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NKU Joins Unique Partnership to
Commercialize Tech Innovations


July 24, 2020 —  Northern Kentucky University partners with institutions across the Commonwealth to create the Kentucky Commercialization Ventures (KCV). Governor Andy Beshear announces the new public-private partnership, which aims to develop academic innovations into job-creating tech companies.

“We all want to grow Kentucky’s tech sector and create the high-paying, knowledge-based jobs that follow. A big part of doing so is turning Kentucky’s own academic research and development capabilities into commercially viable products and startups,” said Gov. Beshear. “By partnering to create Kentucky Commercialization Ventures, we will provide the infrastructure to commercialize our own best ideas, build the commonwealth’s tech industry and distinguish Kentucky as a national model in innovation.”

Across the nation, no other state’s commercialization program combines the strength of all its public higher education institutions.NKU joins the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville, Eastern Kentucky University, Western Kentucky University, Kentucky State University, Morehead State University, Murray State University and the Kentucky Community & Technical College System. The KCV will be better positioned to compete for federal grants to support forward-thinking companies and entrepreneurs.

KCV and its team of commercialization experts will work with innovators at these institutions to provide resources to develop marketable products, services and businesses from research findings and intellectual property. As well, they will assist with intellectual property protection, licensing of products and services, and creating connections with industry partners.  

“This collaboration will be pivotal in building Kentucky’s future economy,” said David Brock, operations director for KY Innovation within the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. “KCV provides the tools and expertise to launch tech startups and grow new jobs. Success here will lead to future attraction of researchers, innovators, students and research dollars.” 

KCV will be led by an executive director, and staff will include an intellectual property director – both to be named at a later date – based at KSTC in Lexington. The partnership will include two program managers – located at UK and UofL – working directly with inventors at institutions statewide. Each university will also dedicate a faculty or administration champion to work directly with faculty, staff and students. KCV partners will also provide entrepreneurial and immersive student experiences in the innovation and commercialization process.

Dr. Aaron Thompson, president of the Council on Postsecondary Education, commended everyone involved for creating the partnership.

“Kentucky colleges and universities are some of the largest economic engines in the commonwealth, and campuses are eager to unite their resources and expertise in support of entrepreneurs,” Dr. Thompson said. “While this partnership will focus on developing and commercializing new products and services, it will also galvanize our state’s economy by encouraging some of our best and brightest to remain here as they build businesses. I want to thank Governor Beshear, Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development Secretary Larry Hayes and the many leaders from education, business and technology who are spearheading this project with vision and innovation.”

To learn more on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs, visit here.

About NKU: Founded in 1968, we are a growing metropolitan university of more than 15,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus near Cincinnati. Located in the quiet suburb of Highland Heights, Kentucky—just seven miles southeast of Cincinnati—we have become a leader in Greater Cincinnati and Kentucky by providing a private school education for a fraction of the cost. While we are one of the fastest growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit