USM Board of Regents Honors Three Winners of Inaugural Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Adelphi, Md. (May 14, 2013) -- As part of a signature goal of the University System of Maryland (USM) Strategic Plan 2020 to increase technology commercialization efforts, the USM Board of Regents honored three faculty members today with the inaugural USM  Board of Regents Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

The ceremony, held in the new John and Frances Angelos Law Center at the University of Baltimore (UB), honored Neil Goldsman and Martin Peckerar, professors in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP), and Scott Strome, a professor and chair of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology in the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

"We are delighted to recognize these three outstanding entrepreneurs. Their innovative work, and the establishment of this annual event, reflects so well on the opportunities before us as the USM makes technology commercialization a priority throughout our institutions," Gary L. Attman, chair of the Board of Regents Committee on Economic Development and Technology Commercialization. "We want the world to know that the USM is open for business."

The entrepreneurial success of these researchers is reflected in the support of UM Ventures, a joint effort among the technology transfer offices at the UMCP and University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) campuses to stimulate discovery and drive commercialization efforts and new business venture development.

Goldsman and Peckerar, a professor and professor emeritus, respectively, worked with their fellow researchers to develop the technology that drove the formation of FlexEl, LLC. They developed an improved, thin-film battery prototype to respond to the need for more power-efficient electronic devices in a variety of applications. The millimeter-thick, high-density, rechargeable batteries offer the highest energy storage density of any thin-film battery in the world. Remotely rechargeable, the batteries gather energy from environmental sources, such as solar energy, vibrations and radio waves. They can even recharge by simply pointing a cell phone at them.

The batteries are flexible, meaning they can conform to nearly any shape and act as part of an electronic device's packaging. They attach to microchips, sensors, radio frequency identification (RFID) chips, and small electronic components. The batteries are comprised entirely of environmentally friendly materials. The new batteries will make possible a number of stronger, smaller products, including wireless sensor networks, active RFID, wearable electronics and medical devices.

The research team is a past winner of the UMCP Business Plan Competition, earning $20,000 as winner of the information technology category. Team members included research associate Zeynep Dilli and Josekuttan Manikathuparambil, a graduate student in the UMCP master's program in telecommunications.

Strome, a graduate of Dartmouth College and the Harvard University Medical School, came to the University of Maryland School of Medicine from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. Strome is a founding scientist and co-founder of Gliknik, Inc., located in the UMB BioPark. Founded in 2007, Gliknik is a biopharmaceutical company creating new therapies for patients with cancer and immune disorders. Gliknik's expertise is based on adaptations to the immune system to fight disease.

Strome is developing several technologies, invented at UMB, including therapeutic vaccines that potentially represent a simple, safe, and inexpensive approach to prolong the lives of cancer patients by training the immune system against the malignancies. Gliknik has raised $15 million in equity and $3 million in non-dilutive capital. Gliknik collaborates closely with the UMB Office of Research and Development and the new UM Ventures

When the Board of Regents approved the USM Strategic Plan 2020, the plan cited as one priority ensuring Maryland's competitiveness in the new economy. Among the key goals for this priority is the creation of 325 new companies in a 10-year span. The USM is well on track toward this goal.

Several sponsors made possible the inaugural Board of Regents Entrepreneur of the Year Award reception and ceremony. Those sponsors include Whiting Turner, BioHealth Innovation, Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, the Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), and Corporate Office Properties Trust. Other critical sponsors are directly connected to the USM itself: the UMB Biopark; the University of Maryland Baltimore Foundation, Inc. ; and the University of Maryland College Park Foundation.


Video Presentation on Neil Goldsman and Martin Peckerar:


Video Presentation on Scott Strome:







Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719