News & Events

Gov. Beshear breaks ground for Tempur-Pedic global headquarters expansion


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct 3, 2011) – Governor Steve Beshear today joined community leaders and officials from Tempur-Pedic to break ground for the company's global headquarters expansion in Lexington. The new approximately 125,000-square-foot facility in UK's Coldstream Research Campus is expected to create 65 new jobs, bringing its total employment to just over 300 in the next five years.

 

Description: Tempur-Pedic groundbreakingUK President Eli Capilouto, UK Vice President for Commercialization & Economic Development Len Heller, former UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. and Coldstream Executive Director George Ward at the Tempur-Pedic groundbreaking."Tempur-Pedic is an impressive and innovative company whose Kentucky roots are continuing to grow. This announcement is great news for Central Kentucky and will result in new jobs and investment for the community where it all began," Gov. Beshear said. "This expansion represents a successful partnership between state and local governments, university leaders and a fast-growing global company that continues to create economic opportunities for Kentucky."

 

Tempur-Pedic, an international company focused on innovative sleep products, is one of the fastest growing public companies in Kentucky. The billion dollar company started in Lexington in 1993. The company plans to invest approximately $18 million as a result of the project, which is expected to be completed by December 2012.

 

"This is an important day in the vibrant history of Tempur-Pedic, and we're proud that it's happening right here in Lexington," said Mark Sarvary, CEO of Tempur-Pedic International Inc. "Our passion for this community and our commitment to growth, strengthens every day. This new, world-class headquarters will serve our company, our brand and our associates well in our mission to become the world's favorite mattress and pillow brand."

 

Description: Tempur-Pedic groundbreakingAn economic impact study performed by the Cabinet for Economic Development this past spring shows the number of direct, indirect and induced jobs that will result from Tempur-Pedic’s existing and new employment is 772 jobs. Those jobs will provide an annual $72.8 million boost to Kentucky's gross domestic product.

 

"Tempur-Pedic brings extraordinary, broad recognition and new jobs — good jobs — to Lexington," Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said. "Growing and retaining the headquarters of this rapidly growing, internationally known brand is essential. Helping local businesses grow is a major part of our economic development efforts. Not only will Tempur-Pedic serve as a vote of confidence for Lexington, it will once again show the world that Lexington is a viable and thriving location for a world headquarters operation."

 

"Commerce Lexington Inc. is honored to be a part of Tempur-Pedic's groundbreaking ceremony," said Commerce Lexington Inc. President and CEO Bob Quick. "Tempur-Pedic's expansion in Lexington and the construction of their new global headquarters in Coldstream Research Campus will create quality, stable jobs for our citizens. Congratulations to Tempur-Pedic!"

 

"The University of Kentucky's Coldstream Research Campus is proud to be the home of an expanded Tempur-Pedic headquarters," said UK President Eli Capilouto. "This project represents the kind of engagement and service that a flagship institution should provide to the Commonwealth: facilitating the creation of good jobs and stimulating innovation by creating a home for research and excellent companies like Tempur-Pedic International."

 

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved Tempur-Pedic for tax incentives up to $8 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows the company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

 

"By locating a new global headquarters at Coldstream in Lexington, Tempur-Pedic is providing new opportunities for our workforce and a boost to our economy," said Sen. Julian M. Carroll, of Franklin.

 

"Tempur-Pedic sets the gold standard when it comes to getting a good night's sleep, so I'm proud that the company is taking this next step to increase its presence in the Commonwealth," said Jesse Crenshaw, of Lexington. "This groundbreaking re-affirms the company's commitment to our community and shows that our workforce, like the Tempur-Pedic mattress itself, is truly second to none."

 

New and existing companies have announced the creation of more than 1,400 new jobs in Lexington during Gov. Beshear's administration. These economic development projects represent a more than $190 million capital investment in the Commonwealth.

 

For more information on Tempur-Pedic, visit www.tempurpedic.com.

 

Information on Kentucky's economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ThinkKentucky or follow on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/ThinkKentucky.

