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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

National Innovation Workshop to be held at Roanoke center

By Clara B. Cox

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 08 - October 12, 1995

The year's final National Innovation Workshop-and the first ever in western Virginia-will be held November 3-4 at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's Inventions and Innovation Division along with a number of national and regional sponsors, the workshop will provide the practical guidance and information needed by inventors and innovative small businesses to develop and market their products and services.

"We are excited about getting this workshop in our region and believe it can play a significant role in helping our inventors and innovators to move their ideas from the workshop to the marketplace," said Connie Meck, program director for Virginia Tech's Division of Continuing Education programs in Roanoke and workshop coordinator. The division and Tech's Corporate Research Center, Intellectual Properties Inc., and Community Resource Development are sponsoring the two-day event with Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), Appalachian Power Company, Virginia Power, Richmond Ventures, Blue Ridge Small Business Development Center, and Whitham, Curtis, Whitham & McGinn. Virginia Tech is also a national sponsor.

The workshop will feature lectures and panel discussions on such topics as effectively describing your idea, protecting your idea, sources of information, commercializing your invention, estimating the value of your invention, licensing, structuring an organization to grow, business planning, early-stage financing, pending-patent legislation, developing your prototype, and marketing methods, techniques, and practices for marketing and selling new technologies

Resources will be made available on technical and business data, books and publications of particular interest to inventors, and federal, state, and local programs that provide assistance for inventors.

One assistance program that will be highlighted is the Energy-Related Inventions Program (ERIP), a joint program of the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Since 1975, the ERIP staff has directly assisted more than 600 inventors, and its technical evaluations have served nearly 30,000 inventors who have submitted ideas.

Speakers at the Roanoke workshop will be Robert G. Templin Jr., president of the CIT; Tracy Wilkins, director of the Fralin Biotechnology Center at Virginia Tech and recipient of eight U.S. patents and numerous foreign patents; Linda Balentine, president of Woodpecker Products Inc. of Roanoke and a patent holder; and Donald G. Kelly, patent-examining group director for the Patent and Trademark Office in the U.S. Department of Commerce and recipient of the U.S. Commerce Department's Gold Medal.

The cost of attending the workshop is $125, which covers workshop sessions, education materials, two breakfasts, two lunches, coffee breaks, and a reception. Registration is on a space-available basis.

For registration and program information, contact Meck by telephone at (540) 857-6055, by fax at (540) 857-6057, or by writing her at the Roanoke Office, Virginia Tech's Division of Continuing Education, 110 Shenandoah Ave NE, Roanoke, VA 24016.

For information on future workshops, write Norris Bell, NIW National Coordinator, Virginia Tech, 2990 Telestar Court, Falls Church, VA 22042.