December 15th, 2018
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12/31/2004 - Eastern Edge Examines Technology Transfer

The majority of basic research is conducted at research universities like Washington State University and the University of Washington. A huge amount of applied research is conducted at universities like Eastern Washington University. Basic research is conducted for knowledge, for the basic understanding of the universe and the fundamentals within it. Applied research is more apt to lead to a product that could enhance our daily lives. Moving the research and its applications out of the laboratories of academe and into commercial use requires a complex set of agreements that is called simply “Technology Transfer.” Both WSU and EWU have technology transfer guidelines in place, and WSU has a technology transfer center that actively assists in making the transfer happen.

The example of Gatorade shows both the problems and values of having policy in place. As you know, Gatorade is a non-carbonated sports drink originally made for athletes which is often also consumed by non-athletes. Gatorade was created by Dr. Robert Cade and Dr. Dana Shires at the University of Florida in 1966 and named for the university's football team, the Gators.

Dr. Cade entered into an agreement with the Indianapolis-based fruit and vegetable canning company Stokley-Van Camp, Inc. (S-VC) to produce the product, which he had already patented. In 1973 Cade and S-VC settled a lawsuit with the University of Florida, which had claimed the University owned the rights for the drink's formula. Since that time the University has received more than $80 million in Gatorade royalties. (Source, Wikipedia:

On Tuesday, Feb. 1, Eastern Washington University, in partnership with the Spokane Area Economic Development Council (EDC), will present “Eastern Edge: Technology Transfer from Spark to Fire” at 11:30 a.m., at the Ridpath Hotel. The event will feature Harm-Jan Steenhuis, Ph.D., author of “Technology Transfer Analysis of Inland Northwest Research,” the latest monograph from EWU’s Institute of Public Policy & Economic Analysis.

Steenhuis will talk about the transfer of technology and knowledge from our local universities and labs into our economy. He will provide insight into how well our universities and labs are performing, examine how other parts of the country generate technological economic development, and present case studies of local patents and companies sparked by work done at our universities.

Eastern Edge is a community lunch break and collaborative information exchange sponsored by Eastern Washington University, in partnership with the Spokane Area Economic Development Council. Featuring keynote presenter Harm-Jan Steenhuis, Ph.D., EWU assistant professor of operations management and technology transfer expert. Before coming to Eastern, Dr. Steenhuis researched various aspects of technology transfer both at North Carolina State University and the University of Twente, the Netherlands.

The event is open to the public and will be Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2005, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m at the Ridpath Hotel, W 515 Sprague Avenue. Cost is $10 per person. RSVP by Tuesday, January 25, by calling (509) 235-5034 or online at No refunds or cancellations after Jan. 28.

Billie Moreland
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