Commercialization Growth Celebrated; Success of Mathematician Kevin Short Recognized

Commercialization Growth Celebrated; Success of Mathematician Kevin Short Recognized

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The UNH Office for Research Partnerships and Commercialization (ORPC) recently celebrated the success of faculty and staff members in increasing the number of innovation disclosures more than 100 percent to set a UNH annual record of 32. Mathematician Kevin Short was also awarded the university’s second annual Innovator of the Year award.

“UNH is leading the country in the use of intellectual assets,” said ORPC Executive Director Marc Sedam. “We’ve spent the last year working with our colleagues across campus and our fiscal year accomplishments reflect that. We want the technology developed at UNH to be used to help keep jobs in the state and disclosures are crucial to that success. The disclosures of today lead to tomorrow’s revenue and opportunities.”

The goal of the ORPC is to promote and advance the use of UNH’s intellectual assets to improve the university’s academic standing and relevance, attract high quality faculty and students, engage the business community, create local well-paid jobs, and generate revenue. Last year the office increased royalties by 10 percent and patent applications were up 40 percent.

Maria Emanuel, senior licensing manager, noted that 20 of the 32 disclosure and licensees were made by first-time disclosers, evidence that the ORPC’s efforts to get word out on campus have been a success.

“This is an incredible achievement but we can and must do more,” said Sedam. “Our goals include helping faculty achieve their research goals through commercialization, getting 25 disclosures, supporting and promoting the InterOperability Lab, and creating at least two spin-off companies.”

Sedam also shared that the first quarter of fiscal year 2013 (July-September) is already showing progress. Nine disclosures have been received; 20 licenses have been completed, compared to 22 in all of fiscal year 2012; a startup company has been launched with several more in the pipeline; and royalties are at 50 percent of fiscal year 2012.

In addition, Kevin Short was awarded the university’s second annual Innovator of the Year Award in honor of his discovery of chaotic compression technology and its applications in signal processing. Short launched UNH’s first spin-off company, Chaoticom, and most recently the university’s fifth spin-off. Setem Technologies uses the mathematics professor’s research to develop signal separation technology that addresses the “cocktail party problem”—the ability to focus on the specific speech source and mitigate/eliminate any extraneous background noise or interference.                   

Short Named Innovator of the Year

Kevin Short was presented with the second annual J. Brent Loy UNH Innovator of the year Award in honor of his discovery of chaotic compression technology and its applications in signal processing.   

“Kevin is truly an innovator, from the classroom to the research that he conducts to the applications for that research,” said Maria Emanuel, senior licensing manager in the university’s Office for Research Partnerships and Commercialization. “He is truly an entrepreneur with the passion to pursue commercial opportunities for his innovations.”

Following graduate school Short spent three years in the Advanced Development Lab at Vitro Corporation developing chaotic prediction methods by combining signal processing and chaos theory. He then worked at the Applied Math Group at MIT for two years where he broke secure chaotic communication data prepared by the Naval Research Lab and detected nuclear test signals hidden in seismic background noise.

Short joined UNH in 1994. He has been recognized with the UNH Outstanding Assistant Professor Award, UNH Excellence in Research Award, and in 2008 was named a University Professor. His research at UNH combines aspects of math, physics, electrical engineering and computer science, and produces new applications of signal processing with control of chaotic systems. These applications range from international security and cell phones to music tracks and efficient storage of large amounts of data.

Short has also translated his work into entrepreneurial opportunities. In 2000 he launched UNH’s first spin-out company. Chaoticom developed a highly compressed music format that led to the launch of the first, direct to cell phone, full-track mobile music download services in Europe and the U.S. It survives today as part of the LiveWire division of NMS Corporation. In support of Chaoticom UNH filed three principal patent applications, out of which four patents were granted in record time. Short is now listed as an inventor on five issues U.S. patents and their related international counterparts and one pending application filed by UNH.

In 2011 Short and his business partner Anthony Cirurgiao created UNH’s fifth spin-off. Setem Technologies uses the mathematics professor’s research to develop signal separation technology that addresses the “cocktail party problem”—the ability to focus on the specific speech source and mitigate/eliminate any extraneous background noise or interference. Setem has raised $1.4 million from a number of angel inves

 

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