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Patent Attorney Joins UW to Lead Technology Transfer Efforts

December 4, 2018
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Henry Nowak

Experienced patent attorney Henry Nowak has joined the University of Wyoming as director of technology transfer and business resources.

“He has a depth and range of experience that will serve UW and Wyoming well as the university works with the state and ENDOW (Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming) to stimulate entrepreneurial activities and the shepherding of ideas with market potential into the business world,” says UW Vice President for Research and Economic Development Ed Synakowski.

At a time when many universities are cutting back on programs and services, UW’s strong commitment to entrepreneurship and business development drew Nowak’s interest.

“It’s really nice to be in an environment that’s enthusiastic and encouraging,” he says.

Nowak most recently served as technology manager of Technology Transfer and Business Resources at North Dakota State University, where he was responsible for a portfolio of technologies resulting from research activities at that campus, including intellectual property evaluation, marketing, negotiating and drafting agreements, and monitoring their performance. Previously, he was the assistant director for life sciences in the Office of Technology Development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he managed a portfolio for patenting, licensing and startups from the Schools of Pharmacy, Medicine, Public Health, Dentistry and the Departments of Chemistry, Biology and Computer Science. He also oversaw the internship program under which students from business, law and science developed utilization plans for university technologies.

Nowak also served as director of the Center for Entrepreneurship in the College of Business at Colorado State University. Before that, he was the director of the Technology Commercialization Office at Utah State University, handling a portfolio of life science technologies and, pursuant to a Department of Defense security clearance, the portfolio of the Space Dynamics Laboratory. Nowak also has worked in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and agricultural biotechnology industry for more than 15 years. He holds a law degree, a Master of Business Administration degree and a master’s degree in biochemistry. He’s a registered patent attorney.

At UW, Nowak will serve as director of the Wyoming Technology Transfer and Research Products Center. “We’ll be a resource for the state and the university,” he says.

“In his new role at UW, Nowak will lead the effort to provide faculty, staff, students and Wyoming entrepreneurs with guidance and resources to identify, promote and protect intellectual property with market potential,” Synakowski says. “He and his office will play a key role within UW’s new Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE). In addition to vetting ideas that can be licensed to industry, his office will provide a gateway to the services of the IIE that will be aimed at drawing upon the resources of the campus to develop robust, vetted business models that can attract investment. He also will assist me in shaping the relationships between the Wyoming Business Council-supported Business Resource Network units and the IIE.”

With a land-grant university’s three-fold mission of education, research and outreach, Nowak plans to address all three. He wants to involve students in the office’s efforts and eventually to teach a class in the College of Business to expose business students to technology.

While universities are strong in research, they are often lacking in the development part of R&D.

“When you have technologies, you have to get them to their full utilization,” Nowak says. For UW researchers, that may mean licensing the technology to an established company or helping the technology move closer to commercialization within the university or through a university startup.

As for outreach, the center’s mission includes assisting Wyoming entrepreneurs and inventors in the protection, marketing and technology transfer of their intellectual property.

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