Shepherd University has created a new nonprofit organization with a mission of helping facilitate research, innovation, and entrepreneurship. On January 24, the Internal Revenue Service approved the Shepherd Entrepreneurship and Research Corporation’s (SERC) status as a 501(c)(3).
“SERC is designed to help find technologies and intellectual contributions that can be commercialized for the benefit of the inventors and for Shepherd University,” said Dr. Ben Martz, dean of the College of Business and SERC director. “At the same time, organizations outside of Shepherd can look at SERC as a way to take advantage of the resources Shepherd offers.”
Martz said SERC is set up to handle contracts, grants, and intellectual property type investment. He said SERC will give Shepherd the opportunity to apply for some grants that would not otherwise be available because of restrictions by the grantor. In the end, the success of SERC will also help the university be less reliant on state funding.
“This is another opportunity to increase the discretionary resources for Shepherd,” Martz said. “It’s an opportunity to help faculty take advantage of their intellectual contributions to create additional dollars for themselves and for Shepherd.”
Martz has had experience working with a university entrepreneurship and research corporation and is excited Shepherd now has one.
“I was very pleased being on the other side when we were doing this at a previous school where we were able to commercialize and create a company and generate some money for the university,” Martz said. “I think there are opportunities here at Shepherd and I think there is pent-up demand for SERC.”
“SERC will foster public-private partnerships, incentivize entrepreneurship, and reward excellence and innovation to benefit the institution, our community, and the state,” said Shepherd President Mary J.C. Hendrix. “This is an exciting time for Shepherd University and our community partners, and I am extremely proud to be part of the transformative momentum.”