Bringing expertise to tech transfer in the UC Office of Innovation
Faculty is a family affair
Geoffrey Pinski joined the University of Cincinnati as a full-time employee in 2007, but that's just one milestone in his journey at UC.
The son of a physics professor, Pinski first came to UC in 1981 when his dad was hired. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physics with a minor in mathematics in 2002, followed by a Juris Doctor degree in 2006.
He held various student jobs — a student information technology worker in the physics department, a teaching assistant for Honors Physics labs and an intern in the former Intellectual Property (IP) Office — before joining UC’s permanent staff in 2006. From then until 2020, Pinski held various technology transfer-related positions at the university before being named an assistant vice president in 2020.
Managing the IP portfolio
I get to be involved in the outcomes of research. Our mission in technology transfer is to help research make an impact through commercialization.
Geoffrey Pinski Assistant vice president for technology transfer, UC Office of Innovation
In his current role, Pinski leads an expanding technology transfer team that manages UC's intellectual property portfolio. The team supports faculty and staff in filing for patent protection and negotiating various licensing agreements for their innovations.
“I get to be involved in the outcomes of research. Our mission in technology transfer is to help research make an impact through commercialization,” Pinski said. “My team and I get to work with researchers from across campus — like those in the College of Engineering and Applied Science making our computers more secure or those in the College of Medicine trying to cure cancer.”
“Being part of this new initiative within the 1819 Innovation Hub allowed us an opportunity to re-examine everything we were doing concerning intellectual property through a new lens,” Pinski said.
Pinski’s team developed an express licensing option and an industry tiers program to streamline the process for moving innovations from the laboratory or design studio into the marketplace. These processes make it easier for UC faculty and staff to disclose and license their intellectual property and for companies to license the technologies from UC.
A model for the state
Since the changes have been implemented:
- Invention disclosures by UC faculty have risen 51% (from 546 to 823)
- Filed patents by UC faculty have risen 62% (from 583 to 944)
- Issued patents for UC faculty have risen 94% (from 83 to 161)
- Deals with UC faculty have risen 109% (from 55 to 115)
UC’s success caught the eye of Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, who in 2019 unveiled a new process for tech transfer modeled after UC’s. Called the Ohio IP Promise, the initiative now includes all Ohio public universities and two private institutions.
Last fall at an event celebrating the three-year mark of the initiative, Husted recognized Pinski and his team for UC's efforts in jump-starting the statewide initiative.
“Although many might know my dad, Frank J. Pinski, was faculty at UC Department of Physics, they wouldn't know that I helped pull the first network cable to Braunstein Hall or that I spent a summer rewiring the network in geology/physics,” Pinski said.