Boulder's Innovation Center of the Rockies signs commercialization agreement with University of Wyoming


The Innovation Center of the Rockies, a Boulder-based organization created to help research institutions commercialize technology, has entered into an agreement with the University of Wyoming, officials announced Tuesday.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The University of Wyoming is the first commercialization partner outside the state of Colorado for the nonprofit Innovation Center of the Rockies, which has inked similar deals with the University of Colorado, Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University and the University of Denver.

“I think that we’ve matured enough; we pretty much captured the major research universities in Colorado,” said Tim Bour, the center’s executive director.

The new partner agreement comes two weeks after the Innovation Center of the Rockies received a national award for its efforts in commercializing university research and intellectual property.

The honor helped to springboard the center nationally and increased the organization’s visibility and credibility with universities across the nation, Bour said. The University of Wyoming could serve as a “test case” for the organization’s success in expanding beyond Colorado’s borders, he added.

“It’s a function of how well we do with Wyoming,” Bour said. ” … How well that works is going to be one important consideration.”

The Innovation Center of the Rockies developed a cloud-based database for its network of 150 advisors — entrepreneurs and executives in fields such as bioscience, natural products and energy — that can assist in the commercialization of the university-bred research and technologies. The organization also made investments in infrastructure such as video conferencing to help connect remote advisors with universities, Bour said.

The center will hire a program manager to be based no farther than an hour’s drive outside of Laramie, Wyo., he said.

“They’ll get access to this great pool of entrepreneurial talent,” he said.

The University of Wyoming, like most of Innovation Center of the Rockies’ Colorado universities, has a high concentration of research in the field of bioscience, Bour said. Other fields for potential commercialization could be energy, cleantech, mineral extraction and information technology, he said.

“We’re pleased to work with the ICR, and to access its advisers and mentors on a variety of initiatives that promote the conversion of University of Wyoming research into technologies and products with high commercial potential,” Jon Benson, chief executive officer of the university’s Wyoming Technology Business Center, said in a statement. “The ICR’s low-cost model has proven effective and we look forward to working together to bring Wyoming inventions to market.”

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