February 19, 2013

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Forty under 40

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Article

Tech Savvy

University Research Translates into Promising New Startups

Heather Stewart

February 19, 2013


Utah’s research universities continue to dominate the field when it comes to technology commercialization. In fiscal year 2012, the University of Utah turned $393 million in research funds into 275 intellectual property disclosures and 80 technology licenses executed.

Brigham Young University is also churning out impressive results, leveraging each $1 million in research funding into more than two patent applications and four intellectual property disclosures. And with several USTAR teams picking up steam at Utah State University, the school is also developing a strong pipeline of new technologies.

Here we highlight two of the pioneering companies born from research at local universities.

Crocker Spinal Technologies

Based on innovative technology developed at Brigham Young University, this company is working on an artificial spinal disc that duplicates the natural motion of the spine—an attractive alternative to the current fusion treatment that replaces the degenerative disc with bone. The artificial spinal disc is a jointless, elastic device that relies on flexibility to create movement.

Navillum Nanotechnologies

Spun out of the University of Utah, Navillum Technologies developed an innovative method for fabricating quantum dots and other types of semiconducting nanocrystals at commercial scale. Quantum dots are spherical-shaped nanocrystals that can absorb and re-emit discrete wavelengths of light when excited. They can also convert solar photons into electricity. Some of the promising applications of quantum dots include improving the efficiency and color of LED lighting, dramatically improving the color range of LED displays, increasing the battery life of mobile devices and increasing the efficiency of solar panels.

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