UTSA hosts fourth annual Innovation Awards

New UTSA hosts fourth annual Innovation Awards

UTSA President Ricardo Romo and UTSA's 2016 Innovator of the Year, Banglin Chen

(December 8, 2016) – The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) recognized professor Banglin Chen as its 2016 Innovator of the Year at the fourth annual UTSA Innovation Awards. His selection was based on a number of factors including productivity, new invention disclosures, filed patent applications (three in 2016), and licensing of his technologies.

Chen earned his B.S. and M.S. in Chemistry from Zhejiang University, China and his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the National University of Singapore. His research focuses on metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), which are three-dimensional structures, made up of metals linked to carbon compounds. These MOFS are useful for alternative energy applications, particularly for storage and separation of gases such as acetylene, hydrogen and methane.

Additionally, UTSA recognized 15 other members of its research community. Organized by the UTSA Office of Commercialization and Innovation (OCI), these annual awards are presented in four categories, reflecting UTSA's success at commercializing new knowledge and technologies.

"In our role as a researcher, we can be so involved in the pursuit of discovery that sometimes we don't realize our findings need to resonate and benefit the public in a tangible way. The OCI provides our faculty and students resources and expertise to commercialize their research and inventions. Their innovations add to our reputation as a top-tier research university," said Bernard Arulanandam, interim UTSA vice president for research.

The OCI works with UTSA faculty to facilitate technology transfer and commercialization, and to assist with university-industry partnerships. Through the OCI, the university provides intellectual property management and licensing, proof-of-concept development, new venture incubation, entrepreneurial training, and policies and procedures that accelerate and ease the transition of intellectual property from the university to industry.

"We've built a foundation over the last few years. We now call upon the San Antonio community to engage with our office and our researchers to lend their expertise to convert groundbreaking research into finished products and companies. Organizing these awards not only demonstrates our accomplishments but allows us to find opportunities for collaboration with our community stakeholders, and ultimately drive our economy," said Cory Hallam, UTSA chief commercialization officer.

The following researchers and community leaders were recognized for their advancements in their fields:

Recipients of Issued Patents
Issued patents represent the securing of intellectual property rights for new innovations. This year, UTSA received a record number of issued patents, which grow our licensing portfolio and contribute to UTSA's state, national, and international rankings.

Sos Agaian | 9,299,130 | United States
Methods and Apparatus for Image Processing and Analysis
>> Techniques for digital image enhancement using a single input image.

Mauli Agrawal | 9,259,334 | United States, Australia
Scaffold System for Tissue Repair
>> An expandable scaffold that serves as a temporary template that allows damage tissue to be rebuilt.

Arturo Ayon and Cory Hallam | Australia, Mexico, China
Impact Resistant Surface-Mounted Roof Sensors
>> A roof sensor system to measure and transmit load information to warn of roof collapse.

Rajendra Boppana | 9,128,791 | United States
Generation of Distinct Pseudorandom Number Streams Based on Program Context
>> Method of providing random number streams to a computer useful for simulations and cryptography.

Banglin Chen | 9,127,025 | United States
Robust highly interpenetrated metal-organic framework constructed from pentanuclear clusters for selective sorption of gas molecules
>> Metal-organic frameworks useful for gas storage, gas absorption, gas separation, and gas detection.

9,296,773 | United States
Enantiopure Mixed Metal-Organic Frameworks for Selective Separations and Enatioselective Recognition
>> Metal-organic frameworks useful for gas storage, gas absorption, gas separation, and gas detection.

9,376,641 | United States, Europe, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Ireland
A Metal-Organic Framework with Optimized Open Metal Sites and Pore Spaces for High Methane Storage at Room Temperature
>> Metal-organic frameworks useful for gas storage, gas absorption, gas separation, and gas detection.

Doug Frantz | 9,221,800 | United States
Isoxazole treatments for diabetes
>> Compounds to treat diabetes by inducing synthesis and secretion of insulin from pancreatic beta cells.