 

A detailed community profile for Lexington (Fayette County) can be viewed at http://www.thinkkentucky.com/edis/cmnty/index.aspx?cw=053.

 

The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency in Kentucky responsible for creating new jobs and new investment in the state. New business investment in Kentucky in 2009 totaled nearly $977 million with the creation of more than 6,600 new jobs. Information on available development sites, workforce training, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other resources is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.

Atlanta-based Allconnect sales and customer care center opens


LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 11, 2011) —Governor Steve Beshear joined community leaders and company officials from Allconnect Inc., a leading consumer services company, to celebrate the opening of the company's new in-bound sales and customer care center in Lexington.

 

The company announced its decision to locate the new facility in the Coldstream Research Campus earlier this year. The project represents a nearly $7 million investment and approximately 220 new jobs for the community.

 

"The opening of Allconnect's new Lexington facility represents hundreds of new job opportunities for central Kentuckians and a strong partnership between state and local government and the private sector," Gov. Beshear said. "I am delighted to take part in today's celebration as Allconnect establishes its roots and begins its long-term future in Lexington."

 

The Lexington Allconnect operation will allow consumers to order or transfer home services, such as satellite and cable TV, Internet, phone, and home security service. Allconnect is based in Atlanta and has relationships with a variety of service providers across the country, including AT&T, Comcast, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Time Warner Cable and Verizon.

 

"Allconnect's employees approach every customer interaction as an opportunity to create a service experience second to none," said Mark Miller, Allconnect CEO. "We approach our employees' experience and our role in the community the same way. We are thrilled to be a part of the Lexington community and appreciate everyone making us feel welcome."

 

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved Allconnect for tax incentives up to $2.2 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive will allow Allconnect to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

Description: UK CED Vice President Len Heller, Coldstream Executive Director George Ward, and Lexington-Fayette 2nd District Council Member Tom Blues at the Allconnect opening at UK's Coldstream Research Campus.

"Lexington has had a lot of good news lately when it comes to economic development, and Allconnect's grand opening is certainly high on that list," said Rep. Jesse Crenshaw, of Lexington. "I'm glad to see this company opening a UKCED Vice President Len Heller, Coldstream Executive Director George Ward, and Lexington-Fayette 2nd District Council Member Tom Blues at the Allconnect opening at UK's Coldstream Research Campus.new facility in our community and look forward to working with it in the future. Its arrival will make a lot of families happy."

 

"It's good to welcome Allconnect, a new corporate citizen bringing jobs to Lexington," said Lexington Mayor Jim Gray. "Our people need jobs and we're competing for jobs in every arena. We appreciate our partners in this work, including the state, the University of Kentucky and Commerce Lexington."

 

"Commerce Lexington Inc. is thrilled to participate in Allconnect's grand opening event," said Bob Quick, president & CEO, Commerce Lexington Inc. "We have enjoyed working with the company in establishing new operations in Lexington and look forward to continuing our relationship with Allconnect."

 

For more information on Allconnect, visit www.Allconnect.com. For press inquiries, contact Sue@mpressionspr.com. Candidates can apply at www.Allconnect.com/Lexington.

 

Information on Kentucky's economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ThinkKentucky or follow on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/ThinkKentucky.

 

A detailed community profile for Lexington (Fayette County) can be viewed at thinkkentucky.com/EDIS/cmnty/index.aspx?cw=053

$28.5 million College of Ag Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory opens


LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 11, 2011) — The UK College of Agriculture completed a $28.5 million renovation and expansion of its Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Coldstream to better serve Kentucky’s animal agriculture industries. Improvements to the full-service animal health diagnostic facility include new wings for necropsy laboratories and administrative offices. The expansion nearly doubles the size of the previous 38,000 square foot facility. UKVDL faculty and staff handle one of the largest caseloads in the nation, seeing 60,000 clinical cases and performing an average of 4,000 necropsies each year.

