CLEMSON — An improvement for knee replacements, high-powered optical fibers and materials for more powerful batteries were among the 16 innovations Clemson University researchers received patents for in 2015.

Clemson University Research FoundationMore than 150 patents are now available to the private sector for licensing from the Clemson University Research Foundation, which facilitates and manages the technology transfer process for the university’s faculty.

The patent recipients received special recognition on Tuesday at an annual award event sponsored by the Clemson Inventors Club, a select group of faculty chosen for their high level of research activity, which often produces inventions.

“Innovation is important for Clemson’s status as a Carnegie R-1 research university,” said Tanju Karanfil, vice president for research at Clemson. “The level of research represented by these patents provides the highest quality education for our students and the contributions Clemson makes to the knowledge-based economy.”

Tiffany Wilson, executive director of the Global Center for Medical Innovation, and Jason Rupp, executive director for the Southeastern Medical Device Association, gave a presentation that outlined the critical role of an innovation ecosystem in supporting innovators and contributing to the Southeast region’s economy.

The Clemson Inventors Club also welcomed four new members:

  • Alexey Vertegel, an associate professor of biomedical engineering, and Vladimir Reukov, an assistant professor in biomedical engineering, who co-founded VRM Laboratories, a company that pioneered a novel technology for manufacturing cost-effective natural food preservatives for applications in pet food and animal feed industries;
  • Larry Hodges, a professor in Human-Centered Computing, cofounded RECOVR, a company that helps stroke victims recover use of their limbs through interactive video games; and
  • Mark Thies, the Dow Chemical Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, who has a total of seven invention disclosures and more than $500,000 of sponsored research funding at Clemson.

A special copyright award was also given to Johnell Brooks, an associate professor in the Graduate Engineering Program, for her commercial collaboration with DriveSafety Inc., a company that provides specialty software and driving simulators to help people become safer drivers.

“Patent awards recognize the first step in the pathway that can lead to commercialization,” said Casey Porto, executive director of the foundation. “We want companies to realize the quality of research done here and the value it can add to their portfolios.”

For a complete list of 2015 Clemson patents and recipients, click here.