The Office of Technology Transfer (OTT), in collaboration with the Charlotte Research Institute (CRI), recently launched a new fund to build prototypes of inventions created at the University.
“Having a working prototype to actually show people your invention makes it a lot easier to license our patent rights,” said Brad Fach, assistant director for the Office of Technology Transfer. “It can be very difficult to promote or license an idea that is written on a piece of paper or as described in a patent. Having a prototype of an invention to show potential licensees takes a certain amount of risk off the table because at that point it’s no longer just an idea, it’s a working invention.”
The fund provides a maximum of $3,000 per invention and must be used exclusively for product design and development. Student salaries and travel expenses cannot be paid out of this fund.
To apply to this program, researchers must first have an invention report on file with the Office of Technology Transfer (forms can be downloaded at http://ott.uncc.edu/site/services.cfm). Once an invention report is recorded by OTT, researchers must fill out a short application form describing the project, a detailed budget and an explanation on how the prototype will assist in commercialization efforts.