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New Kauffman Foundation Award Recognizes Leaders in Commercialization

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John Fougere

Chief Communications Officer

University Relations

Nov 02, 2010

For more information, please contact:
Lacey Graverson
(816) 932-1116 or lgraverson@kauffman.org

Sarah Brewster, media relations representative
(816) 842-8111 or sarah@trozzolo.com

Selected universities to receive $100,000 grant for creative approaches to moving innovations to the market

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Oct. 27, 2010) – The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation today announced the designation of three universities – Carnegie Mellon University, University of Missouri System and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – as “Kauffman Commercialization Leaders.” The award recognizes the selected universities for their creative approaches to help to accelerate the process of bringing student and faculty innovations to market. The Foundation is awarding each university a $100,000 grant for their selected programs or initiatives.

“These universities exhibit a strong commitment to bringing the innovations developed on campuses into the commercial marketplace, which benefits society and ultimately enhances economic growth,” said Carl J. Schramm, Kauffman Foundation president and CEO. “We are very pleased to recognize and support their efforts.”

The Kauffman Foundation, dedicated to growing economies by advancing entrepreneurship and innovation, developed this new award as a way to shine a spotlight on universities that have developed new models to accelerate the commercialization of technologies developed at the university level.

The programs developed by the Kauffman Commercialization Leaders include:

Carnegie Mellon University
The Project Olympus Commercialization Fellows Program will create a cadre of students who will graduate with skills to move their research ideas from the university to the marketplace. Olympus staff will provide fellows with structured business guidance, incubator space, and connections and visibility through Olympus’ networks and events. Fellows will take entrepreneurially oriented courses during their fellowship year on topics including venture capital, business planning and business law.

University of Missouri System
The Student Ownership Rights in Intellectual Property initiative encourages student entrepreneurship and technology commercialization by giving students ownership of their intellectual property. Students may own any copyrightable or patentable works made during their enrollment as a student of the University and will not be required to assign his or her ownership to the University.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The Innovation Fellowship Program will provide technical expertise to UNC startup companies. The program will help launch and grow early stage university startups as well as build entrepreneurial talent for the Research Triangle Park region by funding two-year Innovation Fellows to work with fledgling companies.

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The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private nonpartisan foundation that works to harness the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to grow economies and improve human welfare. Through its research and other initiatives, the Kauffman Foundation aims to open young people's eyes to the possibility of entrepreneurship, promote entrepreneurship education, raise awareness of entrepreneurship-friendly policies, and find alternative pathways for the commercialization of new knowledge and technologies. In addition, the Foundation focuses on initiatives in the Kansas City region to advance students’ math and science skills, and improve the educational achievement of urban students, including the Ewing Marion Kauffman School, a college preparatory charter school for middle and high school students set to open in 2011. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo. and has approximately $2 billion in assets. For more information, visit www.kauffman.org, and follow the Foundation on www.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn.

Carnegie Mellon (www.cmu.edu) is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the fine arts. More than 11,000 students in the university’s seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation. A global university, Carnegie Mellon’s main campus in the United States is in Pittsburgh, Pa. It has campuses in California’s Silicon Valley and Qatar, and programs in Asia, Australia, Europe and Mexico. The university is in the midst of a $1 billion fundraising campaign, titled “Inspire Innovation: The Campaign for Carnegie Mellon University,” which aims to build its endowment, support faculty, students and innovative research, and enhance the physical campus with equipment and facility improvements.

The University of Missouri System (www.umsystem.edu) is the largest public research university in the state, with more than 70,000 students on four campuses and about 39,000 employees. The university system includes the University of Missouri (in Columbia), the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla. It has 10 research parks and commercialization sites across the state, and has a small business development program that encompasses 30 offices.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (www.unc.edu) was the nation’s first state university to open its doors and the only public university to award degrees in the 18th century. Carolina was chartered on Dec. 11, 1789. Several national publications regularly publish rankings that list the university prominently in categories ranging from academic quality to affordability to diversity to engagement to international presence. Recent highlights include placing 1st among the 100 best U.S. public colleges and universities that offer the best combination of top-flight academics and affordable costs as ranked by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Offerings include 77 bachelor’s, 109 master’s, 66 doctorate and six professional degree programs, with strengths across the health sciences, liberal arts, basic sciences and high-tech programs. On Oct. 12, 2010, the university launched the Innovate@Carolina Campaign, a $125 million drive to make Carolina a world leader in launching university-born ideas for the good of society.