Entrepreneurship Program Looks Into Air Force Technology

A budding partnership between Miami University and the Wright Brothers Institute is bringing opportunities and curriculum changes to Miami’s Institute for Entrepreneurship, starting this semester. Students and faculty are working with the Wright Brothers Institute to speed up the process of assessing and commercializing the technology contained within patents. The Wright Brothers Institute acts as an intermediary between the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and universities, businesses and communities. Miami’s partnership with the institute gives the university access to a portfolio of around 1,000 AFRL patents for review, some of which have gone unexamined for up to 20 years. By working with Miami, the institute gets access to state resources related to commercialization technology uniquely available to universities. The institute saw an opportunity to expand their collaborations into new territory with Miami. “We believe more potential partners should be leveraging AFRL technology to pursue many commercial and groundbreaking innovation opportunities without necessarily viewing AFRL as the only potential customer,” said Jim Heitner, director of technology commercialization and transfer at the Wright Brothers Institute. A capstone class has been added to Miami’s entrepreneurship curriculum this semester. Students will put the patents through a “funnel,” meaning they will evaluate the patents for their possible use and potential marketability.  Afterwards, they will categorize them into small high-priority groups for further research. The process began this week. This...

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Applications open for $100,000 grant

Nearly $100,000 will be distributed this year through M.I.A.M.I. WOMEN (Miami Initiative for Advancing, Mentoring and Investing in Women) for projects that support the advancement of women.  Although the initiative, which aims to support women in leadership roles, has existed for years, this is the inaugural year for the grant fund.  The fund is now accepting applications for grants ranging from $2,500 to $20,000. Grants of at least $5,000 are preferred, but a limited number of $2,500 grants may be awarded. Applications are due Feb. 9. The purpose of the initiative and the grant fund is to support research involved with the advancement of women.  It is open to projects in any field, including but not limited to athletics, health, research, community support and not-for-profit social entrepreneurship. Faculty, staff and students are all eligible to apply, and eligibility is not gender-specific.  “The mission of the grant is to benefit and advance women,” said Renate Crawford, co-chair of the fund’s steering committee. “But men can certainly apply as well.” Part of the application requires a two-minute video “mini-pitch” in which applicants describe their project. This video does not need to be of professional quality. “We just want to hear from the applicants about their ideas and what their project is really about,” Crawford said. Ten to 15 chosen finalists will participate in a “Hawk Tank” event, styled after the fast-paced TV show...

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Miami primatologist earns national distinction

Linda Marchant’s office is located near the back of a small warren of rooms in a corner of Upham Hall. A printout of a meme is taped to the primatologist and professor of anthropology’s door, expressing frustration with people who call apes “monkeys.” Inside, books and papers fill the shelves along one wall and cover most flat surfaces, reflecting the knowledge and curiosity of the woman who sits in the middle of it all. Marchant, a lifelong lover of science, animals and museums, recently received the award for Outstanding Research into Human Origins from the Center for Research into...

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Miami alums make ‘mountain music’

In the main room of Miami University’s Interfaith Center, Judy and Warren Waldron are playing music. Most of the color is gone from their hair, but their hands and fingers are still quick and lively. Judy plucks at the strings of her banjo while Warren’s bow moves back and forth across the neck of his fiddle. Together, they sing: “Free, little bird, as I can be; free, little bird, as I can be; build my nest in a wide oak tree, where the bad boys, they cannot bother me.” They are playing what some  call “mountain music” — music...

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