February 10, 2010

Fisher, Battelle team to assess technology innovations

About the TEC Program


Battelle and The Ohio State University share much more than proximity. The institutions’ shared mission of improving the world has resulted in a two-year agreement for the Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (TEC) Center of OSU’s Fisher College of Business to assess the commercial and economic viability of innovative technology developed at Battelle.

Battelle’s National Security Global Business provides intellectual property (new innovations and inventions) to TEC to evaluate for commercialization potential. The technology evaluations provided by the TEC Center provide Battelle with expert insight into the relative market potential of its proprietary technologies.

“This unique project is another example of our collaboration and partnership with Ohio State on several levels,” said Steve Kelly, president of Battelle’s National Security Global Business. “We want our ideas to become products that people can use, and this is exactly the kind of agreement that can help that process along.”

After a successful six-month pilot of the technology evaluation program, the world’s largest independent research and development organization and one of the nation’s premier research and land grant universities entered into a unique contract for technology screening and evaluation that runs through 2012.

The strategic initiative brings complementary capabilities from both sides of King Avenue to form a symbiotic relationship. Each organization aspires to the greater good and has a baseline directive to use science and technology to help mankind.

“Part of our mission as the state’s leading research and educational institution is applying our expertise and resources to improve the economic health of Ohio,” said S. Michael Camp, academic director for the Center of Entrepreneurship housed in Fisher at Ohio State. “One step in that process is identifying technologies and inventions that can foster new business and create jobs.”

Christine A. Poon, dean of Fisher and the John W. Berry, Sr. Chair in Business, said, “This partnership between Battelle and Fisher is an example of our academic community taking an activ role within the private sector and putting our business theory into practice. We are extremely proud that Battelle has shown such high regard for Fisher’s expertise and has entrusted to us its most valuable assets—its high-technology inventions.”

During the pilot phase of the partnership, the center evaluated more than 50 inventions from Battelle, some of which were deemed to have superior market potential. For a few of these inventions, the TEC Center is pursuing additional analyses to determine the best commercial strategy.

The center’s technology evaluation process has several steps, including early-stage screening and much later, if justified, the development of a detailed plan for commercialization. A marketable invention or idea can develop at any point in the process. The agreement even includes an option, at Battelle’s discretion, for the TEC Center to take the lead on commercialization, with a profit-sharing plan with Battelle if the TEC Center is successful.

Gordon Battelle founded his memorial institute through a provision in his will. Battelle wanted his institute to rectify the lag time between the spark of a great invention and its entry into the commercial marketplace. Today, Battelle performs contract research and development for a variety of private, commercial and government clients, and also generates internal research and development from its ample group of highly educated researchers.

This is not the first example of cooperation between Ohio State and Battelle—there are nearly $80 million worth of projects during the past decade that involve both entities. For example, Ohio State and Battelle are partners in the Metro Early College High School, which is based on a curriculum of science, technology, engineering and math.

Further, Blake Thompson was appointed as a vice president who works for both organizations to foster cooperation between the two institutions, spearheading broad interactions

Jeff Wadsworth, president and CEO of Battelle, chairs Ohio State University’s Medical Center Board and Barbara Kunz, president of Health and Life Sciences Global Business at Battelle, is a member of OSU’s James Cancer Hospital’s board.