“In the past year, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County has launched five new startup companies,” writes reporter Dan Leaderman in The Daily Record. His article explores UMBC’s approach to increasing supports and opportunities for faculty who have ideas, inventions and discoveries with great commercial potential.
One big driver of the start-up boom: a new standard, simplified commercialization agreement that UMBC faculty and graduate students can use to launch their companies.
The Express Licensing Agreement (EXLA) was created by the Office of the Vice President for Research, and is a standard, non-negotiable agreement that can help streamline contract negotiations. Not only does the EXLA replace the previously time-consuming legal negotiation process, it also simplifies the commercialization process, removing barriers that can dissuade faculty from pursuing entrepreneurial interests.
“This was something that we needed to improve our ability to be flexible and responsive,” says Karl V. Steiner, vice president for research at UMBC. Steiner notes that many faculty see themselves as academics who publish findings before they see themselves as entrepreneurs who can turn their discoveries into accessible products and commercial ventures. He emphasizes that educating faculty about opportunities available to them as entrepreneurs, and how the commercialization process works, is key to advancing tech commercialization.
Of the five new start-ups launched at UMBC in the past year, three utilized the EXLA. Steiner anticipates that several more companies will soon be established with the help of the agreement.
Read the full article “UMBC ramps up commercialization efforts,”in The Daily Record.
Image: Karl V. Steiner at the 2016 UMB-UMBC Symposium. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.