In an effort to bolster and promote entrepreneurship at the local level, the West Virginia University BrickStreet Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has partnered with two other major state organizations.

The Café Morgantown at the Market entrepreneurship event will take place on May 3 at the Morgantown Market Place, 400 Spruce Street, in Morgantown. The event will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. following the Morgantown Farmers’ Market.

The purpose of Café Morgantown is to provide small (micro) awards to local entrepreneurs. Participating entrepreneurs pitch their ideas and attendees vote for their favorite project. The selected entrepreneurs will give five-minute presentations about their projects, after which the audience may ask questions. After all five presentations and all questions have been answered, the audience will vote to select a winner.

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The WVU Research Office is accepting nominations and submissions for the 2014 Innovation Awards. Eligible applicants may self-nominate or nominate a fellow colleague or student. Submissions are accepted now through the end of business on Monday, June 2, 2014.

The four awards are:

• Early Career Innovator Award
• Established Innovator Award
• Presidential Innovation Service Award
• Student Innovator Award [A new category!]

The Early Career Innovator, Established Innovator, and Presidential Innovation Service Awards are open to current administrators, tenure and non-tenure track faculty, and staff employed by WVU and its affiliates. The Student Innovator Award is open to current undergraduate and graduate students (May 2014 graduates are not eligible). All awards are based on innovative pursuits and/or accomplishments that have occurred within the past five years. For team projects, a single individual may choose to apply on behalf of a team.

Learn more about the awards requirements and how to submit the material.

Also, “Save the Date” for the Second Annual Innovation Awards Ceremony, Monday, September 22, 2014, featuring Wes Bush, CEO of Northrop Grumman as keynote speaker!

For any questions, please contact Lindsay Emery at

How to Close the Research Gap

Posting date:April 4th, 2014

By Brianna Pethtel

The article Expanding Roles for Research Universities in Regional Economic Development by Mary Lindenstein Walshok breaks down the key ways that universities can close the research gap between the types of research performed and the goal to achieve more diversity. The gap can be addressed by expanding the focus of a university’s research, a university’s contribution to other researchers outside the local area, and understanding that university based research can have significant impact in many ways.

Research universities in every geographical area, both domestically and internationally, have three main areas of knowledge: scientific, humanistic, and social scientific. These three central areas allow research universities to not only explore the full range of knowledge development, but also activities and programs essential to the process. While research universities recognize their responsibility within these three central areas, there is still a gap since universities may get comfortable and not explore other types of research. Universities are composed of researchers from all areas and universities must take the responsibility to explore the other areas such as liberal arts, to create the bridge needed for meaningful economic development.

The research performed by universities has focused mainly on the interdependencies of research, capital, business services, and public policy for the growth of the region. Those specific regions are known as technolopolises. Research universities must recognize the importance of reaching out to not only other technologolise areas, but to smaller areas as well. This will create contacts and help to further close the research gap. Research universities also need to recognize that other research universities are international. Examples of technolopolises both domestic and international are:

  • Silicon Valley- California
  • Route 128- Massachusetts
  • Research Triangle- North Carolina
  • Silicon Glen and Cambridge- United Kingdom

One thing research universities forget is that their research can be utilized regardless of the university’s size. For example, small universities may not have a lot of networking opportunities, but they can organize community forums and leadership briefings to introduce new ideas and opportunities to their community, for an impact both locally and nationally. Larger universities already have many connections with other researchers and can promote their research through existing networking and community forums, but they do not necessarily serve as an essential part of their research promotion. Furthermore, research universities must realize they fill in knowledge gaps that can greatly impact the community and regions beyond their local borders. Some examples include:

  • Economic and social research allows a region to find holes in the industrial base, as well as in infrastructure, geographic, and service capabilities;
  • Basic and applied research activities create new product development;
  • Use of technology transfer and commercialization initiatives with basic research have a greater chance of turning ideas into products;
  • Engagement may involve more than patenting and licensing services, such as: technical assistance, access to business service providers, and connections to sources of capital;
  • Workforce assessments allow universities to partner with industries that are specific for development and builds skills needed to be economically competitive; and
  • Organization of new and interdisciplinary knowledge for problem solving and capacity building allows for new and emerging fields of practice.

