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Kent State and Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center Collaborate to Streamline Research, Encourage Commercialization

Posted Mar. 11, 2013

Early-stage energy companies receive boost from partnership

Kent State University and the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center (, a federally funded center aimed at the development and commercialization of early-stage clean technologies, have announced a Master Research Agreement for energy-related research. The agreement encourages TBEIC-supported companies and Kent State to conduct collaborative research and to commercialize new intellectual property derived from that work.

TBEIC connects universities, industrial and government scientific entities with emerging ventures engaged in the process of bringing new technology to market.

“This agreement with Kent State streamlines the process needed to connect TBEIC companies with the university,” says Chris Mather, TBEIC’s chief executive of national initiatives. “By making it easier to facilitate promising research collaborations, the work can get started far more quickly.”

The complexities of nonprofit and intellectual property law and policy can make the negotiation of new research agreements time-consuming and cumbersome. A Master Agreement allows all parties to focus on creating defined scopes of work, standardizing research protocols and moving toward commercialization.

“We are very pleased to enter into this agreement as a part of our partnership with TBEIC,” says Grant McGimpsey, vice president of research at Kent State. “Kent State has a strong interest in developing new collaborations in the energy and cleantech space, and TBEIC is a great platform to complement our efforts.”

“This agreement lets TBEIC focus on the true value-added work, rather than on negotiating separate contracts for each collaboration,” says Ted Theofrastous, TBEIC’s general counsel and chief innovation officer.  “And, it will help accelerate the process of bringing new, innovative and potentially game-changing ideas developed here in Northeast Ohio to market.”

The Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center is designed to cultivate research and technical potential into industrial outcomes. TBEIC’s combination of space, support and expertise is designed to accelerate the development of early-stage energy technologies. Funders of the Mahoning Valley-based nonprofit include the U.S. Department of Energy and the Ohio Board of Regents, as well as a range of regional stakeholders, including FirstEnergy, the city of Warren, Ohio, PNC Bank, the Wean Foundation and the Trumbull 100. To learn more, visit

For more information about research at Kent State, visit