Washington University already has some programs in place to support and honor innovators and entrepreneurs, which serve to enhance a growing culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.
All seven schools have course work focusing on entrepreneurship; Olin Business School offers a major or minor in entrepreneurship at the undergraduate level and a concentration in entrepreneurship for MBA students.
The list is growing constantly, but a few of key programs include the following:
Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research
Under the leadership of Evan Kharasch, MD, PhD, vice chancellor for research, the research office supports faculty and university employees in their creation of new knowledge, seeking funding for their work and in disseminating that knowledge for public good. Recently, he has given presentations about “Innovation, Intellectual Property, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship in Research.” The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research oversees the technology transfer program through the Office of Technology Management.
Office of Technology Management (OTM)
The Office of Technology Management exists to promote public use of university intellectual property created by faculty, students and staff through forming and managing commercial partnerships. OTM assists in the transfer of technology to private companies to benefit society while generating income to support research and education. The emphasis is on serving the university’s research community and on moving new advances along quickly.
Bear Cub Fund
Washington University launched the Bear Cub Fund in 2008 to support current faculty members’ innovative research projects that could be attractive for licensing by commercial entities or serve as the foundation for a startup company. The fund supports research not normally backed by federal grants. Administered by OTM, to date the fund has awarded more than $1 million to WUSTL researchers.
Chancellor’s Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
To recognize and reward faculty and others who have turned their innovative ideas into successful ventures, Chancellor Wrighton established this award in 2010 to be presented at the Faculty Achievement Awards ceremony. The 2010 recipient was Professor Jack Ladenson, PhD, whose research led to the development of a clinical diagnostic test to determine quickly whether a person has suffered a heard attack. The 2011 Chancellor’s award went to engineering professors Jerome R. Cox Jr., ScD, and Jonathan R. Turner, PhD. Together they formed a new company, Growth Networks, based on their work in computer switching technology. The company was sold to Cisco for several hundred million dollars.