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Seed Stage Associates Wins Contract Renewal From UNC

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Seed Stage Associates LLC, a wholly owned for-profit subsidiary of Wake Forest University Health Sciences (WFUHS), has won renewal of its contract with the University of North Carolina General Administration to provide technology transfer services to 11 of the university’s 16 campuses. It is the fourth year of the contract.

Since 2003, Seed Stages Associates has provided assistance in commercializing technology developed by faculty on the campuses of Winston-Salem State University, N.C. School of the Arts, UNC Greensboro, UNC Asheville, N.C. A&T State University, Appalachian State University and Western Carolina University. Last year, UNC Wilmington, UNC Pembroke, Fayetteville State University, and Elizabeth City State University were added.

For schools that are just establishing technology transfer programs, Seed Stage provides education, assistance, and training, as well as evaluation, marketing and licensing of technologies. For schools with established offices, Seed Stage helps with assessment and market analysis for new technologies.

Seed Stage also presents one-day educational symposia for faculty and staff of these institutions, according to Michael Batalia, Ph.D., managing associate of the firm. Topics include patent law, business formation, technology transfer and marketing.

Three symposia are planned during the 2006-07 academic year, one in the east, one in the Piedmont and one in the mountains.

“With our partners, we will be bringing this one-day program to our clients’ home regions in an effort to build a larger network of awareness and access. It is very important for the younger programs to have contact with their colleagues across the state,” he said.

Currently Seed Stage Associates has two half-time experts working directly with the UNC client universities, Gina Stewart, Ph.D., for the western North Carolina campuses and Doug Darr, Ph.D., for the eastern North Carolina campuses. In addition, Seed Stage contracts with WFUHS for some part-time services of the Office of Technology Asset Management and contracts with several former technology transfer professionals with experience in North Carolina.

Batalia, who also is director of WFUHS’s Office of Technology Asset Management, said Seed Stage will be actively working with groups outside the UNC system to enhance technology transfer. He included both private companies and other educational institutions.

The Seed Stage model was based on the success of Wake Forest’s Office of Technology Asset Management. In the past five years, the office has had 181 invention disclosures, filed 58 patent applications, of which 50 patents were issued, licensed or optioned 52 technologies and brought in a total of $130,833,669 in licensing revenues.

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Media Contacts: Robert Conn, rconn@wfubmc.edu, Shannon Koontz, shkoontz@wfubmc.edu, or Karen Richardson, krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu, at (336) 716-4587.

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine and its other related enterprises including the Piedmont Triad Research Park. The Medical School is ranked 4th in the Southeastern United States in revenues from its licensed intellectual property.

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