Research at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln
loading the 2013-2014 Report
Finding flexible, creative ways to move faculty innovations into the marketplace drives decisions for NUtech Ventures, the nonprofit corporation responsible for commercializing UNL’s intellectual property.
Building partnerships is central to this strategy. Licensing UNL discoveries to start-up or established companies helps meet partner businesses’ product development needs and makes UNL research results publicly available, said Brad Roth, who became NUtech’s executive director in late 2013.
From previous roles in business development and technology management at LI-COR Inc. and Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Roth brings a fresh perspective to NUtech. He said his experiences on “the other side” of business and licensing agreements showed him that being responsive and understanding companies’ needs are key to working with industry in today’s fast-paced technology markets. Roth also was a technology manager at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He holds a doctorate in genetics from Iowa State University and a bachelor’s degree in biology from UNL.
NUtech is working to commercialize technologies in agriculture, physical and life sciences and engineering. Roth is optimistic about potential opportunities in other disciplines, including education and human sciences, fine arts and social sciences.
“We’re very sensitive to not having preconceived ideas about where technology with societal and economic benefits could come from on campus,” Roth said.
NUtech, along with Industry Relations and Nebraska Innovation Campus, aims to make partnering with UNL a seamless process, whether it’s licensing technology, connecting with researchers and students or locating at NIC.
“Our groups work closely to make it as easy as possible for potential partners to find the appropriate UNL contact,” said Roth, who also is UNL associate vice chancellor for technology development.
Staff from NUtech, NIC and Industry Relations moved from separate locations to NIC’s Innovation Commons in 2014.