Focus on and Support for Entrepreneurship:  An Interview with Ron HussThis December marks Ron Huss’s 20th anniversary working in the Office of Technology Management. Huss has been managing the office since 2000, and in 2008, he was promoted to Associate Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer, where he provides leadership of Penn State’s vast intellectual-property assets, which comprises thousands of patents, patent applications, copyrights, and other IP.

Huss earned his bachelor of arts degree in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Before his tenure at Penn State, Huss worked in grant management, and even worked on beer fermentation from a biochemistry standpoint.

Since Huss began working with university technology management, there has been a big shift in the perspective on entrepreneurship. We caught up with Ron to get his thoughts on Invent Penn State and its effect on entrepreneurship in our community.

Congrats to the Summer 2016 LaunchBox Graduates!

Congratulations to the Summer 2016 Happy Valley LaunchBox Graduates!

On Wednesday, July 27, the 10 graduating LaunchTeams of the Summer 2016 Happy Valley LaunchBox cohort graduated from the 10-week business incubator program on Allen Street in State College. The 10 team gave 3-minute "rocket pitches" as part of the graduation ceremony.

Spotlight on a Penn State Innovation Park Success Story: SalimetricsSalimetrics, a global leader in salivary bioscience, has been successfully bridging the areas of academic research and product development for nearly twenty years. The company was co-founded by Penn State researchers Doug Granger and Eve Schwartz, together with State College investor Dick Supina, and began in a tiny basement lab at Penn State—the Behavioral Endocrinology Lab (BEL).

Researchers at the BEL study the relationship between biomarkers (e.g. the hormones cortisol and testosterone) and behavioral patterns such as aggressiveness. Measurement of these biomarkers was historically made using blood serum, which has obvious drawbacks. The creative genius behind work at Penn State’s BEL, eventually transferred to Salimetrics for commercial applications, was to substitute the use of blood-serum assays with salivary assays.

Analytical Flavor Systems Holds the Key to an Optimized Future for Food and Beverage Producers

Flavor by NumbersHow do you turn flavor into numbers? For Jason Cohen, CEO of Analytical Flavor Systems, that question guided his studies and research at Penn State – research that would become the backbone of his predictive manufacturing company.

In food and beverage production, quality and consistency are key, making contamination the enemy to successful brand upkeep and customer loyalty. And with the craft-beverage industry on the rise, quality and consistency are the guarantors of a competitive edge.

Enter Analytical Flavor Systems, whose product Gastrograph is a quality control tool with unprecedented capabilities. A blend of sensory science, data mining, and analytical chemistry equip the system to constantly monitor flavor profiles and anticipate minor flaws that could have major consequences.

After all, Cohen said, “The measure of a science is the ability to make correct predictions.” But in the realm of flavor? “Sensory science is barely explanatory at its best.” In other words, this “science” has been perhaps better defined as an art.

An Inside Look at Employees in the Park

People of the Park“I’ve worked at Penn State for over 13 years with most of those years supporting researchers. Ten of those years were spent at the Applied Research Lab. More recently, working at Innovation Park in the Office of the Vice President for Research has exposed me to all the other many and varied aspects of research at Penn State. I learn something new every day about the important and amazing research that is being accomplished by both independent faculty and research done in cooperation with industry.”

-Mark Henderson

IT Director, Office of the Vice President for Research at Penn State University