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Introducing KeraFAST!

Are you a researcher and/or faculty member of USC? Do you wish there was an Amazon for useful lab reagents and materials?

Look no further! USC has entered into an agreement with KeraFAST, a life science research products company that has recently launched The Investigator’s Annexe. This program enables participants in the program, namely universities and research institutions, to have a custom tailored web presence allowing the research community to find and purchase their materials through an e-commerce catalog.

Acting as an online marketplace, KeraFAST will actively market and promote your products to interested scientists around the world, and when your materials are purchased, the profits are split between KeraFAST, you, and USC. KeraFAST provides an alternative to the Material Transfer Agreement (MTA), which involves paperwork, delays, and costs.

Currently, there are over 52 world renowned research institutions participating, including USC. Scientists around the world can now buy a Microplate Loading Platform from the laboratory of Dr. Jay Potts located on USC School of Medicine campus. USC hopes that the agreement with KeraFAST will lead to new collaborations and benefit our research mission.

For more information, contact John Propst with the Technology Commercialization Office at, or visit

New Website Features
February 18, 2013

Since 1987, the University of South Carolina’s Technology Commercialization Office (TCO) has assisted faculty, staff, and students in protecting their innovations and research. Today, the office works with business and entrepreneurial interests to help identify, protect, and commercialize the University's intellectual property for the purpose of benefiting society and spurring economic growth for our regional and national economies.

To facilitate this mission, the TCO has launched a new website, offering an interactive, easy-to-use interface for USC inventors, industry, and entrepreneurs. Valuable resources are now just a click away.
To learn more about our office, please visit where you can:

  • Discover additional funding strategies for your research
  • Schedule a meeting with technology commercialization experts
  • Request a presentation on the intellectual property process
  • Become an inventor by disclosing new inventions prior to publication
  • Learn the seven steps of technology commercialization
  • View cutting edge technologies invented by USC faculty, staff, and students
  • Download helpful university start-up company handbooks
  • Meet our staff

The TCO has also launched “,” which automatically syncs with the TCO Intellectual Property database for quick and accurate offerings of current USC technologies, associated inventors and patent status. The TCO has also teamed with The Kauffman Foundation’s ibridge™ Network exposing USC technologies to a broader audience of potential licensees and industry partners.

TCO is expanding to meet the needs of USC’s growing inventor base. We have welcomed several new members to increase interaction with industry, maximize efforts toward marketing USC’s valuable technologies, and introduce inventors to industry partners. Please contact us with any questions. We are dedicated to bringing University inventions and technologies to the commercial sector for the benefit of the University community and the public.

Invention Award Program
February 18, 2013

The Technology Commercialization Office (TCO) is launching an Invention Award Program to encourage faculty, staff and students to disclose their inventions, innovations, and discoveries. The TCO’s mission is to protect and transfer intellectual property developed at USC to the marketplace. The Invention Award Program consists of two qualifying tiers, where applicants can earn up to $1,000 per USC Inventor.

According to Dr. Pam Benicewicz, USC Associate Vice President for Research and TCO Director, this program is essential because, “Intellectual property is the foundation of the modern knowledge economy. It fuels the health and life sciences, alternative energy and advanced material industries, and pervades most other products we consume.”

In order to qualify for the first tier$100– the inventors (USC faculty, staff, and/or students) must submit a completed USC Invention Disclosure form to the TCO. The USC Invention Disclosure form, which can be found on the TCO homepage by clicking the “Disclose Your Invention” button, must be filled out completely and signed to be considered. Additionally, as indicated on the form, it must include an enabling description 1 of the invention and meet the criteria to file for a provisional patent application.2 All patent costs are covered by USC.

During the second and final tier of the incentive program, the TCO will perform an evaluation of the invention, taking into account its originality, importance to industry, advantages over existing art, functionality, market size, etc. To qualify for the second tier$900 – a non-provisional patent application3 for the invention must be filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

As always, if an innovation is licensed4, at any stage after disclosure, the inventor(s) receive 40% of all royalties generated (after patent costs are covered), in accordance with the USC Intellectual Property policy.

If you have any questions about the new Invention Award Program, you can reach the TCO at (803) 777-9515, via email at, or by visiting

1. An enabling description of the invention and of the manner and process of making and using it, that contains full, clear, concise, and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art to which it pertains, or with which it is most nearly connected, to practice the invention and that sets forth the best mode contemplated by the inventor of carrying out the invention.
2 .A provisional patent application is a U.S. national application filed in the United States Patent & Trademark Office. It allows for a less formal filing than a full non-provisional patent application and provides the means to establish an early effective filing date. The provisional application lasts for 12 months from the date of filing.
3. A non-provisional patent application is the formal application that will be examined by the USPTO. In contrast to the provisional application, it must include a specification, including a description and a claim or claims; drawings, when necessary; and an oath or declaration.
4. A license is an agreement between USC and a third party that gives them permission to use the technology for commercial purposes in exchange for monetary consideration.

USC Invention Competition to Launch this Spring
February 18, 2013


The USC Technology Commercialization Office is proud to announce the launch of INVENT EVENT: A USC Invention Competition. INVENT EVENT is set to take place this spring and will be officially announced later this month. USC undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and post-doctoral fellows are encouraged to compete for prizes totaling $50,000.

USC researchers brought in approximately $240 million in sponsored research awards last year. Are you contributing to innovation at USC? If so, we encourage you to enter INVENT EVENT. To enter, you must complete the INVENT EVENT Entry Form, which will be available later this month on the TCO website, by clicking the INVENT EVENT logo. Please stay tuned.

Submissions must be completed by March 25th, and the first round of judging will start soon after. Criteria include: technical feasibility, novelty, non-obviousness, reduction to practice (prototypes made, etc.), relevancy to industry, market, and commercial potential.

INVENT EVENT will culminate at the USC Research Invention Award Reception to be held on May 3rd in USC’s Capstone Building. During the award reception, overall USC Inventors will be recognized, INVENT EVENT finalists will present their invention to a panel of industry experts, winners will be announced, and awards totaling $50,000 will be presented.