“They put me in charge of making the resort as self-sufficient as possible, in terms of electricity, heat, transportation, and food. It was a fantastic opportunity to push the envelope.” As Lisa and her guest, Gwen Holdmann, discuss her work with fossil and renewable/alternative energy, her work at Chena’s geothermal power plant, how she got started in technology transfer, and much more in this episode of Tech Transfer IP.
Gwen is the director of both the University of Alaska Fairbanks Technology Transfer office and the Alaska Center for Energy and Power, also known as ACEP. ACEP is an applied energy research program based at the University of Alaska Fairbanks that focuses both on fossil and renewable/alternative energy technologies. ACEP is a highly interdisciplinary program with over 30 affiliated faculty spanning a wide range of energy-related disciplines. Gwen also served as the Vice President of New Technology at Chena Hot Springs Resort near Fairbanks.
Listen as Gwen discusses how her office is structured, and one of her favorite projects called Center Ice. Gwen describes the University of Alaska Fairbanks as a tiny university with less than 7,000 students but says that they concentrate on outstanding quality inventions disclosures. Gwen shares some of their most significant successes and challenges in her office.
The COVID-19 pandemic is showcasing the grit and determination of universities and their research departments, and Gwen shares what UAF is doing to help combat this crisis. She also shares what she would wish for if a genie granted her three wishes and what she hopes will happen in the future for tech transfer in Alaska.
In This Episode:
- [02:09] Welcome to the show, Gwen!
- [02:30] Gwen shares her background and how she got started in tech transfer.
- [04:15] She speaks about the opportunity of working on some projects at Chena Hot Springs Resort.
- [06:33] Gwen discusses how she got into tech transfer and her duel position.
- [09:10] There are under 7,000 students at the university, but they are ranked 131 in the country in terms of total R&D expenditures.
- [12:58] Can you tell us how your office is structured? Does everyone wear multiple hats?
- [13:48] Gwen speaks about ‘Center Ice’ one of her projects.
- [16:38] Gwen discusses how small universities have to focus on quality invention disclosures instead of quantity.
- [17:49] Are your disclosures a mix, or do they stay in one area?
- [20:25] Gwen shares about their active licensing portfolio.
- [21:50] Gwen chats about their corporate partners and why they want to focus on small start-up companies.
- [24:27] Can you share some more of your big successes?
- [27:42] Gwen speaks about some of the biggest challenges her office faces.
- [30:04] Do you have any special programs for women entrepreneurs?
- [32:42] Gwen speaks about the value she believes that AUTM provides for universities.
- [34:07] Is credentialing important for your office?
- [35:15] Gwen shares what she sees universities doing to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
- [38:24] Gwen talks about what she would wish for if she had three wishes for her office.
- [42:01] Thank you so much for being on the show!