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From Idea to Product

January 7, 2019
head portrait of a man

Henry Nowak takes the lead as director of the  Wyoming Technology Transfer and Research Products Center.

By Micaela Myers

At a time when many universities are cutting back on programs and services, the University of Wyoming’s strong commitment to entrepreneurship and business development drew Henry Nowak’s interest. He joined UW this October as the new director of the Wyoming Technology Transfer and Research Products Center.

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

The center works to shepherd ideas with market potential into the business world. Nowak brings a wealth of experience, most recently serving as technology manager of Technology Transfer and Business Resources at North Dakota State University. He holds a J.D., an M.B.A. and an M.S. in biochemistry and is a registered patent attorney. Past appointments include assistant director for life sciences in the Office of Technology Development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship in the College of Business at Colorado State University, and director of the Technology Commercialization Office at Utah State University.

Nowak will lead the Wyoming Technology Transfer and Research Products Center’s effort to provide faculty, staff, students and Wyoming entrepreneurs with guidance and resources to identify, promote and protect intellectual property with market potential. In addition to vetting ideas that can be licensed to industry, the center will serve as a gateway to the services of the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

“We’ll be a resource for the state and the university,” Nowak says.

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. You can read more about the Wyoming Technology Transfer and Research Products Center here.

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