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NDSU Research Updates
  October 2010  |  Volume 1, Issue 3
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Global Opportunities for NDSU Discoveries

When faculty, staff, or students create a new invention related to their NDSU work or studies, they are required by policy to disclose that invention to the NDSU Technology Transfer Office (NDSU/TTO). The NDSU/TTO then evaluates the invention to determine if it meets the criteria for intellectual property protection. The NDSU/TTO looks at three primary areas when performing the evaluation:

  1. Can the invention be patented or otherwise protected effectively?
  2. Is there a realistic and significant market for the invention (enough to offset the cost of intellectual property protection and provide a revenue stream for the inventors and NDSU)?
  3. What is the stage of technology readiness of the invention?

If the invention appears to stand up well to this three-prong analysis, the invention is then forwarded to the NDSU Research Foundation (NDSU/RF), a non-profit entity separate from NDSU that is responsible for protecting and commercializing technologies developed at NDSU.

For inventions meeting institutional criteria, the NDSU/RF will pay for patenting and other intellectual property and legal costs, which can carry a significant cost. An average U.S. patent application, for example, can cost $15,000 or more in legal and filing fees. This figure doesn’t include responses to Office Actions (rejections) from the United State Patent and Trademark Office and other costs incurred during the lifetime of the patent application, or any foreign patent filing costs, which can be very high. This money is an investment by the NDSU/RF in the technology, with the goal of recovering these costs downstream through licensing revenues.

Once the intellectual property protection is in place, the NDSU/RF markets the technologies to industry in an effort to find a licensee. This is done by posting each available technology on the NDSU/RF website, by conducting direct marketing efforts, by participating in industry tradeshows and conferences, through direct interaction and partnerships with private sector companies, and through many other avenues. Any net revenue generated by NDSU/RF through licensing is shared with the inventors and with the inventors’ department or unit. For more information, contact Jonathan Tolstedt at 701.231.8173.

References:
The NDSU/RF website: www.NDSUResearchFoundation.org.
The NDSU/TTO website: http://www.ndsu.nodak.edu/research/tech_transfer/index.html.
The NDSU intellectual property policy (Policy 190): http://www.ndsu.nodak.edu/policy/190.htm.
The NDSU invention reporting form: http://www.ndsu.nodak.edu/research/tech_transfer/forms.html.

Regional IRB Group Fosters Collaboration

NDSU is among several regional institutions participating in the Great Plains IRB Working Group that represents a three-state region. Teryl Grosz, manager of the human research protection program at NDSU, serves as the University’s representative. The group’s goals including identifying areas of research collaboration and developing processes to efficiently review multi-institutional human research protocols.

“When researchers from several universities collaborate on a human research project,” said Grosz, “it can be a very time-consuming process when multiple Institutional Review Boards have jurisdiction of a project and each performs a separate review.” Federal regulations allow cooperative review arrangements, according to Grosz, and NDSU currently maintains approximately a dozen cooperative review arrangements to encourage collaborative research programs and efficiently conduct protocol review. The new group is expected to expand opportunities for collaboration and efficiency.

The Great Plains IRB Working Group is an initiative of the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the Great Plains Center for Clinical and Translational Research. Institutions included in the Working Group’s initial meeting were NDSU, UND, South Dakota State University, University of South Dakota, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska-Omaha, Creighton University, Sanford Health, and several other medical facilities in the three-state region.

NDSU’s IRB has received nearly 10% more submissions for review in fiscal year 2010, compared to fiscal year 2009, indicating the high level of research activity on campus. http://www.ndsu.edu/research/irb/index.html

Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research

Beginning in 2010, all National Science Foundation (NSF) grant awards for projects that involve students and postdocs, as well as some National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant projects, must include plans for instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). NDSU developed Policy 348 in response to this federal mandate, and Dr. Charlene Wolf Hall, Assistant Dean of the Graduate School, was named to head the RCR program. To date, NDSU has already received five NSF grant awards that must incorporate this requirement into their project activities. RCR instruction is expected to address the following topics:

  • conflict of interest—personal, professional, and financial
  • conflict of commitment
  • policies regarding human subjects, live vertebrate animal subjects in research, and safe laboratory practices
  • mentor/mentee responsibilities and relationships
  • collaborative research including collaborations with industry
  • peer review
  • data acquisition and laboratory tools; management, sharing and ownership
  • research misconduct and policies for handling misconduct
  • responsible authorship and publication
  • the scientist as a responsible member of society, contemporary ethical issues in biomedical research, and the environmental and societal impacts of scientific research

On January 18, 2011, a Gear Up for Grants seminar will provide more information about RCR requirements (see Upcoming Events below). If you are a faculty member expecting to apply for NSF or NIH funding in the near future, or if you are a student researcher funded by NSF or NIH, you are encouraged to register and attend this seminar to become informed.

Upcoming Events

Center for Protease Research Open House
October 28, 2010, 1:30–3:30 p.m.
Core Synthesis Lab, Dunbar 145
Core Biology Lab, IACC 316
Learn more about the laboratories available for scientists for research, data analysis and consultations. Distinguished professor Mukund Sibi serves as director of the Center for Protease Research.

Gear Up for Grants Seminar
Building a Nationally Competitive Research Program at NDSU
November 4, 2010, 3:00–4:30 p.m.
NDSU Memorial Union Hidatsa Room
Vice President Philip Boudjouk will provide advice and strategies for developing a successful research career.
To register, email kay.sizer@ndsu.edu

Gear Up for Grants Seminar
NDSU’s Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Program
January 18, 2011, 3:00–4:30 p.m.
NDSU Memorial Union Hidatsa Room
NDSU’s Research Integrity Officer, Dr. Charlene Wolf Hall, will lead a presentation explaining new federal requirements for training of students and postdocs involved in research projects.
To register, email kay.sizer@ndsu.edu

Office of Research, Creative
Activities & Technology Transfer
1735 NDSU Research Park Drive
P.O. Box 6050—Dept. 4000
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Directions

Phone 701.231.8045
Fax 701.231.8098

NDSU.Research.Update@ndsu.edu