Over the past year, the Clemson University Research Foundation (CURF) has extended its technology assessment and marketing capabilities by tapping into Clemson University graduate students and engineering co-op program, through the creation of a CURF internship program. Each intern analyst has proven technical skills combined with a strong interest in learning more about technology commercialization. Click here to read more the experience of the recent team of analysts in helping CURF to identify, protect, and commercialize promising Clemson technologies.
Evan McConnell, Chelsea Ex-Lubeskie, Omar Mohiuddin, and Erika Trent make up the current team of technology and market analysts. Under direct supervision of Bethany Acampora and Lisa Perpall, both Technology Commercialization Officers at CURF, the three graduate interns and co-op student, have completed various technology evaluations, helped with marketing pieces, assisted in conference preparations, and networked with companies.
Evan McConnell, a senior Bioengineering co-op student, was the first analyst brought onto the team. McConnell, who interviewed for other co-op positions, said he was drawn to the position with CURF for a variety of reasons. “The opportunity to take part in establishing this brand-new program was one that I could not pass up. I was also attracted to the position due to its diverse nature. As a co-op student, I have been exposed to many facets of the group, including technology assessment, passive marketing, license agreements, and patent prosecution. This wide range of responsibilities allows me to broaden my work experience in ways that not many positions can, preparing me for any number of future career paths.”
Chelsea Ex-Lubeskie and Erika Trent both completed their Master of Science degrees in May 2013 in Bioengineering. While Ex-Lubeskie and Trent have distinctly different research backgrounds, they came to CURF in a similar fashion. Both are student inventors and saw the process from the inventor side first. Ex-Lubeskie thoroughly enjoys this type of work, particularly corresponding with companies and clinicians. “It’s nice to get out of the lab, and do something that requires a technical background, but fuses business, marketing, networking, market analysis, and critical thinking. My time at CURF has provided me with invaluable experience that I cannot only translate to my startup company, but carry with me for the rest of my career.” Trent values the opportunity to shift from research to technology transfer as well. “In doing so I have had the chance to speak with inventors at a detailed scientific level, condense that information, and present it to potential commercial licensees. Developing the ability to clearly and concisely communicate this information to a diverse group of professionals provides an exciting opportunity to bridge the gap between bench science and technology commercialization.”
Omar Mohiuddin is currently completing a Master of Science degree from the Materials Science and Engineering department. His passion for design and innovation of new technologies is what ultimately led him to pursue engineering. Mohiuddin states that he wanted to work at CURF, “because it exposes me to all the technologies that professors are working on in Clemson. I also learn about what it takes to patent and license a new technology. I am interested in going to business school for an MBA later in my career and the experience from CURF will help me tremendously in reaching that goal.”
The technology commercialization officers see great promise in the program, and have seen the benefits first hand. Lisa Perpall states: “The interns bring great energy and new perspective to each and every project. Having them as a skilled resource to help us analyze markets and help determine commercial potential related to Clemson technical breakthroughs, provides significant value, not just to CURF but also back to the Clemson researchers. The information and feedback they uncover from the market and the clinical perspective, in the case of medical technologies, can be really valuable to help inform future research directions.”
While this team of analysts all have different backgrounds and future aspirations, it’s clear that they all recognize the value of their time at CURF, and its potential impact on their future careers. This new role at CURF provides Clemson students an opportunity to complement their experience in the lab, and to learn critical skills such as market analysis, patent prosecution, marketing, and networking. CURF has positions opening throughout the year, and is continually seeking a few select, hard-working, motivated students who are interested in technology transfer.
- Chelsea Ex-Lubeskie
The Clemson University Research Foundation (CURF) is a non-profit corporation that facilitates the transfer of Clemson University’s intellectual property to the private sector for commercial development and societal benefit. To learn more about CURF services and to view current technologies available for license, visit www.clemson.edu/curf.