Office of Licensing & Commercialization

Accelerating Ideas Toward Commercialization


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The Office of Licensing and Commercialization (L&C) assists faculty in accelerating the translation of ideas and innovations into novel products and services. We accomplish this mission through a personalized hands-on approach to help faculty realize the potential commercialization impact of their research discoveries. To reach success, we focus on a strategic and well defined approach to translate your idea towards commercialization. This staged approach can be found through the following areas of support offered by our office: 1) Inspiration, 2) Ideation, 3) Commercialization, 4) Licensing, and 5) Research Support. For more information click on the purple buttons below or contact us at



Explore the links below to become inspired by the different innovations being developed at ECU and discover how faculty led startup companies are making an impact on Eastern NC. Further information is provided on ECU policies governing innovation, as well as insights into the hard working staff of L&C.



I have an idea, so now what? If you have an idea and feel overwhelmed about what the next steps are, L&C has several educational and internship programs that can provide a strong foundation to help build your idea. For example, Foundations of Innovation are self-paced modules that allow a person to work through the key elements of the idea, including intellectual property protection, in short videos, and worksheets. This idea can be further developed through our customer discovery program (i.e. I-Corps), which helps participants understand the alignment between their solution and their customer’s pains. For those interested in hands-on experience, L&C offers internships for graduate students and faculty.



It takes more than a good idea to be successful at commercialization. First, execute a strategy in order to bring that idea to fruition. Commercialization is the process of translating that idea towards the marketplace to make impact. Given 90-95% of new businesses fail, it is imperative that each idea and innovation be de-risked and a strategy put in place to reach success. The following links outline resources and services to help de-risk, fund, and accelerate your idea.



If we are successful in advancing and de-risking the innovation, it is now time to license the innovation. This innovation may be licensed to an individual, an established company, or to a newly formed company established to advance that single innovation (Startup Company). Through licensing, impact of the innovation can be realized. Although impact is often viewed in terms of return on investment, other criteria such as improvement in the quality of life, jobs created, businesses started, etc. are just as important. Below are resources about the licensing process and resources to support various innovations.


Research Support

Research is the fuel that runs the innovation machine. To help support the research enterprise at ECU, L&C provides review of intellectual property language found in grants. L&C also performs contract negotiation of material transfer and confidential disclosure agreements with external university partners and collaborators. We encourage you to reach out well in advance of any deadlines, to give us adequate time to review and provide comments.

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