Monday, April 21, 2014

TTO Announces Boulder Campus Technology Transfer Awards

Researchers and companies working on ultrafast lasers, ultracold matter and DNA sequencing methods are among those honored for technology commercialization.

BOULDER (Apr. 21, 2014) – The University of Colorado Technology Transfer Office (TTO) will present awards this week to University of Colorado Boulder researchers and companies who best represent both the spirit of innovation at CU-Boulder and best practices in commercialization of university technologies.

In the last two decades, inventions by researchers from CU’s four campuses have led to the formation of 132 new companies. Of these, 89 have operations in Colorado, seven have “gone public,” becoming publicly traded companies (either through an IPO or via a reverse merger), and 18 have been acquired by public companies. In total, companies created based on CU technology have attracted over $6.2 billion in financing.

“TTO is pleased to take this opportunity to highlight the contributions that these researchers and companies have made to their fields,” said MaryBeth Vellequette, director of technology transfer for CU-Boulder. “Their commitment not only to performing world-class research but also to creating real-world impact for their work deserves recognition – congratulations to Drs. Kapteyn, Murnane, Chatterjee and Nagpal, and to Dr. Anderson and the ColdQuanta team.”

The researchers and company recognized this year are developing technologies that are helping push the envelope in physics and medical testing. This year’s award winners include:

Henry C. Kapteyn and Margaret Murnane, Inventors of the Year, CU-Boulder. Kapteyn and Murnane are both physics professors at CU-Boulder, as well as members of JILA, a joint institute of CU-Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The Kapteyn-Murnane research group develops ultrafast lasers and x-rays, which have important applications in research on natural processes and in the visualization of other nano-scale processes for the development of nano devices. In 1994, Kapteyn and Murnane founded KMLabs to commercialize their work and make their innovations available to academic and industry researchers, and (more recently) to companies developing technologies such as micromachining.

 Anushree Chatterjee and Prashant Nagpal, New Inventors of the Year, CU-Boulder. Chatterjee and Nagpal are assistant professors of chemical and biological engineering at CU-Boulder. In their joint research, they have developed a platform technology for fast, reliable, high-throughput and cost effective single-molecule sequencing of nucleic acids; this kind of sequencing is an important step in the development of new diagnostic tools for personalized medicine, as well as in rapid identification of DNA sequences that allow bacteria to develop drug resistance. Chatterjee and Nagpal are working with TTO to develop a commercial pathway for this technology.

ColdQuanta, Boulder Company of the Year. ColdQuanta produces high performance, cutting edge cold and ultracold atom technology. Their products utilize Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC), a new form of matter created just above absolute zero, with potential applications in a wide range of research and commercial settings, ranging from atomic clocks to improved navigation of submarines and spacecraft, and even quantum computing. The company grew out of decades of research by CU-Boulder physics professor and JILA member Dana Anderson, who also serves as the company’s CTO.

Awards to CU researchers, startups and advisors at other CU campuses will be presented at separate campus events in April and June.

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