Delaware Partners With DuPont And Hercules On New Technology Initiative

Friday, December 1, 2006 - 00:00

The state of Delaware's Economic Development Office recently launched the Intellectual Property Business Creation Program. This revolutionary program is designed to stimulate and accelerate entrepreneurial ventures and promote new business creation in the state.

'This ground-breaking program provides a distinctive edge for technology-minded entrepreneurs in Delaware,' said Judy McKinney-Cherry, Director of the Delaware Economic Development Office. 'No other state has ever done this before - it will likely transform future economic development efforts as other states seek to develop similar initiatives.'

Entrepreneurs will benefit from the transfer of 250 patents and emergent technology packages donated by DuPont and five additional patents donated by Hercules Corporation. The patents were developed by the two companies, but are not part of their core products and services.

'DuPont does research in many different areas,' said Michael Walker, Associate General Counsel and Chief Intellectual Property Counsel of DuPont. 'It is a long process from research to commercialization, so that while a number of these patents are in areas of technology the company is interested in - for example biotechnology - specific patents may no longer be of interest for a specific business purpose here at DuPont.'

The effort represents the work of DuPont's business and Central Research & Development departments. The IP Business Creation Program itself was fostered by Governor Ruth Ann Minner's New Economy Initiative, a comprehensive economic stimulus package that promotes all businesses within the state of Delaware. As part of the ongoing Initiative, the state of Delaware and DuPont established the DuPont Innovation Center Partnership Program.

The program includes a five-year, $80-million capital investment by DuPont in the Experimental Station Laboratories, the donation of the 250 patents to The Institute For Commercialization And Entrepreneurship, Inc, and a new biotechnology program for Delaware's high-school students. The new, state-of-the-art DuPont Innovation Center will be created on the Experimental Station campus, DuPont's largest research facility with more than 2,000 scientists. The company is also collaborating with the state to conduct biotechnology seminars for high-school students - providing six programs per year at the Innovation Center.

'It is in both the state's and DuPont's interest to stimulate interest in math and science - of interest to DuPont to look to hire future scientists and of interest to Delaware to enrich the economy and the lives of Delaware's citizens,' Mr. Walker said.

The state of Delaware also formed a technology partnership with Hercules Corporation.

'Hercules was pleased to contribute five patents to Delaware's Intellectual Property Business Creation Program as part of our company's commitment to the state for our support of Hercules Research Center Revitalization Project,' said the Center's Director Steven Prescott. 'In addition to the patent donation, we agreed to consolidate our research operations in Wilmington and to build a new Paper Applications Laboratory.

'As the Hercules business portfolio has evolved over the years, some excellent technology no longer fits into our strategic direction, and we are pleased that the state has taken the initiative to offer opportunities for others to bring this technology to commercialization and to create jobs. We are excited that Hercules, along with DuPont, is participating in DEDO's first public offering of patented technologies.'

In May 2006, DEDO contracted with the Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation, Inc. to evaluate and assess the patented technologies from DuPont and Hercules Corporation. Now DEDO is making available to the public the first 105 of 255 patented technologies from the initial two corporations.

They are on view at DEDO's Web site: patent_portfolio/index.shtml. Marketing and licensing of the patents and/or proprietary technology packages may be utilized by entrepreneurs or technology-focused companies operating in Delaware at the time of licensing or acquisition of the technology. According to Kyle Buzzard, Director of Entrepreneurial and Small Business Support Center of Excellence, DEDO has already received multiple inquiries and a pre-qualification letter has been developed. Potential licensing arrangements are currently under consideration while DEDO actively seeks out more opportunities to create new businesses around these technologies.

'Through our strategic partnership with DuPont and Hercules, we have established a way to leverage this intellectual property to strengthen the emerging technology industries while contributing to the overall economic vitality of the state of Delaware,' said Kyle Buzzard.