Annual awards honor groundbreaking research at CU-Boulder

The University of Colorado Technology Transfer Office (TTO) on Monday presented awards to university researchers and companies who represent best practices in commercialization of university technologies.

The TTO presented the Boulder campus awards – to four researchers and one startup company – during its annual Entrepreneurship Under the Microscope event, a celebration of campus entrepreneurship co-hosted with CU-Boulder’s Deming Center for Entrepreneurship.

The researchers and companies recognized this year are developing technologies ranging from cancer therapies to energy efficiency to dramatically improved computer networking.

“This year’s award winners represent groundbreaking research from different corners of CU-Boulder,” said Kate Tallman, Senior Director of Technology Transfer for CU-Boulder. “What these inventors have in common is an ability to work effectively with the local business community to explore and realize the commercial value of their research findings.”

This year’s award winners:

Xuedong Liu, Inventor of the Year, CU-Boulder. Liu, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry, is creating novel, less-toxic kinase inhibitor drugs to treat cancer. Liu has founded two companies based on his inventions, most recently OnKure, which is commercializing a new cancer therapy developed by Liu and his colleagues.

Moncef Krarti, New Inventor of the Year, CU-Boulder. Krarti is a professor of civil, environmental and architectural engineering; his work focuses on improving building energy management. He is collaborating with CU Cleantech and TTO to commercialize building assessment technology through a Boulder company.

Douglas Seals, New Inventor of the Year, CU-Boulder. Seals, a professor of integrative physiology, is exploring promising research into dietary supplements that could enhance heart health, and is working with TTO to optimize the intellectual property and Innovation Center of the Rockies to optimize the commercial opportunity.

LineRate Systems, Company of the Year. LineRate Systems (Louisville, Colo.) is developing technologies around software-defined networking, a computer networking approach that allows network behavior to be governed by high-level software programming, rather than by the low-level configurations of the network’s devices, making networks easier to configure, manage, troubleshoot, and debug. The company was acquired by F5 Networks in February 2013.

Additionally, the TTO will induct Tom Cathey (Professor Emeritus, Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering) into the Pinnacles of Inventorship, an all-stars group recognizing continuous commitment to best practices in technology transfer. Cathey was a co-founder of CU Startup CDM Optics (acquired by OmniVision in 2005).

Awards to CU researchers, startups and advisors at other CU campuses will be presented at separate campus events in April and May.

In the last two decades, inventions by researchers from CU’s four campuses have led to the formation of 124 new companies. Of these, 88 have operations in Colorado, seven have “gone public,” becoming publicly traded companies (either through an IPO or via a reverse merger), and 18 have been acquired by public companies. In total, companies created based on CU technology have attracted over $6.1 billion in financing.

 

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