"E&I has been hugely helpful to faculty members to get their technologies out into the commercial world."
- Manoranjan Misra, University of Nevada, Reno Professor, Materials Engineering Division, Director, Renewable Energy Center
Watch an overview on technology transfer from the Association of University Technology Managers.
Protect Your Intellectual Property
The commercialization of technology is a multi-stage process with the goal of finding suitable application in the marketplace. The process starts with the researcher’s discovery. From there, the Office of Enterprise & Innovation will work with the researcher to help protect the invention. This includes working closely with both the inventor and appropriate patent offices. As part of the commercialization process, the Office of Enterprise & Innovation also runs an industry engagement program and supports grant applications to a number of related external support organizations.
The first step in formally protecting your work is to download and submit to us the Invention Disclosure Form to fully capture your invention. With the information from this form, we will work with you to assess the patentable features of your discovery. If you would like assistance with the form, please contact our office and we will address any questions you may have.
Additional Intellectual Property Information & Resources
You will find additional useful information on protecting your research discoveries through the following organizations:
Starting a Company
The Office of Enterprise & Innovation (E&I) for the University of Nevada, Reno and the Desert Research Institute, is committed to
- facilitating and encouraging students and faculty who want to engage in entrepreneurial activities, and
- encouraging economic development and diversification that benefits the State of Nevada.
The Office of Enterprise & Innovation has a range of resources that can be applied to your entrepreneurial endeavor to help ensure success. First let’s define a few terms.
What is a Spinout Company?
A spinout company is a new company that utilizes or is based on the assets of the University of Nevada, Reno or the Desert Research Institute. Assets are generally any intellectual property that was generated at either institute or using its resources. This can include anything from patents to copyright software and business methods. If you are interested in starting a spinout company, please take the time to understand the Express License agreement and contact us.
What is a Startup Company?
A startup company is any other new company not based on intellectual property of the University of Nevada or the Desert Research Institute. We recommend contacting the Nevada Small Business Development Center or Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada for assistance with starting your new company.
If it’s unclear which type of company you are starting or who has a legal claim to the assets being used, it’s best to check with us. Getting it wrong can have adverse consequences in the future.
Material Transfer Agreements
Researchers with the University of Nevada, Reno and the Desert Research Institute can now send and receive material from other Uniform Biological Material Transfer Agreement (UBMTA) signatory institutions. If the organization you wish to work with is on the list of signatories (UBMTA signatory organizations) please fill out the appropriate UBMTA form letter and submit to E&I.
If the organization you wish to work with is not a UBMTA signatory, please use one of the University's standard Material Transfer Agreements. If your material has unusual requirements, or is being transferred to a commercial entity, please contact E&I to determine whether one of the standard forms is sufficient or if a custom agreement should be prepared.
Learn how to make the most of your collaboration by reviewing the UIDP Researcher Guidebook which addresses the opportunities and challenges unique to institution and industry collaborations.
If you have other questions about materials transfer, intellectual property issues or need a confidentiality/non-disclosure agreement please contact us.
Please contact the Office of Enterprise & Innovation before applying for any of the programs below.
National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps)
The NSF I-Corps is a set of activities and programs that prepare scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the laboratory and broadens the impact of select NSF-funded, basic research projects. While knowledge gained from NSF-supported basic research frequently advances a particular field of science or engineering, some results also show immediate potential for broader applicability and impact in the commercial world. Such results may be translated through I-Corps into technologies with near-term benefits for the economy and society.
National Science Foundation Industry & University Cooperative Research Program (I/UCRC)
The NSF I/UCRC program brings together faculty and students from academic institutions with companies, non-profits, and state, federal, and local governments to collaborate on pre-competitive, fundamental research of interest to industry to drive innovation in the U.S.