Sandia National Laboratories'
National Institute for Nano-Engineering (NINE) program, operated in conjunction
with the Semiconductor Research Corp., has won a "Deal of Distinction"
award from the Licensing Executives Society (U.S. and Canada), Inc. The award
- a glass sculpture - will be presented today in San Francisco.
Sandia began the innovative educational approach called NINE to facilitate
student education and improve U.S. competitiveness. But a partner was needed
to facilitate the flow of funding, information and intellectual property rights
between industry, universities and the national labs. Sandia found that partner
in the Semiconductor Research Corp. (SRC), set up nearly 30 years ago to help
the then-foundering U.S. semiconductor industry. SRC is experienced in managing
industry- and government-sponsored university research.
A novel aspect of the partnership that helped win the LES award was the establishment
of a nonprofit entity called NINECO, structured to allow broad industrial and
university participation. NINECO is a subsidiary of SRC and will work collaboratively
with Sandia under a cooperative research and development agreement.
"The NINE agreements are a completely new model for a public-private partnership
so that industry, national labs and universities can work together in a relatively
seamless way," says Sandia licensing executive Paul Smith. Smith, a member
of the society, successfully nominated Sandia for the award.
The award is in the "Industry/University and Government Laboratory Transactions"
sector, one of five categories established by the society. Sandia won a previous
award in the same category in 2006 for innovations in technology transfer.
According to an LES news release, "Intellectual property (IP) such as
patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets are the fundamental drivers
of innovation in our knowledge-based economy. Each year, major IP deals that
transfer the rights to IP between companies help drive innovation and ensure
that new products continue to reach businesses and consumers."
Sandia leaders in the NINE project include Duane Dimos, Justine Johannes, Regan
Stinnett, Kerry Kampschmidt, Paul Smith, Lada Osokina, Jack Jackson, Rene Gonzales
Sells, Chris Monroe and Steve Walsh (a consultant to Sandia from the University
of New Mexico).