On April 15, 2010, Dr. Stipkala joined a panel discussion on student education and technology transfer at the Nanotechnology Community Forum hosted by the University of South Carolina's NanoCenter in Columbia, SC.
The Forum brought together researchers, entrepreneurs, businessmen, and venture capitalists from all over the Southeast who are active in the nanotechnology space.
Dr. Stipkala and fellow panelists spoke of two issues, the first involving barriers to hiring USC students into nanotechnology companies. While the university is very good at imparting technical knowledge to its students, panelists remarked that graduates from many universities lack the "soft skills" required for success in industrial research. Chief among those soft skills are working in teams, applying old knowledge in new areas, and learning new knowledge to solve new problems and to remain current in the field. USC addresses the need for those skills, noted Professor Tom Vogt, by maintaining a vigorous research program that includes opportunities for undergraduates to participate throughout their undergraduate careers. Professor Vogt is the Director of USC's NanoCenter.
The second issue addressed by the panel involves the barriers to technology transfer from universities to industry. It was noted that such activities can be facilitated if a company receiving technology also hires a graduate from the laboratory that developed the technology. That very thing happened for Selah Technologies, LLC, now known as Lab21, Inc. In the course of collaborating with Professor Qian Wang's laboratory at USC's NanoCenter, Selah hired graduating Ph.D. student Siqi Li, according to Lab21 President Michael Bolick.
Jeremy M. Stipkala, Ph.D., J.D., is a patent attorney and managing member of Stipkala LLC. The firm specializes in intellectual property legal services in the areas of chemistry, nanotechnology, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals, securing rights with patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and licenses. Stipkala LLC serves clients from locations in Charleston, SC; Cincinnati, OH; Houston, TX; and Washington, DC.