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Global Technology Transfer - Educate, Research, Identify, Connect

The University of North Alabama’s Institute of Export Research & Technology Transfer was founded to serve those involved in the commercial export and transfer of intellectual property, technology, and related goods and services, both nationally and internationally. From our headquarters in the U.S. and China, we also provide research and advisory services to support international mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures. The Institute is a non-profit public service organization that is part of and operated by the University of North Alabama, a state institution. The Institute is funded by our work with clients, and through sponsorships, grants, and donations.

Strengthening the Economy … Improving Lives Around the World

The United States of America is the leading innovator in the world. The future strength of our economy is based upon our country’s continuing ability to innovate and successfully commercialize such innovation. The UNA Institute of Export Research and Technology Transfer is committed to the international commercialization of American innovation, which will lead to a better, healthier, and more peaceful world.

The majority of American innovation is created by small to middle-sized companies. Such innovation is constant in our country and new technology is created every day. The creation and development of such technology and related intellectual property is only part of the necessary equation for economic growth and prosperity. The second component is the successful commercialization and monetization of such innovation.

Due largely to resource constraints, small to medium sized U.S. companies have great challenges in successfully commercializing their products, services, and related intellectual property internationally. Moreover, the manner in which these companies are currently financed and the way in which they market their products and services domestically makes competition among them fierce.

Many potential products and services are never commercialized because of outside challenges. Therefore, whether or not a product or service is commercialized is not a valid measure of its potential benefit to the world. Such challenges include: identifying and accessing markets, adequate marketing and manufacturing budgets, difficulties in locating distributors and partners, and having the expertise required to know how to commercialize successfully.

As a result of these challenges, most American innovation is never commercialized, or it is commercialized in a limited manner. On average, of all the patents issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office annually, less than 5 percent of U.S. inventions are commercialized successfully. This leaves ninety five percent of all patented U.S. innovation “on the shelf.”  Unpatented U.S. innovation has similar statistics. This is a tremendous waste of existing United States assets, and these resources are effectively “lost” to both industry and people around the world who could benefit from such innovation.

Here at The Institute, we believe that commercializing these existing assets internationally will be of great benefit to the United States economy, the small to medium size U.S. companies that have striven to innovate, and the countries around the world where such innovation could be commercialized. We welcome you to our website, and look forward to working with you to continue to strengthen our economy and better the quality of life for people and communities around the world.


Advisory Board

  • Greg Brown
    Greg Brown
    Senior IP Attorney
    Ford Corporation

  • Tiefei Dong
    University of Michigan

  • Xiaoli Dong
    Xiaoli Dong
    Tianjin DN Electric Machinery LTD

    Former Export Network Office Director
    China Petroleum Technology & Development Corporation

  • Sandra Grant
    Sandra Grant
    Shortland Chambers, New Zealand

  • Mark Gresser

  • James Hasselbeck
    James Hasselbeck
    Mann-Hummel Corporation

    Mr. James Hasselbeck is a registered US Patent Agent and a registered Professional Engineer (Electrical), with expertise in the areas of electronics, process, mechanical, software and telecommunications. As a Patent Agent he drafts and prosecutes patent applications before the US Patent and Trademark Office, prepares appeals with the USPTO, directs outside counsel and preparing arguments and amendments in response to USPTO and EPO office actions. Other duties include performing IP mining sessions and patentability searches, infringement opinions, freedom to operate.

    James currently serves as a US Patent Agent and manager of IP for the Americas with Mann Hummel GMBH. Prior to Mann Hummel his role was as a US Patent Agent in the patent law department of Research in Motion (RIM). Prior to RIM, with PPG Industries, Inc. as a staff engineer and patent agent at the Glass Technology Center and PPG Troy Automotive Technology Center. He has also prosecuted US patent applications for Motorola, General Motors, Ford Global Technologies, Honeywell and IBM. He holds a B.S. in Mathematics from St. Vincent College and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Pittsburgh.

  • Carolyn Herzog
    Carolyn Herzog is the regional head of Legal for Symantec Corporation's Europe, Middle East and Africa region. In this capacity, Carolyn manages legal strategies and support for Symantec's business in the region. Symantec, a Fortune 500 company, is a global leader in providing security, storage and systems management which operates in over 40 countries with over 18,500 employees worldwide. Prior to her current role, Carolyn managed the legal support to other areas of Symantec's business including the Global Services and Support organization, IP, Marketing and trade compliance, based out of the Washington, DC area.

    Before joining Symantec in December, 2000, Carolyn was the General Counsel for AXENT Technologies, and worked in the international development arena, both in the non-profit sector and with the World Bank in Washington, DC. She currently lives in London with her husband and two daughters.

  • Kevin Hinman
    Kevin M. Hinman
    Counsel-Intellectual Property
    Eaton Corporation

  • William Krechel
    The Boeing Company
    William (Bill) Krechel
    Strategic Development Leader
    The Boeing Company

  • Qingjun Wang
    Hualong Industrial Development Company
    Ministry of Agriculture of China
    Qingjun Wang
    Chief of Administration Department
    Hualong Industrial Development Company
    Ministry of Agriculture of China

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