 

Ag Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory expansion complete at Coldstream

Tempur-Pedic to expand global headquarters to Coldstream Research Campus


FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 28, 2011) — Gov. Steve Beshear today announced Lexington-based Tempur-Pedic, an international company focused on innovative sleep products, is reaffirming its commitment to Kentucky with the expansion of its global headquarters. The company, which is one of the fastest growing public companies in Kentucky, will add 65 new jobs over the next five years to its existing employment base of 237, consistent with those of a worldwide headquarters.

 

"The expansion of Tempur-Pedic will provide a tremendous economic boost to the Lexington community, enhancing the growing list of international corporations headquartered in the city," said Gov. Beshear. "Kentucky is proud to have built a strong partnership with Tempur-Pedic over the years and looks forward to continuing that relationship for years to come."

 

Tempur-Pedic is a billion dollar company that started in Lexington, Ky. in 1993. The company plans to invest approximately $18 million as a result of the project, which will involve the construction of a new, approximately 100,000 square-foot facility in the University of Kentucky's Coldstream Research Campus. Construction is expected to begin this fall and should be completed by December 2012.

 

"Tempur-Pedic is proud to be a part of the dynamic business environment that is Lexington, Kentucky," said Mark Sarvary, CEO of Tempur-Pedic International Inc. "We couldn't be more pleased that our success is driving expansion into a new facility, creating new job opportunities right here in the heart of the Bluegrass. Tempur-Pedic also strongly believes in the importance of community involvement as demonstrated by both corporate and employee support for Lexington area organizations."

 

The company supports, among others; The Ronald McDonald House of the Bluegrass, United Way of the Bluegrass, Lexington Habitat for Humanity, Sunrise Children's Home and Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass.

 

An economic impact study performed by the Cabinet for Economic Development shows the number of direct, indirect and induced jobs that will result from Tempur-Pedic's existing and new employment is 772 jobs. Those jobs will provide an annual $72.8 million boost to Kentucky's Gross Domestic Product.

 

"Tempur-Pedic brings extraordinary, broad recognition and new jobs – good jobs – to Lexington," said Lexington Mayor Jim Gray. "Growing and retaining the headquarters of this rapidly growing, internationally known brand is essential. Helping local businesses grow is a major part of our economic development efforts. Not only will Tempur-Pedic serve as a vote of confidence for Lexington, it will once again show the world that Lexington is a viable and thriving location for a world headquarters operation."

 

"Tempur-Pedic is known around the world for its line of products that help people rest and relax," said Bob Quick, president and CEO of Commerce Lexington Inc. "Tempur-Pedic certainly does not rest in its efforts to innovate, develop new products, and enhance what it already does well. As the site of its world headquarters, we are proud that Tempur-Pedic chose Lexington over other states for its expansion to the Coldstream Research Campus. We appreciate the commitment and investment that Tempur-Pedic has provided to central Kentucky. It's clear that Tempur-Pedic stands firmly behind our community in the same way it stands behind its revolutionary products."

 

"The Tempur-Pedic announcement demonstrates the power of our Lexington partnership to put together a compelling package that includes a premier location for an international headquarters at Coldstream," said University of Kentucky President Lee T. Todd Jr. "It fulfills one of our goals of creating innovation at Coldstream where research and excellent companies like Tempur-Pedic International can come together to work on projects that add value to people's lives."

 

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved Tempur-Pedic for tax incentives up to $8 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows the company to keep a portion of its investment over a five-year period through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

 

"I am very excited that Tempur-Pedic has decided to locate a new global headquarters at Coldstream in Lexington," said Sen. Julian M. Carroll, of Frankfort. "The company's investment will create 65 new jobs for the area. This will not only provide new opportunities for our workforce, but will also provide a boost to our economy."

 

"Having Tempur-Pedic expand its global headquarters in Lexington is certainly great news for our community and the Commonwealth," said Rep. Jesse Crenshaw, of Lexington. "The company has long played an integral role in our region's economy, and there is now no doubt that this will only continue to grow in the years ahead."

