KU News Release

Jan. 17, 2012
Contact: Kevin Boatright, Office of Research and Graduate Studies, 785-864-7240

Chancellor to speak in Washington at university-based company startups conference

LAWRENCE — Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little of the University of Kansas will deliver a keynote presentation Thursday at the sixth annual University Startups Conference in Washington, D.C. The three-day conference is organized by the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer, with the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health as federal government co-hosts.

In her remarks, Gray-Little will tell the 300-plus attendees that “universities are being asked to do a better job commercializing research and transferring university discoveries into marketplace solutions. We’re being asked to create more startups and license more technologies. In short, we’re being asked to translate the research we’re conducting on our campuses into life-changing products and life-saving cures. This is the new reality and the new focus for universities. This is our responsibility, and we must continue to embrace that responsibility.”

The conference is dedicated exclusively to creating and funding globally competitive university startup companies. The event brings university leaders together with venture capitalists, angel investors, Small Business Innovation Research program managers and Fortune 500 company technology scouts. The conference also includes staff from federal government agencies that seek to increase the quality and quantity of startups coming out of universities.

The chancellor will also describe the progress being made at KU to expand its economic development mission. This includes the creation of three Bioscience & Technology Business Center facilities in Lawrence and Kansas City during 2010-11. Also in the past year, KU launched three new startup companies, bringing the number of currently active KU startups to 22.

Julie Goonewardene, KU’s associate vice chancellor for innovation and entrepreneurship, is also attending the conference. She will be part of two panel presentations with counterparts from peer universities nationwide.

Other conference sponsors are the National Venture Capital Association and the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds. Additional information is available online.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

kunews@ku.edu | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045

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