The UA created Tech Launch Arizona to advance University discoveries into intellectual property, inventions and technology. TLA represents a prioritization, restructuring and resource enhancement of the UA’s technology commercialization and industry-sponsored research efforts. TLA moves knowledge and inventions developed by students and faculty into the market, with the primary goal of unifying UA researchers and the business community to significantly enhance the impact of university research, technological innovation, and technology park assets. By 2020, the UA through Tech Launch Arizona aims to become a recognized national resource for its role in integrating UA-created knowledge into tangible economic and social benefit.
A new technology that makes databases perform faster is about to become available to the business world.
The innovation, being marketed through Tucson startup company Dataware Ventures, represents an exemplary test case for how innovations developed through University of Arizona research can make their way effectively into the business world.
The technology, called micro-specialization, was developed in the UA Department of Computer Science with Saumya Debray and Richard Snodgrass, professors of computer science, led the research.
Rui Zhang, then a doctoral student, initiated the work as part of a computer science research project. The technology then was developed over three years in a laboratory setting. The last six months were spent developing a working prototype, with a patent application for the technology submitted in December 2012.
To bring Zhang's innovation to market, Debray and Snodgrass partnered with Tech Launch Arizona, the UA office that advances academic discoveries, developing them into intellectual property, inventions and marketable technologies. The office focuses its work on serving faculty, helping to facilitate the transformation of the UA’s innovations into intellectual property and, ultimately, licenses to either existing companies or startup ventures.
Through a clearly defined process, Debray and Snodgrass collaborated with TLA’s Wheelhouse Arizona, led by Wheelhouse director Sherry Hoskinson, in the formation of Dataware Ventures as a new startup company. They also worked with TLA’s Tech Transfer Arizona team to create a licensing agreement that helped transfer the technology to Dataware Ventures.
"When Tech Launch got started, we said we'd develop processes to move technology out from the UA and leverage those great ideas to create strong companies. Dataware Ventures is a great example of that process," said David Allen, vice president and executive director of Tech Launch Arizona.
Doug Hockstad, director of Tech Transfer Arizona, a unit within TLA, added: "Dataware Ventures demonstrates what we're doing really works – for the faculty researchers and the university as a whole."
Snodgrass said everyone involved in the process benefited.
"I want to thank the TLA team for contributing in their unique and substantial ways to getting this license to the point where we all are delighted with the win-win approach," he said. "Our team sincerely acknowledges the support throughout the entire business development and licensing process."