2015 Annual Report

The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
~Marcel Proust

The CRI’s 2015 Annual Report, your spyglass for scanning the unbounded horizon of innovation at Northeastern University.

Director's Message

Empowering students for professional success, cultivating a culture of use-inspired research, sustaining robust industry engagement — these are the hallmarks of Northeastern University.

The Center for Research Innovation (CRI) is proud to contribute to this pioneering ethos that transforms and enriches our world.

Being Northeastern’s nexus of innovation, the CRI is tasked with protecting institutional discoveries, promoting technologies through targeted commercialization, and amplifying the activities of University spin outs. Programs like RISE, enterprises like StreetScan, and seventeen granted patents evidence impactful performance.

2015 was an industrious year for the CRI and its constituents, and 2016 promises to continue this trajectory. Over the coming year, the CRI will boost corporate participation via joint programming, position Northeastern as a thought-leader among innovation elites, and develop further tools for entrepreneurial inventors.

Here’s to looking upon the landscape of the future with new eyes!

Tracey Dodenhoff Signature

Tracey Dodenhoff, Director

A special thanks to the professionals of the CRI who deftly practice the craft of innovation management and for University leaders who avidly sponsor the exploration of boundless horizons.

Invention Disclosures

Where impact begins.

Invention disclosures articulate fresh approaches to formidable challenges and are the lifeblood of innovative, entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Northeastern recently crafted new disclosure policies that reinforce student ownership over undergraduate capstone projects. The number of invention disclosures received in 2015 reflects these changes.

Invention Disclosure
Patent Applications
Patent applications preserve the rights of inventors, contribute to the expansion of public knowledge, and facilitate commercial development — some of the myriad reasons why the CRI legal team works with such diligence.
Patent Applications
Quality Patents

Quality patents reflect quality innovation.

Quality innovation translates into technologies that change lives.

Quality of life: the pinnacle of Northeastern research.

Quality Patents
Industry Engagement

The CRI hosted and visited over 30 global companies with combined annual revenues exceeding $600 billion and R&D budgets surpassing $30 billion.

Robust relationships engender opportunity for long-term collaboration, and being committed to such, the CRI:

  • Hosts companies on campus lab visits
  • Recruits industry leaders to participate in the Research, Innovation and Scholarship Expo (RISE)
  • Creates pathways for engaging Northeastern spinouts


Roche | BASF | Samsung | Johnson & Johnson | AbbVie | Rogers Corporation | Vexti | DZZOM | Tyber Medical

Industry Leadership

The CRI has been strategically positioning Northeastern as a resource for those seeking actionable best-practices in the commercialization of intellectual property. Visibility has been raised through such activities as:

Licenses & Options

With a six fold increase in combined license and option agreements over the last five years, the CRI’s startup initiatives and corporate outreach are sustaining tremendous momentum.

“We were very impressed with the CRI’s professionalism, commitment, and results oriented approach throughout the licensing process. This approach helped lead us to a successful outcome. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Northeastern in the future.”

– Archie D. Typadis, Vexti Corporation

Licenses and Options

In addition to our annual revenue stream, the CRI received a generous donation of patents and equipment from Volcano Capital, a NY based investment firm focusing on healthcare.

These patents and equipment comprise a platform technology involving a high-energy plasma coating process. Developed by Metascape, a Northeastern spinout, this technology has the ability to control interactions between cells and materials.

With extensive applicability across a range of medical devices, this pioneering technology has tremendous commercial potential as a recently executed license agreement with a prominent medical device company evidences.

Program Spotlight

“CRI was very helpful during transition of this technology from the research labs to the company. Members of CRI were easily accessible, worked with NPS attorneys in resolving the differences coming to a speedy conclusion. CRI also helped us promote our technology/company at various events organized by Northeastern University thus providing needed coverage for a startup. Furthermore CRI made a concerted effort at introducing potential partnership candidates.”
-Nano Power Solutions

Nano Power Solutions


Tech2Venture (T2V) is a pilot funding program created to identify and engage seasoned entrepreneurs in the commercialization of Northeastern’s most promising technologies.

In 2015, candidate Nano Power Solutions became the inaugural licensee of a T2V technology!

Nano Power Solutions is developing a high performance, carbon nanotube battery that is projected to outperform current technologies by a factor of 10. Click here to read more.


Research, Innovation and Scholarship Expo (RISE), a nexus of innovation. In 2015, entrepreneurs, industry leaders, investors, and inventors engaged over 400 of Northeastern’s solution focused innovations. Attendees topped 2000 and R&D funds represented $20 billion.

Each year at RISE, the next start-up venture is discovered; the next promising investment identified; the next process advancement discerned; the next exceptional recruit scouted — and 2015 was no exception to this rule of excellence.

Entrepreneurial Culture

The CRI is determined to accelerate entrepreneurship within the Northeastern community through advantageous programs, sophisticated tools, and tailored support.Throughout 2015, the CRI contributed to the University’s entrepreneurial legacy by:

  • Participating in new faculty orientations for the purpose of introducing the CRI, elucidating Northeastern’s intellectual property policy, and proactively encouraging invention disclosures
  • Visiting classrooms and labs to illuminate the fundamentals of intellectual property and how Northeastern protects student inventors
  • Assisting the School of Law in highlighting the nuances of licensing innovation
  • Coordinating between the Office of Research Administration and Finance and commercial entities to promote sponsored research within the University
  • Providing ample support and expert resources for the following 8 faculty spinouts:
    • Pafospharma — QSM Diagnostics — Seropeutics — StreetScan — Tavana — TheraNano — Universal Screwdriver — Vexti
Entrepreneurial Culture
Media Presence
Undertaking the challenge of creating a vibrant culture around innovation, the CRI has made concerted efforts to bolster online awareness and inspire social engagement.
Social Engagement