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Development Of E Team To Commercialize Engineering Research

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Technology Transfer and Commercialization

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.453.1 - 9.453.7

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Paper Authors

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Steve Radke

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Evangelyn Alocilja

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


Development of E-Team to Commercialize Engineering Research

Radke, S.M., and Alocilja, E.C.

Biosystems Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824,


An E-Team of biosystems engineering graduate students was formed at Michigan State University for the purpose of exploring the commercialization potential of a biosensor that can be used for rapid detection of foodborne pathogens. The paper presents the benefits and challenges the students encountered throughout the process of implementing the E-Team’s objectives. Developing and maintaining a business plan, performing a market analysis, partnering with government and industry, dealing with conflicts of interest in an educational environment, managing product development, searching for funding sources and securing intellectual property were all challenges encountered in the process. The E-Team was successful in putting together a business plan, developing a prototype and securing a small amount of start up funds through competitive grants and competitions. However, the E-Team was unable to secure the intellectual property rights. Overall, the process of commercialization was an excellent educational experience for all members of the E-Team. Although commercialization did not materialize, the learning benefits were tremendous and invaluable.


A growing trend in engineering education has been to teach students the importance of entrepreneurship as it relates to commercializing research. Engineering research and entrepreneurial skills are essential ingredients in the commercialization of technology for its rapid deployment into the marketplace. While typical engineering skills favor a conservative, calculating, risk-averse approach to technological feasibility, entrepreneurship demands vision, optimism, risk taking and good communication skills (Whittaker, 2001). As the workplace becomes more entrepreneurial, employment demands among engineering graduates require skills other than the traditional roles of research, product development and technical education (Dooley, 1994). Universities are required to be more entrepreneurial and focused on innovation in order to adapt to the changing needs of society (Trevor, 1994; Etzkowitz, 2001). In doing so, universities

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Radke, S., & Alocilja, E. (2004, June), Development Of E Team To Commercialize Engineering Research Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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