October 30, 2013

UNH starts innovation effort to work with businesses

A new project aims to build ties with the business community.

The Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. — The University of New Hampshire hopes to play a bigger role in economic development and bring in more money by combining several offices and services now scattered across campus.

The university launched UNH Innovation on Tuesday, an initiative that brings together its licensing efforts, a lab that tests data networking technologies and other programs and builds upon them.

Officials said the project will create a clear path into the university for companies interested in its technology, equipment and expertise, while also giving students more opportunities to work directly with businesses through a new mentoring program.

The goal is to take a more complete view of the university’s assets and improve its business relationships, said Marc Sedam, the initiative’s managing director. Licensing officials recently compared the university’s technology strengths to the strengths of the state’s business community and were surprised to find significant gaps, he said. For example, UNH has strong programs in space science and maritime studies, but there were few business relationships that took advantage of them, he said.

“To a certain degree, the business community kind of forgot about us. They wouldn’t think of UNH as a place to answer their questions, and I’m not sure why that is,” he said. “

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