The PTRC at Wichita State University Libraries is now participating in the implementation of the $7.1 million U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant awarded to Wichita State in October 2016 to rapidly accelerate multiple economic development efforts underway as part of the Innovation University initiative.
The funding, which was awarded to WSU Ventures, is aimed at creating valuable new manufacturing jobs to replace those lost in the defense industry. It will be used to develop and strengthen existing Wichita State institutes, centers and laboratories to support the development of new technologies. The grant will provide $3.9 million of equipment and additional funding for workforce, export assistance and commercialization efforts including 13 student jobs and six staff jobs.
Since this type of innovative accelerator program requires knowledge of patents, trademarks and industrial market information for decision-making purposes, a small portion of the grant was awarded to the WSU Libraries to support the implementation of the award over a two-year period. The grant awards funding for the University Library to provide patents and trademark research support as well as to develop patent and trademark instructional materials. WSU Libraries has been a PTRC (PTDL) since 1991 and this grant provides us with the most exciting opportunity for visibility we have had in those 25 years.
Nan Myers, Associate Professor Emeritus, and Information Services Research Assistant Sara Butts have been appointed as the UL’s main representatives for this grant. Part of the EDA grant involves establishing a team of graduate students under the direction of Dr. James Wolff of the Center for Entrepreneurship to engage in patent and trademark research as well as market analysis of industrial areas involved in innovation. Nan and Sara are currently working with this student team on issues of patents and trademarks.
Sara Butts joined the WSU Libraries staff in November 2015 to replace long-time library assistant Jo Gregg-Plumb in patents, trademarks and government documents. Nan Myers, who officially retired in June 2013, has been working part-time since then and is now training Sara. In addition to our university commitment, we also continue to see or talk with patrons from all over the state of Kansas with intellectual property concerns. Nan has provided free workshops on various IP topics through the Small Business Development Center for a number of years and is an honorary member of the Inventor’s Association of South Central Kansas (IASCK) which has become very active in aiding commercialization projects for its members.
Sara Butts is looking forward to attending her first PTRCP Training Seminar in March 2016. Please make her welcome! Our current subject guide for Patents, Trademarks, & Copyright can be found at http://libresources.wichita.edu/patents/trademarks/copyright. Under “Patents” you will find a link to Nan’s most recent workshop presentation titled “Drafting a Provisional Patent: When and How.”