NC State Honors University Innovators and Entrepreneurs

North Carolina State University celebrated its achievements in innovation and entrepreneurship for 2012 with the presentation of its Innovator of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year awards.
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Nov. 8, 2012 - PRLog -- North Carolina State University celebrated its achievements in innovation and entrepreneurship for 2012 – including 42 U.S. patents issued and 10 start-up companies launched – with the presentation of its Innovator of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year awards.

"These outstanding researchers and innovators represent the entrepreneurial spirit that permeates throughout NC State," said Chancellor Randy Woodson. "Not only are they conducting terrific science, but they are turning their results into products, services and even companies that benefit the citizens of North Carolina, the U.S and the world."

Dr. Jere Confrey and Dr. Josip Simunovic were named Innovators of the Year for 2012. Confrey is the Joseph D. Moore Distinguished Professor Mathematics Education at NC State University and a senior scholar at the William and Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation. She is working on building diagnostic assessments on rational number reasoning using a learning trajectories approach. She is currently on-leave and serving as the Chief Mathematics Officer for Wireless Generation, Inc., which is building next-generation digital curriculum with diagnostic assessments for middle grades.

Dr. Simunovic is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences and Assistant Direct of the NC State University site of the Center for Advanced Processing and Packaging Studies. Simunovic has gained national and international recognition as one of the leading researchers on advanced thermal processing of foods.

Dr. John Cavanagh, Dr. Christian Melander, and Dr. Mary Tschirhart were named 2012 Entrepreneurs of the Year. Cavanagh, who is the William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry, is an expert in protein structural biology, particularly in how bacteria are able to protect themselves. His discoveries led to the creation of Agile Sciences, an NC State spin-out company located on Centennial Campus.

Dr. Melander is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and his research focuses on (1) defining small molecules that control bacterial behavior and (2) small molecule-coated nanoparticles that have antibacterial and antiviral properties. Melander is also a co-founder of Agile Sciences. His efforts have resulted in 17 patent filings and three issued U.S patents.

Dr. Mary Tschirhart is the Director of the Institute for Nonprofits and a Professor of Public Administration. As director of the Institute, she leads a diverse array of initiatives that include research projects, education programs, community collaborations and social entrepreneurship initiatives.

The NC State Entrepreneur and Innovator of the Year awards were established to recognize members of the NC State community who work to promote the commercialization of university intellectual property, train future leaders, and serve as champions of the university’s culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. NC State's Office of Technology Transfer oversees the awards program.

For more information, contact NC State’s Office of Technology Transfer at (919) 515-7199.

About NC State’s Office of Technology Transfer

With more than 90 startups and 230 commercialized products, NC State brings real-world solutions to the marketplace. The Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) plays a crucial role in this mission by protecting and promoting University research discoveries and intellectual property, working with and guiding industry partners, and promoting acceleration of startups. The office is a division of the Office of Research, Innovation and Economic Development, which is led by Vice Chancellor Terri Lomax. For more information -
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