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Science / Space

Hillsborough Community College is holding its first ‘Patenthon’

building with an American flag and a NASA sign on the side of it
NASA
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Aspiring entrepreneurs will be able to work with NASA-patented technologies at the Patenthon event Feb. 17-19 at Hillsborough Community College

The event will bring together students and community members to encourage innovation.

Hillsborough Community College students and faculty, as well as other entrepreneurial-minded people will have the chance to see — and use — NASA-patented technologies at this week’s Patenthon event.

“We’re bringing together teams from different educational institutions, different private entities, even the general public, to take the patents and see if we can find an alternative use for those patents,” said HCC associate professor Beth Kerly.

HCC is one of two community colleges in the country that was selected to join NASA’s Technology Transfer University (T2U) program last summer.

Kerly explained that this prestigious partnership offers HCC students many opportunities.

“To be able to let our business community and organizations like NASA know of the depth and the brilliance of community college students, and the value that they can add in business development is incredible,” she said.

During the three-day Patenthon, participating teams will have access to the NASA inventors and their creations.

Following the event, teams will have the opportunity to form start-up businesses and potentially license the technology at no cost for up to three years.

Among organizations planning to take part are students from the University of South Florida, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, University of Tampa, and Pasco-Hernando State College.

Other participating groups include the Florida High Tech Corridor, the Tampa Hackerspace, SOFWERX, and some veterans organizations.

Kerly believes that partnerships with such a range of schools and groups will help break down barriers.

“It’s so diverse in this representation from our community and our educational institutions,” she said, adding that anyone is welcome to attend.

“We are a community college. We're here to serve our community, so we're not excluding anyone.”

Patenthon will take place on HCC’s Dale Mabry Campus in the Student Services Building, beginning at 5 p.m. Thursday.

Registration information can be found here. 

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