Excerpt from Chancellor Thomas F. George's Announcement
I have just learned
that UMSL's Zhi Xu, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry,
has won the University of Missouri System's 2004 Faculty Entrepreneur
of the Year Award for his part in the invention and commercialization
of a new ultrasensitive spectrophotometer. This is good news for
him and for this campus.
In its third
year, this award is granted to a UM faculty member who has "a
record of entrepreneurial innovation that demonstrates commercial
utility, contributes to the public welfare, and brings visibility
to the University of Missouri." The award includes a cash prize
and will be presented April 6 at the 2004 Technology Transfer Showcase.
essential analytical tools in academic and commercial labs worldwide.
These devices use optical means to detect minute quantities of chemicals
or compounds in solutions. Xu's innovation is a new means of analysis
that eliminates much of the "static" or interference inherent
in these machines, thus increasing the device's sensitivity by one-hundredfold.
Xu's work, conducted
in partnership with David Larsen, professor emeritus of chemistry
and biochemistry, is of great value to researchers, and his efforts
to make the technology widely available have resulted in a patent
and a licensing agreement with Altech Associates Inc., a Chicago-based
manufacturer in the field. A second license on another aspect of
the technology currently is under negotiation. The first commercial
product from this technology will be launched by early summer, with
expected annual licensing revenue in the mid-six figures.
In the preparations
for the licensing agreement, the Office of Research Administration
asked Keith Stine, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry
at UMSL, to serve as its scientific advisor and Haim Mano, associate
professor of marketing at UMSl, to conduct market research on the
product. Their contributions were essential.
any of you who have inventions that you believe might have commercial
value to contact our research office. Based on your disclosures,
we can apply for patents and facilitate commercialization of your