Archive for February, 2012

Help Us Find the 2012 U.Va. Innovator of the Year

Pictured: Innovations developed and used by past award winners. Photos by Stephanie Gross and Jackson Smith







Is one of your colleagues — or are you, yourself — making a big impact through innovation?

Help us find the 2012 Edlich-Henderson Innovator of the Year! Nominate yourself or a colleague by March 5.

Eligible nominees are current University of Virginia faculty, staff or students whose research discoveries are making a major impact.

All nominations must be received by 11:59 p.m. on March 5. To nominate yourself or a colleague, simply submit a letter addressing the above criteria to U.Va. Innovation via:

  • E-mail (, preferred
  • FAX (434-982-1583)
  • U.Va. messenger mail (P.O. Box 400896) or
  • Postal mail (250 W. Main St., Suite 300; Charlottesville, VA 22902)

For more information about the award and to view past recipients, click here.

Student Entrepreneurs: Ask the Experts!

E-Cup 2011

Student entrepreneurs react to expert feedback following their presentation at the 2011 U.Va. Entrepreneurship Cup. Photo by Cole Geddy

Student entrepreneurs: Need help getting your idea off the ground, charting the right path for your business venture or finding a needle in a haystack? Why not ask a whole bunch of experts?

U.Va. Innovation — together with the E* Society, Student Entrepreneurs for Economic Development (SEED) and the Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Darden School of Business — invite you to get your “burning questions” answered at a special event, held Tuesday, Feb. 28, from 5-7 p.m. at Alumni Hall.

Together in one room: serial entrepreneurs, financial advisers, lawyers, designers, project strategists, IT experts and others who want to discuss your ideas and how to make them a reality.

Register here to attend and get your questions answered.




Research Commercialization Funding Available from CIT

Last month, we shared the news that nine University of Virginia spin-offs were awarded nearly $1.8 million in federal funding under the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund, administered by the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT).

CIT is now accepting proposals for the fund’s winter 2012 cycle, with letters of intent due this Friday, Feb. 17, at 11:59 p.m. Click here for more information and to apply.

Following required letters of intent, proposals will be accepted through March 8, with award announcements planned for mid-June.

Explore U.Va.’s Social Entrepreneurship Landscape

Social Entrepreneurship

Undergraduate student inventor–entrepreneur Joseph Linzon pitches "PowerSole" at the University of Virginia's 2011 Entrepreneurship Cup. Photo by Cole Geddy.


Interested in social entrepreneurship, … or maybe just interested to learn what it is?

Learn how University of Virginia students and faculty are engaging in this growing new arena at the next installment of U.Va. Innovation’s popular Innovation Roundtable seminar and networking series: Thurs., Feb. 16, from 5-7 p.m. at CitySpace. For details, click here. Register online by Feb. 14 here.

The program will feature:

Anselmo Canfora
Director, Initiative reCOVER
Assistant Professor, School of Architecture

Joseph Linzon (pictured above)
Student entrepreneur, PowerSole
Second-place winner, 2011 U.Va. Entrepreneurship Cup

Kevin Pujanauski
President, Student Entrepreneurs for Economic Development (SEED)

Any questions for our panelists? Let us know in the comments!

Innovative U.Va. Product SpermCheck Fertility Hits Store Shelves

Move over, ovulation kits: A new product designed to help couples assess their fertility is now hitting store shelves.

SpermCheck Fertility, a product of innovative University of Virginia research developed by U.Va. spin-off ContraVac Inc., is an at-home diagnostic that allows men to gauge their fertility levels easily, non-invasively, inexpensively, and in the comfort and privacy of their own homes.

Marking an exciting milestone for the company — and couples everywhere who are trying to conceive — SpermCheck Fertility kits are now available online at Walgreen Co. and CVS Caremark Corp., hitting shelves at Walgreen’s 7,800 drugstores next month.

SpermCheck Fertility

SpermCheck Fertility, a male-fertility diagnostic based on U.Va. research, is now available online at Walgreen's and CVS.

For more information, see today’s article from Bloomberg News.

House Subcommittee Explores ‘Prior User Rights’ Under America Invents Act

Happening now: A congressional hearing on “Prior User Rights: Strengthening U.S. Manufacturing and Innovation.”

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet is exploring the issue of prior user rights as defined in the America Invents Act.

The subcommittee is chaired by Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who represents Virginia’s 6th district. At the request of the Association of American Universities, U.Va. Innovation’s W. Mark Crowell provided Rep. Goodlatte’s office with input on the university perspective on this issue, which is being used throughout the hearing.

Watch the hearing, streaming live, here. More information and documentation on the hearing can be found here.

Update 10:26 a.m.: David Kappos, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, defends AIA provisions for prior user rights as a “proper fit” with first-inventor-to-file system, balancing the needs of industry operating under trade secrets with the needs of the university community.

Update 11:12 a.m.: John Vaughn, executive vice president of the Association of American Universities, cites “early-stage, high-risk nature” of university research and proof-of-concept programs and calls on subcommittee not to add to this risk with expanded defense of prior user rights.