COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohio is trying to become more attractive to people with big ideas.
It’s called the Ohio IP Promise, with IP standing for intellectual property; it’s the research and ideas students and faculty develop at these universities that could be turned into commercial products that could benefit you.
“Children who can’t see well don’t do as well in school. If you can’t see the board; if you can’t see the paper in front of you; you’re not going to learn, you’re going to fall behind and then you don’t have as many opportunities in life,” said Dr. Melissa Bailey, Associate Professor of the College of Optometry at The Ohio State University.
To combat this, Dr. Melissa Bailey has developed an app for smart devices that diagnoses a person’s lens prescription in a matter of seconds, allowing people like Ohio school nurses to identify children with difficulty seeing much more efficiently.
“You know, the school nurse may be there one day a week, they are individuals who really need a tool like this to help them do their screenings that are required by the state of Ohio to do,” she said.
Dr. Bailey is a professor at The Ohio State University, so the school owned the intellectual property, and commercializing it wasn’t easy.
“Getting that product to market has taken longer than it should have,” she said.
According to Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, that has caused some researchers to take their inventions out of state. But that shouldn’t happen anymore, as 14 state universities and 2 private universities have agreed to the Ohio IP Promise — which creates a common way for all those schools to deal with intellectual property, making it much easier for students and faculty to take their ideas and turn them into startup companies.
“It is a magnet for investment, it is a magnet for innovation, and that is what young talented people want,” he said.
As for Dr. Bailey, her second company benefited from the Ohio IP Promise and was much easier to start. She’s developed a soft bi-focal contact lens that stays in place.
This was all phase one. According to Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, phase two includes trying to bring medical schools here in Ohio on board as well.
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