UNHInnovation Hosts Seventh Annual Innovators' Dinner

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Annual UNHI Innovator's Dinner

UNHInnovation (UNHI) hosted the seventh annual Innovators’ Dinner on October 5th to celebrate and encourage the commercialization of innovative ideas generated through UNH research. The dinner was held in the Huddleston Ballroom where faculty, staff, students, and industry partners gathered to recognize the UNH community for its hard work, which resulted in 167 licenses, 6 patent applications, and a record $860,000 in commercialization revenue in FY17.

The evening began with a cocktail hour, and guests enjoyed passed hors d'oeuvres, a selection of craft beer and Peter Paul wines, and live music from a jazz band of talented UNH students. After the cocktail hour, guests took their seats and were served a delicious three course plated dinner crafted by UNH catering. The dinner tables and the room at large were decorated with pumpkins and gourds that were developed by Brent Loy, plant biologist at the NH Agricultural Experiment Station. The pumpkins were grown at the Woodman Horticultural Research Farm and generously donated for the event.

During the dinner presentation, Marc Sedam, managing director of UNHI and associate vice provost for innovation and new ventures, outlined UNH’s successful commercialization activity and UNHI’s notable achievements throughout the past fiscal year. The 2017 innovators that were celebrated included first-time disclosers of an innovation, innovators of licensed products, trademark recipients, and issued patents. In Sedam’s message, he reminded the audience that while it is important to recognize the individual contributions of each UNH innovator, their work is a piece of the larger picture. The outputs of the university’s $100+ million research portfolio have a positive social and economic impact on the world.

Sedam also took the opportunity to announce the exciting news that UNH was recently awarded the designation as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) University by the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities (APLU,) and he discussed the university’s plans to propose the creation of a research park on the edge of campus. Both the IEP designation and the research park proposal highlight the hard work and tangible steps that UNH is taking to cement the university as a thought leader and an economic engine in New Hampshire and beyond.

The evening’s presentations culminated in the naming of Brian Calder, research associate professor in ocean engineering and the associate director of UNH’s Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping (CCOM), as Innovator of the Year. Over the years, Dr. Calder’s research has led to the development of several software innovations, including CUBE and CHRT, that process hydrographic data to make nautical charts more automatic, objective, and faster. Dr. Calder has consistently and effectively worked with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and industrial partners to deliver evidence-based solutions that bring benefit to an entire industry. Dr. Calder was chosen as Innovator of the Year award to honor his investment in government, academic, and industry partnerships, his technical expertise, and his passion for creating sustainable models that support access to and implementation of his tools.

From the room décor to the innovator awards, the Annual Innovators’ Dinner is an opportunity for UNHI to showcase and celebrate the creative outputs of the university and to look ahead to the goals and objectives of the coming year and beyond.  UNHI is already planning for next year’s dinner and we look forward to celebrating the innovations and accomplishments of FY18.

Are you a UNH innovator with a big idea? Check out our website to learn more about innovation disclosure and how UNHI can help you reach your commercialization goals. https://innovation.unh.edu/disclose-innovation