INSPIRE: Upcoming SBIR/STTR Workshop

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The Innovation Series for Partnering Industry with the Research Enterprise (“INSPIRE”) is a programmatic series designed to support and enhance both new and existing relationships between Clemson University’s research enterprise and industrial partners. Hosted by Clemson University and the Clemson University Research Foundation, INSPIRE will offer customized events that have subject matter geared towards Clemson researchers and Industry. 

“Industry-University research engagement is key in enhancing Clemson’s research enterprise,” said Chase Kasper, Director of Business Development at the Clemson University Research Foundation. “We are excited to launch INSPIRE as it is a structured event series designed to open pathways to enhance long-term collaborations between the Clemson University research enterprise and industrial partners.” 

The first INSPIRE event will offer Clemson research faculty, small businesses, staff, and students the opportunity to learn the aspects of writing Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants. Featuring 3PhaseSC, a resource created by the South Carolina Department of Commerce aimed at assisting South-Carolina based companies with successfully acquiring SBIR/STTR funding, the SBIR/STTR workshop is aimed at informing participants about what reviewers look for when reviewing grants. In addition to 3PhaseSC, speakers from external organizations will include: 

  • South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA)
  • i4 Series
  • Agribusiness Center for Research and Entrepreneurship (ACRE) 
  • Clemson University Office of the Vice President for Research
  • Clemson University Research Foundation
  • Recover, Inc. 
  • ….and more

For more information on the SBIR/STTR Workshop or to register, click here.


INSPIRE gives Industry the opportunity to learn about research being conducted at Clemson as well as the many unique resources and capabilities available to industry partners that Clemson has to offer including:  

  • Research Centers and Institutes 
  • Unique facilities 
  • CURF: Clemson’s Tech Transfer Office
  • One-of-a-kind and state-of -the-art equipment and testing services
  • Students that have relevant training and skills to be potential workforce additions
  • Opportunities for collaboration

INSPIRE is ideal for: 

  • Small and medium-sized enterprises with limited R&D capabilities that wish to engage with and leverage the Clemson University research enterprise,
  • Larger corporations seeking to add new research directions and dimension to their existing R&D, and   
  • New or current industry partners interested in collaborating with an R1 Carnegie-rated research enterprise and identify areas of common interest. 


INSPIRE has been designed for Clemson faculty members who desire to engage with companies, have their research/technologies exposed to new markets, and are interested in making Industry aware of Clemson’s broad and deep strengths in research. This event is intended to expose faculty researchers to a variety of opportunities including: 

  • Learning how industry is structured and how partnerships/point of contacts might be worked with
  • Building long-term collaborative relationships with Industry 
  • Securing funding to facilitate projects of common interest to both Industry and Clemson 

About Clemson Research

Research and innovation continue to be driving factors as Clemson University climbs in the U.S. News & World Report rankings. With advanced technology and state-of-the-art laboratories, Clemson provides an environment where researchers and industry professionals can come together to create ideas for the future.

For years, Clemson has created and nurtured research and economic development centers to build a knowledge-based economy. Clemson’s more than 100 centers and institutes are dedicated to everything from automotive excellence to advanced materials, from international diversity to community outreach, from ethics to the arts. The link between academics and industry grows stronger every day.

In 2016, Clemson University was classified as one of the nation’s most active research institutions (Carnegie Basic Classification R1 – Highest Research Activity) and was awarded nearly $150 million in external research funding for fiscal year 2018, up almost 92% from 2013.

For more information about INSPIRE or being an organizational participant in INSPIRE, contact Chase Kasper, Director of Business Development, Clemson University Research Foundation at (864) 656-1402 or

Dr. Jeff Anker Named Senior Member of National Academy of Inventors

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Dr. Jeff Anker, the Wallace R. Roy Distinguished Associate Professor in analytical chemistry at Clemson University, has been named a Senior Member of The National Academy of Inventors (NAI). Anker is one of 54 globally to be honored in the spring 2019 class, whose academic inventors are named on over 860 U.S. patents and represent 32 different research universities and government and nonprofit research institutes. Apparao Rao, founding director of the Clemson Nanomaterials Institute, associate dean for discovery in the College of Science, and 2018 NAI fellow, nominated Anker for his exemplification of creative vision and entrepreneurship as an inventor, as well as his demonstrated history of making real, positive impacts on society. The associate vice president for health research at Clemson, Windsor Sherrill, described Anker’s research as “the quintessential example of translational science” due to his exceptional innovation and application across the disciplinary borders of chemistry, bioengineering, microbiology, and medicine.

Dr. Anker knew at a young age he wanted to be an inventor, but says he soon realized this wasn’t a conventional occupation. After earning four licensed patents and over twelve federal grants, he thanks his career as a chemistry professor for allowing him to continue developing new ideas and inventions, like his biomedical sensors. After being selected as the Clemson University School of Health Research Faculty Fellow at Prisma Health, Anker continues to work with physicians to learn how they incorporate implants and radiography into clinical decisions. Through this fellowship, Anker was able to modify and apply his work to real-world concerns. One of his prototype biomedical sensors measures bending in orthopedic plates, screws, and intervertebral spacers while another, currently in development, will measure local chemical concentrations to detect implant-associated infections. Anker’s novel sensors are compatible with technology readily available at the hospital, giving physicians the new capability to detect minute changes in hardware bending under load, which indicates bone fracture healing. The chair of the department of chemistry called Anker a vital connection for the faculty and the medical team at Prisma, as well as “a prolific researcher, a dedicated teacher and an excellent colleague”. 

Inventor Spotlight: John Ballato

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Dr. John Ballato, Professor of Materials Science & Engineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering at Clemson University, is engineering optical fibers for the future and transforming the fundamental pipeline of innovation. Dr. Ballato completed his undergraduate studies at Rutgers University in 1993, where he and his mentor, Elias Snitzer, “the father of the glass laser”, invented a new process for manufacturing optical fibers called the Molten Core Method. This novel approach enhances the number of chemical compounds that can be used to create new optical fibers and, today, is used in more than 40 countries globally. The Molten Core Method has led to the development of numerous technologies and practical applications worldwide. Ballato received his Ph.D. in Ceramic and Materials Engineering from Rutgers University in 1997. During his time as a Ph.D. candidate, Ballato earned 14 patents from his dissertation work. Since then he has received an additional 20 US and foreign patents. 

After joining the Clemson family in 1997 as an assistant professor, Ballato co-founded the Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies (COMSET), a major interdisciplinary research center. Currently, his research focuses on new optical materials and structures for high-value photonic and optoelectronic applications. Additionally, Dr. Ballato’s team develops specialty optical fibers for high energy laser, biomedical, and industrial uses. While at Clemson, he has received over sixty million dollars in grants, contracts, and gifts.

Outside of his academic achievements, Ballato has founded two technology companies. His significant research and numerous contributions to society have earned him a number of honors, among them election into the National Academy of Inventors and the World Academy of Ceramics. In addition to his research, Ballato has worked to mold the next generation of inventors by serving on 120 graduate student thesis committees and teaching over 2,000 students.  

To learn more about Dr. John Ballato, click here.