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Miami University, WBI, reach deal to review Air Force research patents

Miami University will partner with the Wright Brothers Institute to review promising technologies developed at the Air Force Research Laboratory for potential commercial spin-offs, officials say.

WBI will pay Miami University $100,000 as part of the 18-month agreement, according to university spokeswoman Carole Johnson.

“This is a new venture for us as far as an agreement like this,” university spokeswoman Carole Johnson said in an interview. “This is monumental.”

RELATED: Plan to take military technology from lab to market takes off

University faculty working with students will search among more than 1,000 AFRL patents and pending applications for patents, officials said.

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The hope is to increase the speed and opportunities for commercialization, said Lester McFawn, WBI executive director.

Miami University will partner with the Wright Brothers Institute to review technologies developed at the Air Force Research Laboratory. FILE (File Photo/File photo/Journal-News)

“The big picture is really to accelerate the lab to market product of Air Force Research Laboratory intellectual property using multiple channels,” he said in an interview.

WBI, located in Riverside, has similar agreements with The Entrepreneurs Center in Dayton and Purdue University, he said. AFRL is headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, which is home to four directorates in aerospace systems, materials and manufacturing, sensors and human performance.

Miami University will review technologies spanning energy storage, health care monitoring and advanced manufacturing, among a broad spectrum of potential spin-offs, according to the university.

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“We are exploring all potential development,” Johnson said. “We’re open.”

The university will push to link technologies with entrepreneurs, money and resources to bring the technologies to market, a statement said.

RELATED: Air Force museum attendance drops after initial surge

WBI, a non-profit partnership with AFRL, provides services to find solutions at the research agency and targets the acceleration to market of AFRL-developed technology, McFawn said.

Miami is home to the Institute for Entrepreneurship. The institute’s Thomas C. Page Center for Entrepreneurial Studies both teaches undergraduate students about entrepreneurship and engages in research, while it’s Center for Social Entrepreneurship Studies seeks solutions to persistent social problems, according to the university.

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