Researchers at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) will soon find it easier to research, apply for and obtain patents thanks to $463,938 awarded last month to NJIT by the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology.
“We’ll use these funds to promote the creation of new technology businesses in New Jersey through increased technology transfer and commercialization of inventions developed at NJIT,” said Judith Sheft, associate vice president, technology development in the office of technology development at NJIT. “This is the third consecutive year that the commission has provided funding to universities through its University Intellectual Property Program and we’re grateful for the encouragement,” said Sheft.
“There are multiple financial and translational risks inherent in the commercialization process,” said Sheft. “This funding will help inventors further develop their inventions such that they are more commercially valuable to outside companies and/or venture capitalists. Experience has shown that additional proof-of-concept work, animal studies, data collection, and/or prototyping can yield important information, thus making a technology more commercially attractive.” Funds will also be available to develop related marketing materials including data sheets.
Last year, NJIT received nine new patents. The research ranged from nanotechnology to biomedical engineering. NJIT currently has 137 new patent applications in process. With projected research expenditures greater than $80 million for 2007, NJIT ranks as a leader in size and growth of research programs among the nation's technological universities.
Recently awarded new patents include a breakthrough invention by Somenath Mitra, PhD, professor and chair of NJIT’s Department of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences. The discovery will enable manufacturers to create a device to uncover miniscule amounts of airborne pollutants. Using computer chip technology, Mitra has developed and patented what could eventually become a simple keychain device to detect tiny, though potentially lethal, amounts of airborne carcinogens.
Other recent patents include work on facial recognition technology for homeland security applications; new semiconductor fabrication technologies; terahertz imaging technology for non-destructive and non-invasive detection of concealed explosives and other chemical and biological agents; and a new smart pin actuator-based technology that enables precise delivery of metered amounts of liquid materials for the fabrication of micro arrays.
NJIT’s Office of Technology Development promotes and facilitates the commercialization of NJIT research results through technology licensing, sponsored research activities, and the establishment of new business start-ups in a manner consistent with the teaching, public policy and economic development objectives of the university.