Some of the most promising technological innovations at the University of Virginia got a round of applause at Alumni Hall before the Virginia Cavaliers football team took the field Saturday.

Innovation at UVa was the subject of the latest “More Than the Score” lecture, organized by the university’s Lifetime Learning program. About 200 people attended, many wearing orange and blue in support of the Cavaliers.

Michael P. Straightiff, executive director of UVa’s Licensing and Ventures Group, described his office’s role in powering the university’s “innovation engine.” The Licensing and Ventures Group helps UVa faculty patent their inventions and bring them to market by selling them to other businesses, or starting one of their own. Sixty-five percent of the proceeds from these inventions are directed to further research at UVa. Individual inventors keep the remaining 35 percent.

Straightiff noted that UVa’s founder, Thomas Jefferson, was a strong advocate for research-driven invention. In an 1810 letter to engineer Thomas Fulton, Jefferson wrote: “Where a new invention is supported by well-known principles and promises to be useful, it ought to be tried.”

Three UVa-affiliated entrepreneurs also spoke about translating research discoveries into useful — and potentially lucrative — inventions. Read the entire Charlottesville Tomorrow article, featuring: 

  • James Landers, Commonwealth Professor of Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering and Pathology, talking about new DNA testing technology he developed as co-founder of MicroLab Inc.
  • Erik Breuhaus, business manager at Charlottesville semiconductor startup PsiKick, who graduated from UVa’s Darden School of Business in 2014.
  • Chad Rogers,TypeZero Technologies CEO, talking about his company’s “artificial pancreas,” which automatically stabilizes blood sugar for people with diabetes. Rogers graduated from UVa’s McIntire School of Commerce in 1997.