Moderated by Jane Muir from UF, Director of Tech Connect and Director of the Florida Innovation Hub

The Florida state university system is known for its academic innovations, and the latest studies show FL is #1 in the nation in Innovation. Is there a connection here? In this panel, we will meet the tech connect reps from 3 major FL universities. We'll see what kinds of technologies are being created here, and more importantly, how these technologies are being commercialized. We will get insights from the most profitable tech ever to come out of University of Florida, and one of the newest techs now being commercialized. These are very compelling stories!



Jane Muir

Jane Muir’s career spans three decades with a broad range of professional experiences with of marketing, sales, management, and technology transfer. She spent the first decade of her career in the private sector at several international corporations. For the past 20 years she has held leadership roles in technology transfer at the University of Florida first in the College of Engineering as the Marketing Director for the NASA Southeast Regional Technology Transfer Center, and for the past 12 years at the Office of Technology Licensing. In addition to her role as Associate Director in the technology licensing office, she also serves as Director of UF Tech Connect and Director of the Florida Innovation Hub at UF – a unique 50,000-sq.-ft. incubator that provides offices, labs and other resources to startup companies commercializing research from Florida universities.

Jane previously served as the Vice President for Professional Development for the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), where she developed and implemented training programs on a variety of marketing and technology transfer topics presenting both nationally and internationally. Beginning March 2013 she will join the AUTM Board as President-Elect.

Jane graduated cum laude from Southwest Minnesota State University with a B.S. in Marketing and a B.S. in Business Administration & Management. She has served on the boards of a number of organizations, and has been awarded numerous grants for technology-commercialization programs. Most recently she was the primary author on the $8.2 million grant from the Economic Development Administration to build the Florida Innovation Hub at UF.

University Representatives:

Tom O’Neal - UCF Tech Transfer

Tom O’Neal currently serves as the Associate Vice President of Research and Commercialization at The University of Central Florida (UCF) and Executive Director of the UCF Business Incubation Program (UCFBIP) and also the Florida Economic Gardening Institute (FEGI). O’Neal has been part of UCF’s Office of Research and Commercialization team working to help UCF become a leading metropolitan research university since year 2000. He has assisted in the formation of numerous spin-off companies for technologies developed at UCF, and in 1999, established in 2000 the UCF Technology Incubator of which he serves as the Founding Director. The UCF Business Incubation Program has expanded to nine locations under O’Neal’s leadership. The Incubator was named the Incubator of the Year by the National Business Incubator Association (NBIA) where he is currently serving as a board member. He is the current president of the Florida Business Incubation Association (FBIA). The newest initiative under his direction the Director of Florida’s Economic Gardening Institute. O’Neal joined the UCF staff as the Associate Director for the Center for Research and Education Optics and Laser (CREOL) in 1991. Since 1975, he has been an active member of the business community in Florida. He founded his first start-up company at age 18, which he successfully operated until pursuing a full-time college career. O’Neal received his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering, a Master of Science in Engineering Management and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Central Florida and his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of South Florida.

Valerie McDevitt - USF Tech Connect

Valerie Landrio McDevitt is a U.S. registered patent attorney and Assistant Vice President at the University of South Florida Division of Patents and Licensing, which acts as the main university contact for industry partners and start-up companies interested in technology transfer. In 2010 USF was ranked 20th among technology transfer offices in licensing revenue and 9th among universities for US patents issued. During her more than ten year tenure at USF there has been significant improvement and advancement in licensing, revenue, and commercialization of early stage technology. Valerie was appointed by then Governor Crist and served on the Task Force for the study of Biotech Competitiveness and currently sits on the USPTO’s Patents Public Advisory Committee.

Prior to joining USF, Valerie served as assistant patent counsel and a research chemist for Bausch & Lomb Pharmaceuticals. She also participated in the American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellowship program and worked as a science advisor with a House subcommittee in Washington, D.C.
Valerie received her BS in Chemistry from Siena College in Loudonville, New York, MST in Chemistry at the University of Florida, and a JD at Emory University School of Law. She is a certified licensing professional through LES, a member of the Georgia and Florida bars, and is admitted to practice before the Federal Patent and Trademark Office.

Panelists from companies that have used tech transfer

Lou Oberndorf, former CEO METI

Louis H. Oberndorf founded Medical Education Technologies, Inc., the first company to deliver high-fidelity patient simulation to healthcare education. After licensing the Gainesville Anesthesia Simulator from the University of Florida in 1996, Oberndorf grew METI from a start-up with five employees to an international leader in healthcare education and simulation technology, with a presence in more than 2,000 institutions worldwide. Oberndorf served as President/CEO and then Chairman of the Board before overseeing the sale of METI to CAE Healthcare in August of 2011.

Oberndorf contributed to the advancement of healthcare education throughout his professional career, serving on the Advisory Board of the Harvard Center for Medical Education and the board of the Boston Simulation Center, both in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Oberndorf led critical initiatives to develop new simulation-based curriculum for the American College of Surgeons, the American Board of Physician Specialties and the European Society of Intensive Care. He recently endowed the Lou Oberndorf Lecture on Innovation in Healthcare Simulation at the International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH), one of the largest annual gatherings of healthcare simulation researchers and educators.

Oberndorf currently serves as a senior fellow at the Center for Excellence in Health Care Practice at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee and is a member of the University of Florida Foundation Board of Directors as well as the UF School of Medicine Executive Leadership Council in Gainesville, Florida. Through the Lou and Rosemary Oberndorf Charitable Fund, he recently endowed a new Professorship in Healthcare Technology at the UF College of Medicine in order to further integrate innovative technology into medical education

Dr. Chris Morton Nanophotonica

Dr. Christopher Morton has more than 25 years of entrepreneurial and corporate leadership experience in virtually all aspects of the high tech communications industry, including both wireless and wire line applications. He has focused on developing ground-breaking new technologies and using those innovations to create or enhance successful commercial companies.

Dr. Morton is currently co-founder and Chief Executive of NanoPhotonica, a nanomaterials company enabling power efficient, low cost, long lasting products for the flat panel display, solar energy, and other high profile industries. As co-founder and CEO of SkyCross, a leading antenna company serving the wireless device space, he led the company to multi-year double digit growth, achieved trusted supplier status with multiple Tier 1 customers worldwide, and identified and led the acquisition of a Shanghai, China based company. Of equal importance, he led and contributed to the development and market introduction of iMAT, the company’s new breakthrough smart antenna technology that has currently won 4 high-profile industry awards.

In addition, Dr. Morton is a founding partner with US Access Funds, a firm focused on identifying, qualifying, and matching immigrant investors with growing US companies in support of the Department of Homeland Security investment-related, accelerated residency (EB-5) program. He also serves as Senior Advisor to FOCUS Bankers LLC, providing investment banking services to emerging growth and middle market companies, nationwide.

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