Startups, partnerships fuel new technology at U

Annual report cover

It sounds like a puzzle pulled from the pages of a medical textbook: Imagine you wanted to treat cancer by blocking the blood flow to a tumor, but needed the artery to open itself back up later.

Dr. Jafar Golzarian, director of interventional radiology at the University of Minnesota, solved the puzzle and brought its solution to life. His natural polymer bead, which breaks down after a period of time, fit the bill and was so promising it gave root to EmboMedics, a new medical technology company.

Golzarian’s invention is one of the many research projects the U has spun off as a startup over the years to help new technology reach the market. The U launched a record 14 startups during fiscal 2013, according to a recent Office for Technology Commercialization report on the U’s growing tech transfer efforts.

While new companies are bringing U technology to market, partnerships between departments are thriving back on campus. College of Pharmacy Dean Dr. Marilyn Speedie and her team are partnering with OTC to patent and commercialize their research, which includes new therapeutics for a wide range of diseases.

Across the board, OTC Executive Director Jay Schrankler said the U is bringing in more invention disclosures and filing more patents than ever before.

“Our goal is to maintain this innovative spirit, stay at the forefront of technology management, and to continue developing new ideas and programs in 2014,” Schrankler said.

To learn about some of the other startups and internal partnerships that defined the year in tech transfer, check out OTC’s 2013 annual report.

Originally published on Business @ the U of M.