Submitted Founded in 1991, the Evansdale PTRC in Morgantown, WV serves not only our campus’s engineers, agriculturists, and designers, but also health professionals, business students, scientists, young entrepreneurs from West Virginia University, as well as inventors and entrepreneurs throughout the State of West Virginia. Working as a part of WVU’s IDEA Hub, the Library is an important part of the University’s services to entrepreneurs and innovators who are students, faculty, and citizens of West Virginia.
In the area of service to students and faculty, I have provided reference services and instruction, and I worked with campus-wide initiatives. As in the past, I provided instruction to Horticulture, Bio Medical Engineering, and the students of the Law School Entrepreneurship & Innovation Law Clinic. Although I am not currently working with Engineering 101, they continue to utilize the intellectual property modules that I developed for that class. This fall, I added intellectual property lectures to our Research Commons series. These lectures led to invitations to speak to Law School classes for Patent Law and Trademark Law. The lectures also resulted in me being invited to speak to the West Virginia Bar Association, which will now be held online, instead of in person. My work with the NSF Innovation Corps short course allows me to assist both faculty and student innovators. My work with the LaunchLab allows me to meet with student innovators. Since they participate in pitch contests, I attend them as well. I have also been able to work with the new staff in the Technology Transfer Office, introducing them to patent classification among other things.
A university-wide initiative is Demo Day, which highlights university innovation. Last spring was the second year and I served as a judge for several contests. This year I have been serving on the WVU Demo Day Planning Committee. We had planned to hold it in the University’s coliseum. However, because of the transition of the university to online only (because of COVID-19), we are working on planning to bring it to a virtual Demo Day using social medial. It will be exciting to see how it turns out.
We continue to have participants in the USPTO Virtual Assistance Program for Pro Se Inventors. One rewarding moment came when a former student wrote me thanks for my assistance in receiving his design patent, a “Banana Blaster.” He had used the Virtual Assistance for Pro Se Inventors in Spring 2019.
Service to the community not only includes the Virtual Assistance, but also referrals from our WV Business center. This year our university innovated by adding an additional service to the community and state. This service is contained within Vantage Ventures, which serves as an incubator for start-up businesses. I have just begun to work with them and am interested to see how this partnership will evolve. Another highlight occurred this fall, when I was invited to participate in a panel discussion at the WVU Office of Procurement’s Small, Diverse, & Local Business Vendor Fair.
It has been a busy year. This coming year promises to be interesting. I’m glad that we have online tools such as Zoom to be in touch virtually with our inventors.
Bowtie patent display 2019 Pitch contest March 2020