UO student group is connecting research, innovation

The Innovation Journal Club at the University of Oregon has been around for less than a year, but it is already connecting graduate students in chemistry with opportunities to begin pursuing research innovations outside the university setting.

Founded in June, the group has almost 40 members interested in learning more about the commercialization process for scientific innovation.

“We explore what makes a scientific innovation commercially viable and how to build a business around that idea,” said Susan Cooper, one of the club’s organizers. “We want to build our creative skills and improve how we communicate our research to a wide variety of audiences.”

Recently, the group hosted Judy Giordan, a noted scientist who has also held a variety of entrepreneurial roles throughout her career. Giordan has worked extensively with universities to help set up innovation pathways that help researchers benefit from their discoveries.

“We were thrilled to have an opportunity to talk with Dr. Giordan,” said Cooper. “It was inspiring to learn about her experiences and to hear about scientific entrepreneurship from her perspective.  As she has worked in various scientific positions over her lifetime, the input she gave was especially valuable.”

In addition to hosting speaker and Q&A sessions, the group has been learning more about the business side of innovation and discovery. They recently worked on a group mock business model canvas to gain experience assessing a market for a potential product.

Those interested in participating can contact Susan Cooper at scooper2@uoregon.edu to join the group’s mailing list. The Innovation Journal Club is open to anyone on the University of Oregon campus interested in learning more about ways to translate research discoveries into commercial enterprises.