Donald Kurtz | 9,346,855 | United States
Protein Scaffolds for Targeted Delivery of Toxic Iron to Cancer Cells
>> New method of cancer treatment using iron-based cancer photodynamic therapy (PDT).

Taeg K Nishimoto | D759,885 | United States
A Hexagonal Translucent Mesh Light Source Container
>> Lighting design using three different kinds of fabric (recycled polyester felt, spandex, and silk).

Dhiraj Sardar | 9,173,562 | United States
Method and Apparatus for Diagnosing Neovascularized Tissues
>> Method for detecting eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy.

Qi Tian | 9,412,020 | United States
Geometric Coding for Billion-Scale Partial-Duplicate Image Search
>> Image search for use in image/video copyright violation detection, and image tracking.

Bao Liu | 9,181,089 | United States
Carbon Nanotube Crossbar Based Nano-Architecture
>> Design for a carbon nanotube microprocessor that could lead to a new approach for creating CPU's.

Carlos Garcia | 9,134,223 | United States
Modification of A Flow Cell to Measure Adsorption Kinetics Under Stagnation Point Flow and Development of a Setup Correction Procedure for Obtaining Adsorption Kinetics at The Stagnation Point
>> A modified flow cell for a spectroscopic ellipsometry machine used for chemical analysis.

Todd Wolf | 9,177,154 | United States
Remediation of Computer Security Vulnerabilities
>> A computer vulnerability patching system that uses the exploit itself as a tool for applying the patch.


Licensing Revenue
Licensing revenue represents income the university receives from intellectual property that has been optioned or licensed. The revenues are shared amongst the university, colleges, departments, and faculty involved in the intellectual property. This year also showcases the first-ever licensing revenue generated upon initiation of a sponsored research agreement as a result of improved intellectual property policies.

Doug Frantz
New Chiral Phosphite Ligands for Asymmetric Catalysis

Ruyan Guo and Amar Bhalla
Accurate and Repeatable Method of Measuring and Profiling Frozen Beverages

Arturo Ayon and Cory Hallam
Surface-mounted monitoring roof sensors system/ Impact-resistant surface-mounted roof sensors


I-Corps™ Recognition
The National Science Foundation awarded $50,000 grants to UTSA investigators and their teams, with the goal to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge from academic research. This grant also provides entrepreneurship training to the participants by combining experience and guidance from established entrepreneurs through a targeted curriculum. All UTSA I-Corps grantees completed a joint CITE/OCI program to qualify for the national program.

The Agaian Team
Digital Pathologist Platform
Sos Agaian, Cole Wollak, Mike Troy
Sos Agaian's team, which included student Cole Wollak and businessman Mike Troy, explored the needs of pathologists and insurance companies and how their automated cancer detection and grading, with additional analysis of patient medical information and allowing remote analysis for underserved markets, may be able to fulfill market needs.

The Ayon Team
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Arturo Ayon, Trent Berryman, Joey Oliver
Arturo Ayon's team, consisting of UTSA business major Trent Berryman and San Antonio businessman Joey Oliver, interviewed people who suffer from sleep apnea and the medical professionals who treat them, to explore and understand the market requirements for their discreet and portable EPAP nasal masks, an alternative to CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy.

The Chen Team
Gas cylinder for high-purity acetylene storage
Banglin Chen, Huimin Wen, Jeff Xu
Chen's team, which included postdoctoral fellow Huimin Wen and entrepreneur in residence Jeff Xu, investigated the needs of gas storage and separation companies and the fit of their porous materials that can efficiently store high-purity acetylene, or separate acetylene from ethylene and has potential applications in gas storage, separations, sensors, catalysis and electronics.

UTSA is ranked among the top 400 universities in the world and among the top 100 in the nation, according to Times Higher Education.

- Sarah Hada
Learn more about the UTSA Innovation Awards.

Learn more about commercialization of intellectual property and technology transfer at UTSA.

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