the new Rutgers CEOs-in-Residence, a team of corporate executives who work with the university to identify research with commercial potential and recommend ways to bring it to market.

Rutgers kicked off the CEO-in-Residence program in December to help create start-up companies and find additional licensing and partnering opportunities with existing companies. In some cases, the CEOs-in-Residence may actually lead the new ventures that Rutgers creates.

“We are very excited about this new program and see it as a way to establish better connections between the university and private sector,” said Richard L. McCormick, president of Rutgers University. “The program’s success should have a direct link to economic development and will showcase Rutgers as an entrepreneurial leader in the state.”

The March 29 event takes place from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Rutgers Visitor Center, 100 Sutphen Road on the Busch Campus. In addition to Nosker, faculty speakers are Edmond LaVoie and Ilya Raskin. The CEO-in-Residence speakers are Stephen Dyer, James Posillico and Peter Young. Those interested in attending the panel discussed are asked to register in advance here.

Media Contact: Carl Blesch
732-932-7084 x616