UTC first ever Commercialization counselor helps protect faculty’s intellectual property


CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (WDEF)- UTC hired its first-ever commercialization counselor to help its faculty protect its works.

UTC’s faculty not only educate students, but they also create research and goods. Commercialization counselor Jennifer Skjellum helps with protecting those ideas.

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“Starts with an invention disclosure. Where they declare what it is that they were developed or working on as part of their research at UTC,” said Skjellum.

She helps steers faculty through the process of getting ideas from the classroom or lab out into the world’s market.

“Making sure we have the necessary legal protections in place so that might be a provisional patent, which is sort of a first declaration. It gives you a year before you file the full patent. That gets it in the pipeline and during that time UTRF and myself are working to figure out what are some commercial partners. How can this technology or this process be implemented and the sorta bigger world,” said Skjellum.

According to UTC, since Skjellum started in this position patent applications have increased 700%.

“There’s a unique opportunity for UTC and the city of Chattanooga given the size of both the city and the University. As some of these patents and ideas get out of the lab for there to be a collaborative mutual benefit because the university is so closely connected with the city and vice versa. I really see in the bigger picture, the opportunity for there to be more start-ups, more spinoffs, and a lot more just kind of innovation activity happening in our city,” said Skjellum.