Celebrate Invention

Since 2001, U-M Tech Transfer has had the privilege of hosting Celebrate Invention, the University of Michigan’s preeminent annual event honoring on-campus innovation and the incredible work being done across the University to ensure that society sees the benefits of the technologies arising from federally-funded research. In more recent years, the event has evolved to include not only a reception, during which U-M inventors present some of the University’s most promising new innovations, but also a translational funding fair, several panel discussions, and the presentation of the University’s Distinguished Innovator of the Year award.

Following, to give you an idea as to content and scope of the now day-long celebration, are images and videos from Celebrate Invention events over the past several years.

Professor Mingyan Liu, chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the recipient of the 2018 University of Michigan Distinguished Innovator of the Year award, celebrates with Anna Stefanopoulou, director of the University of Michigan Energy Institute, who, just before the photo was taken, had had been presented with a framed copy of her most recent patent from United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director Andrei Iancu.

Every year, Celebrate Invention draws over 400 people from across campus and Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to both recognize the accomplishments of U-M researchers, and discuss how, working together, we can do an even better job of ensuring that every innovation discovered on campus has the potential to positively impact the world.

Each year, Celebrate Invention ends with a reception built around a number of invention kiosks, each featuring the work of a U-M inventor or startup company, with participants chosen to reflect the breadth of research taking place at the University of Michigan. Here, Assistant Professor Marouane Kessentini of U-M Dearborn talks with USPTO Director Iancu about the scientific underpinnings of his code maintenance startup company, Sema.

Representatives from over 25 different translation funding programs available to U-M researchers gather before Celebrate Invention 2018 to share information about their initiatives, which collectively invest millions of dollars a year in the advancement of U-M technologies toward market. Participants in 2018 included, among others, MTRAC, and the Coulter Translational Research Partnership Program.

Jane Huggins, director of the University of Michigan Direct Brain Interface Laboratory, demonstrates the Brain Computer Interface technology upon which the U-M startup Neurable was founded at Celebrate Invention 2015.

Sean Alquist, assistant professor of Architecture and Urban Planning, discusses his tactile interfaces and environments for children with Autism at Celebrate Invention 2016.

USPTO Director Andrei Iancu is joined by Law School Professor Rebecca Eisenberg to discuss the future of the U.S. patent system during Celebrate Invention 2018.

Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, delivers remarks on the importance of innovation and the future of the US patent system, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Bryce Pilz, U-M Tech Transfer Director of Licensing. Iancu is joined on the panel by Mark Ringes, Vice President, Assistant General Counsel at IBM, and Rebecca Eisenberg, the Robert and Barbara Luciano Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School.

2018 University of Michigan Distinguished Innovator of the Year award recipient, Mingyan Liu, talks of her experience as a entrepreneur, launching the startup QuadMetrics, and reflects on how the experience has positively influenced both her teaching and her research. Following her comments, Professor Liu is joined by U-M innovators Mariel Lavieri (Glaucoma Forecasting Tool), Mike Burns (Anesthesia Billing Code Optimization), and Bill Stacey (Epilepsy Detection), to discuss the commercialization of data science technologies developed on campus. The panel is moderated by U-M Tech Transfer’s Drew Bennett, Associate Director, Software, Mobile and Digital Technologies.