On April 24, Ilia State University and its International Doctoral School jointly hosted a seminar on “Academic Research, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation” that in particular addressed academic researchers, junior faculty, and Ph.D. students. The seminar was held by Jack Kraszewski, Esq. (Head of Technology Transfer Office of Cleveland State University) and Prof. Jerzy T. Sawicki, Ph.D. (Vice President of Research of Cleveland State University).

Seminar was held in the frames of the joint project that was launched by Ilia State University (ISU), Cleveland State University and Tbilisi Regional Development Agency which aims to encourage entrepreneurship, inspire university research and commercialization, foster university-industry collaboration, and create entrepreneurship ecology within universities and the region.

The University and Research and Entrepreneurial Skills Project is funded by the U.S. Department of State through the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia.

The event was officially opened with a welcome note by ISU Vice Rector Prof. Dr. Nino Doborjginidze, who as well introduced the two guests from Cleveland State University (CSU) to the attending audience. Under the heading “Technology Transfer Strategies, Practices and Examples in the Academic Environment” Jack Kraszewski first outlined the basics of the US intellectual property law and explained the difference between patent, trade mark, and copyright. In the following, the talk focused on how university research based inventions and technologies can be granted patent protection in order to license them to industry or commercialize them by founding own start-ups. In this regard, many practice examples and success stories from CSU were presented.

Jerzy T. Sawicki then introduced the CSU Office of Research to the audience the, which he heads as Vice President for Research. It was shown how a research-strong university supports its scholars and which important role the Office of Research can play as a service facility. It was further pointed out how the Office of Research is linked to the various Research Cluster Centers of CSU. The talk by Jerzy T. Sawicki was followed by a coffee break that gave the attendees the opportunity to discuss their questions directly with the CSU experts.

In the second half of the seminar, Jack Kraszewski gave an introduction to value proposition and value creation, highlighting what researchers need to consider if they want to bring their inventions and innovations to the consumer market. In particular, simple tools for determining the marketability of novel products were presented and the interplay of scientific novelty, market need and price point explained. The seminar was rounded off with an overview on academic-industry partnerships with a particular focus on initiation and growing of such undertakings. Jerzy T. Sawicki explained the importance of relationships between industry and the academic sector, and at the same time pointed out that especially faculty and PhD students can be a trigger for such partnerships. From this last talk, a lively discussion developed that provided both the audience and the two guests from CSU with valuable insights into many further details.

The Program is being coordinated by ISU Development Office.