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Posted: Feb 10, 2011
MBA students secure Lockheed Martin investment for nanotechnology project
(Nanowerk News) MBA students at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business created a business case that secured a $200,000 investment from Lockheed Martin to develop a nanotechnology created by university faculty. The investment, secured during the initial offering of a new technology-transfer course spearheaded by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, is a win for the university as its first payoff for increased focus on technology transfer initiatives to bolster the institution's contributions to the state economy. The Dingman Center has a 25-year history of fueling economic development in Maryland.
"Helping to commercialize university-developed technology not only benefits the institution and the state economy, it also gives our students great hands-on learning experiences," said G. "Anand" Anandalingam, Dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business. "This program represents the tremendous value our students can realize from experiential learning programs that have become the focus of the Smith MBA curriculum. These programs help our students develop as leaders with real-world problem-solving skills."
The experiential course, created by the Dingman Center, has teams of four students working to commercialize technologies and intellectual property developed by University of Maryland faculty and researchers. The technology that attracted the Lockheed Martin investment is a breakthrough nanowire technology used to detect touch and intensity of touch developed by Clark School of Engineering professor Alison Flateau. The IT and advanced technology company plans to apply the nanowire to a variety of research projects it has under way.
"We're proud to work with leading institutions like the University of Maryland to develop and field cutting-edge technologies like this nanowire," said Douglas Britton of Lockheed Martin. "Partnering with colleges and universities is one of the many ways we drive technology innovation for our customers."
Lockheed Martin entered a strategic relationship with the University of Maryland in June 2010 to collaborate on innovative solutions for global and national security challenges. The relationship involves the establishment of research centers, joint pursuit of business opportunities and enhanced research and development.
"Securing this investment from Lockheed Martin in such a short time and in the first offering of the technology transfer course was a great accomplishment for the students and the Dingman Center," said Asher Epstein, managing director of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. "University-developed technology is a great source of innovation for growing new businesses and it is a Dingman Center priority to work with students to foster that growth, here and globally."
Taught by Brent Goldfarb, associate professor of entrepreneurship, the course is modeled after a summer program the Dingman Center launched in Israel with the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. In that program, Smith MBA students work closely with their Technion counterparts and researchers to commercialize Technion technologies and research by developing marketing and implementation strategies for a North American market entry.
About the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship
The Dingman Center has been a hub of campus and regional entrepreneurial activity for 25 years. Among the Dingman Center's resources are its Capital Access Network (CAN), a pipeline that connects startups from regional tech councils, incubators and state-funded institutions with a network of more than 40 active, accredited angel investors and venture capitalists for early-stage capital. The center also helps lead the University of Maryland's Technology Transfer programs and provides MBA and undergraduate students at the Smith School with practical experiences and opportunities to pitch their business ideas, obtain feedback from experienced entrepreneurs-in-residence and access funding. More information is available at http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/dingman/.