Kannan Grant’s door in the UAH Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) is always open. “We proactively promote and support a culture of learning and innovation at UAH by creating and capitalizing on commercial opportunities that benefit our constituents,” says Grant, who has served as the OTC’s director since late 2007, “and I think we provide a service that is becoming more important to research-intensive academic institutions such as UAH.”
The office, which acts as a liaison between university innovators and industry investors, saw a banner year in 2017. Grant credits much of that success to the time and effort the OTC has devoted to educating its constituents – the UAH faculty members, researchers, and graduate students who generate intellectual property – on how best to protect and commercialize their innovations. “We encourage people to contact us as soon as they think they’ve got something that’s copyrightable or patentable,” says Grant. Their proactive approach has translated into a steady increase in invention disclosures over the years, from just 18 in fiscal year 2008 to 42 in FY 2017.