Since the roles for research universities have been expanding, it is important to remember that for successful development in the different types of research, as a faculty researcher, one must go beyond the perceived areas of study and work with others in order to close the research gap.

CHARLESTON, W.VA. — State officials and executives from area chemical companies and industry organizations gathered at the West Virginia Regional Technology Park in South Charleston to commemorate the launch of the nation’s first business incubator focused solely on chemical-based technologies.

Dubbed “ChemCeption,” the new incubator is designed to serve as an innovation hub for any technology involving chemistry.

Organized by the Chemical Alliance Zone, in conjunction with TechConnect West Virginia, the incubator will focus on developing and commercializing a wide range of chemistry-related ideas, raging from green technologies, water, plastics, biotechnology, energy and other industries.

See more at:

E. Gordon Gee was named West Virginia University’s permanent president today (March 3) – the third time he’s been asked to lead the state’s land-grant, flagship research University.

Gee, 70, first served as president from 1981-1985 – hired when he was just 36. He returned in January 2014 for a term to replace the departing Jim Clements, and was asked by the WVU Board of Governors Monday to serve as the University’s permanent 24th president—pending a special meeting of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and its approval.

Read more at:

By Brianna Pethtel

On February 18, 2014, Linking Innovation, Industry and Commercialization (LIINC) hosted its third annual Showcase for Bioscience and Biomedical Research in the Ruby Grand Hall at the Erickson Alumni Center. About 37 companies and 46 faculty researchers were in attendance, including a visit from President Gordon Gee.

The event opened up with panel presentations from Dr. Patrick Vallano from Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Bruce Sparks from WVU’s Office of Technology Transfer, and Dr. Allie Karshenas from Clinical & Pharmacologic Research Center. The presentations were followed by a Q&A session. Katie LaRow, an employee for TreMonti Consulting, shared that she enjoyed the panel, and felt it was a complementary team of individuals who represented the level of engagement, interest, and relevance between Mylan, WVU, and the surrounding community.

Following the panel, attendees engaged in open conversation during a reception, with posters highlighting WVU research activities in the bioscience and biomedical areas.

Michele O’Conner, from WV Jobs Investment Trust stated, “I love to see the research that comes out of the university and I think the diverse research is a very positive step for both WVU and the State.” Attending companies included: TechConnectWV, Airgas, and Northrop Grumman, among others.

For more information about this event or for future events visit the LIINC website:

West Virginia University has received a commitment of $5 million from business school alumnus Ken Kendrick and his wife, Randy, and the Charles Koch Foundation as a lead gift to launch a new center to study the economic, political and social factors that increase prosperity.

The gift will enable the College of Business and Economics to create a Center for Free Enterprise, led by co-directors and associate Economics professors Joshua Hall and Andrew Young. The new center will advance teaching and research on the roles that the principles and institutions of a free society play in creating widely shared prosperity and improving quality of life, and will complement more than a decade of B&E support for the study of free market economics.

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Congratulations to Dr. Guodong Guo, in WVU’s Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, for his recent contribution in editing a book entitled, “Support Vector Machines Applications,” published by Springer. This book focuses on business intelligence, computer vision, pattern recognition, machine learning, and more.

You can learn more about the book here: and more about Dr. Guo and his ongoing research efforts here:

Congratulations to the WVU Solar Decathlon Team

Posting date:February 19th, 2014

Congratulations to the WVU Solar Decathlon Team! They were chosen again to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015 to be held in Irvine, California. The WVU team is one of only eight teams that were invited back to compete!

For more information on the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, log on to:

Two days after a chemical leaked into the Elk River and contaminated the water supply of 300,000 West Virginians, a website launched to make the lives of those affected a little easier. quickly garnered 10,000 hits and sent hundreds of SMS alerts to people who had registered with the site. An interactive map on showed visitors where they could grab a clean shower, wash their laundry or go for a bite to eat knowing which restaurants remained open during the chemical leak.

One of the minds behind this innovative service is Samuel McLaughlin, a computer science senior at West Virginia University.

It’s just one prime example of ingenuity that will be on display Wednesday (Jan. 29) at Innovation and Entrepreneurship Day, hosted by Industries of the Future-WV and TechConnectWV, at the state Capitol in Charleston.

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