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Promoting collaboration between Clemson research and industry

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On October 22, Clemson University and the Clemson University Research Foundation (CURF) hosted the first event of the INSPIRE series. The Innovation Series for Partnering Industry with the Research Enterprise (INSPIRE) offers a number of targeted events designed to support and enhance both new and existing relationships between Clemson University’s research enterprise and industrial partners. The first event of the series, the SBIR/STTR Workshop, offered attendees the opportunity to learn the various aspects of finding, writing, and securing Small Business Innovation (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants. 

“Without question, the INSPIRE initial event exceeded our expectations, and we will carry this momentum of success into the upcoming events,” said Chase Kasper, Clemson University Research Foundation Director of Business Development. “Future events are already in the works in areas such as agribusiness, defense contractors, and health care. The response has been overwhelmingly positive from the private sector and our faculty.”

The event featured 3PhaseSC, a resource created by the South Carolina Department of Commerce aimed at assisting South Carolina based companies with successfully acquiring SBIR/STTR funding, who highlighted the countless federal agencies who provide small business funding and the strategies to find and secure that funding. 

“I was extremely impressed to learn more about the INSPIRE initiative at Clemson.  The content they put together for this conference was top notch, and the audience was excellent!  I can see INSPIRE leading to strong industry partners, more academic research, and an increase in startup activity,” said Tyler Garmon, 3Phase SC Program Manager and presenter at the SBIR/STTR Workshop. 

Additional speakers at the workshop included: keynote speaker Dr. Tanju Karanfil (Clemson University Vice President for Research), South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA), i4 Series, Agribusiness Center for Research and Entrepreneurship (ACRE), SCORE, Clemson University Office of Industry Contracts, Clemson University Office of Sponsored Programs, Recovr, Inc., and the National Science Foundation (NSF). 

Of the workshop, Ed Treglia, Vice President and General Manager of Ulbrich Specialty Wire Products, said, “INSPIRE provided a great forum to bring together small business, industry and research institutes.  Even for a company like Ulbrich, who can’t directly participate in SBIR/STTRs due to our size, INSPIRE was beneficial. We are pleased that CURF has launched the INSPIRE series of events and are looking forward to our continued participation in them.” 

Erin Roussey, President of US Building Innovations, Inc., deemed the event “an excellent resource for small businesses.” 

The Clemson University Research Foundation is working to continually create opportunities to develop and enhance long-term collaborations between the Clemson University research enterprise and industrial partners. In an effort to support this initiative, CURF will be offering more customized INSPIRE events in the near future in areas including, but not limited to, agribusiness and health care. 

For more information on INSPIRE and upcoming events, contact

CURF Inventor’s Club Award Recipients

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CURF recognized 7 inventors who commercialized a technology in 2018. These inventors are as follows.

Martine LaBerge: Sencorables

Jeffery Anker, John DesJardins: Aravis Biotech

Kapil Madathil, Anand Gramopadhye: EducateWorkforce

Endre Takacs, Mark Leising:Medical Beam Laboratories

CURF Patent Award Recipients

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31 inventors were awarded for receiving a patent in 2018. The patent award recipients are as follows.

Brian Keith Ward: Methods and Systems for Production of Organically Derived Ammonia/Ammonium

Dan Simionescu, Agneta Simionescu, Lee Sierad: Self-Adjusting Tissue Holder

Hong Luo, Ning Yuan: Methods and Compositions for Modulating Gene Expression in Plants

Hong Luo, Qian Hu, Zhigang Li: Methods and Compositions for Transgenic Plants with Enhanced Cold Tolerance, Ability to Flower Without VernalizationRequirement and Impacted Fertility

Kendall Kirk, Hunter Massey, Walter Scott Monfort, James Thomas: Automated Control Systems and Methods for Underground Crop Harvesters

Kendall Kirk, Hunter Massey, William Henderson, Walter Scott Monfort: Impact Mass Flow Sensor for Monitoring Peanut Harvest Yields

Joseph Kolis, Colin McMillen: Monolithic Heterogeneous Single Crystals with Multiple Regimes for Solid State Laser Applications

Vincent Yves-Marie Blouin, Dustin Graham Albright, Ulrike Ann-Sophie Heine, UfukErsoy, DanielNevinHarding, David Aaron Pastre, Michael Wallace Stoner:Building Framing System

Marek W. Urban, Ying Yang: Self-Healable Corrosion Inhibition Polyurethane Coatings

Christopher Kitchens: Microdevices and Methods of Manufacture

Robert Gary Prucka, Qilun Zhu: Engine Operation Control

Mark C. Thies, David A. Bruce: Solvent and Recovery Process for Lignin

Ezra Lucas Hoyt Cates: Materials and Methods for Reducing Biofouling in Water Treatment Membrane Systems

Dev Priya Arya: Selective Inhibition of Bacterial Topoisomerase I