OTC Receives $600,000 EDA Grant for Launch Blue

UK Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC), on behalf of University of Kentucky Research Foundation (UKRF), was awarded a $600,000 grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) Build to Scale Program. The grant will fund the growth of Launch Blue.

OTC, UKRF, Launch Blue

By The Numbers

117 inventions

disclosed in FY 2020

$2.9 million

in gross royalty income in FY 2020

165 patent applications

filed in FY 2020

$5.9 million

in income distributed to inventors since 2010

29 licenses & options

active as of June 30, 2020

$16.8 million

income distributed to colleges & departments since 2010


UKAccel Teams and NV&A Staff

UKAccel Program Graduates Two Teams

The UK Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) announces that two teams have graduated from the UKAccel program. UKAccel provides the framework for UK innovators to take their idea, innovation, or research and apply tested lean principles through customer discovery and validation in search of a viable business model that customers want and need. This program assists UK innovators in determining the best commercialization path for their technology.

The first team consisted of Dr. Madhumathi Rao, associate professor in the College of Medicine, Clay Larkin, post-graduate and research assistant, and Florence Lima, research faculty in the College of Medicine, working on the innovation of the Bone Biopsy Trephine System, and the second team consisted of Dr. Christine Trinkle, associate professor in the College of Engineering, and Soroosh Torabi, a Ph.D. candidate in mechanical engineering, working on the innovation of the Microfluidic Platform for 3D Cell Culture.

OTC changed up its format for this spring’s UKAccel program so the teams could work together in a cohort. This format provided an opportunity for the participants to learn from one another. The program kicked off in-person on February 7 and then converted to online sessions after COVID-19 became prevalent. The teams were quick to adjust and made the most of the situation especially learning how to adjust and pivot when unusual circumstances arise. During the 90-day program, the teams used customer discovery to determine if they were on the right path with commercializing their technology.

Trinkle and Torabi chose to participate in the UKAccel program because they had developed a technology they believed had commercial potential but they weren’t sure how to proceed with commercializing it. They felt based on their conversations with the OTC staff this program would assist them in determining the best path to pursue. “The UKAccel program introduced us to many avenues of commercialization and helped us to come up with a concrete strategic plan and next steps in this process. Working with everyone in OTC has been great. They have been very supportive throughout the program and provided us with information, assistance, and opportunities that we would never have had access to alone,” said Trinkle.

Around a year ago, Rao’s team identified a problem and then designed a medical device to solve the problem. Since they didn’t have expertise in business or commercializing their device, they determined that UKAccel “was a perfect fit for us because they bring a process-driven approach to helping inventors take the next step towards a viable and sustainable product,” said Larkin. “UKAccel gave our team the resources we needed to create a direct plan of action for getting our product to market. As a team, we were urged to get out of the lab and speak to people outside the building. It has been so refreshing working with this group of professionals at OTC. They are consistently available, like-minded, and driven in helping inventors get the specific help and resources they need.”

According to Emmanuel Smith, New Ventures manager, and UKAccel program lead, “our graduates have done a tremendous amount of work, shown dedication, and adaptability throughout the UKAccel Cohort. They now have the vision to move forward as they seek to commercialize their technology.”