Don’t just follow trends: Create them at UAA’s innovation event
Alaska Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott gives keynote address
May 2, 2016
When we think about inventors, we tend to picture someone historical like Thomas Edison tinkering alone in a cluttered lab, surrounded by gadgets. But today’s life-changing innovations are typically large group efforts. Think about the 9,500 people who donated to Oculus’ $2.4 million Kickstarter campaign, helping that engineering team bring virtual reality into the mainstream.
It’s these types of inventors and entrepreneurs who are celebrated every spring on World Intellectual Property Day, which recognizes the importance of innovators to cultural and economic progress.
Alaska’s first World Intellectual Property Day event will be Tuesday, May 3, at the University of Alaska Anchorage’s library. Beyond Commodities: Transformation through Innovation is a free, public event including presentations and conversations about entrepreneurship, intellectual property rights, innovation and start-up investment. Panelists and speakers include potential investors and representatives from the Silicon Valley U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Carnegie Mellon University, National Council for Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer, and UAA.
Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott is the keynote speaker, and he’ll discuss how start-ups can help Alaska diversify its economy. “This important event helps promote discussion of the role of intellectual property in innovation and creativity in Alaska and I am honored to have been invited as the keynote speaker,” said Lt. Gov. Mallott. “In our current fiscal situation, it’s more important than ever to encourage innovation and recognize the important role that universities, small businesses, and start-ups play in our economy.”
This event is a key example of how UAA is collaborating with government and the business community to find economic solutions for Alaska. UAA’s Office of Research and Graduate Studies is organizing the event with partners including the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and the Office of the Governor.
World Intellectual Property Day activities also include an idea contest with prizes, and the induction of engineering professors John Lund and Todd Petersen into the UAA Patent Wall of Fame. They recently patented a new type of wireless sensor that has many potential uses, including providing a less expensive, easier and more reliable way to monitor and secure remote property.