 

ABOUT TEMPUR-PEDIC

Tempur-Pedic International Inc. (NYSE: TPX) manufactures and distributes mattresses and pillows made from its proprietary TEMPUR® pressure-relieving material. It is the worldwide leader in premium and specialty sleep. The Company is focused on developing, manufacturing and marketing advanced sleep surfaces that help improve the quality of life for people around the world. The Company's products are currently sold in over 80 countries under the TEMPUR® and Tempur-Pedic® brand names. World headquarters for Tempur-Pedic International is in Lexington, Ky. For more information, visit www.tempurpedic.com or call Barry Hytinen, 800-805-3635.

 

Information on Kentucky's economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.

A detailed community profile for Lexington-Fayette County can be viewed at thinkkentucky.com/EDIS/cmnty/index.aspx?cw=053.

 

About UKCED

The University of Kentucky Office for Commercialization & Economic Development creates jobs and grows Kentucky’s economy through the commercialization of research and innovations, R&D industry partnerships, and business development of university spinoffs, startups and Kentucky small businesses. UKCED manages the intellectual property portfolio and assesses, patents and licenses technology. UKCED includes the ASTeCC campus incubator, Coldstream Research Campus, Kentucky Small Business Development Center, Kentucky Technology Inc., Lexington ICC and the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship.

Equinext to develop a medical device for equine lower leg injuries


LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 28, 2011) — Equinext LLC, a new biotech spinoff company, and Hagyard Equine Medical Institute have formed a partnership to bring a medical device to the equine market to treat tendon and ligament injuries and Wobbler's Syndrome in horses and other animals. Equinext will use its chemically-made injectable reagent device on these lower leg strains and sprains, which are very common in all types of performance horses and have a high rate of reoccurrence. Clinical trials are expected to begin in the next year.

 

EquinextThe Equinext technology, called NEXT™ or Nonsurgical EXogenous crosslink Therapy, provides almost immediate benefits to the horse. It is injected directly into the lesion of the injured tendon or ligament and interacts with the native proteins (collagen) causing the tissue to strengthen and mechanically stabilize so the natural healing process begins. The therapeutic effect is reached within 30 to 60 minutes of application and dramatically reduces recovery time for the horse; some tendon and ligament injuries can take up to a year or more to heal.

 

Equinext President Eric Hauck brought the NEXT technology to Lexington a year ago when he moved the parent company Orthopeutics-Intralink Spine from Austin, Texas to the University of Kentucky Coldstream Research Campus. Orthopeutics-Intralink Spine will be conducting human clinical trials using the technology as a treatment for Degenerative Disc Disease and related lower back pain.

 

"We realized shortly after we came to Lexington that our device originally designed to treat low back pain and knee meniscus tears in humans was an obvious cross-over technology for the equine industry," said Hauck. "Lexington is one of the few places in the world for this to happen."

NEXT was developed from the research of Tom Hedman, chief scientific officer for Orthopeutics-Intralink Spine. Hedman, an MIT-trained and NIH-funded professor, moved from Texas A&M University to the University of Kentucky with a joint appointment in neurosurgery and biomedical engineering.

 

Hedman and veterinarians Kim Sprayberry and Duncan Peters from the Lexington-based Haygard Equine Medical Institute will conduct the Equinext clinical trials. They expect to complete the trials by the third quarter of 2013.

 

Equine injuries to the tendons and ligaments can affect up to 30 percent of competitive horses with higher rates of occurrence in working horses (horses used for driving, guiding, packing, search and rescue, and police work). NEXT will also be used to treat Wobbler's Syndrome, which causes significant horse loss for the racing industry.

 

"We are excited to partner with Equinext to bring such an amazing technology to the animal care industry," said Andy Clark, DVM and Haygard Equine Medical Institute CEO. "Our vision is that the NEXT device will revolutionize how we treat these injuries not only in competitive horses, but in pleasure horses and comfort animals as well."

 

Hauck said, "Our new spinoff company and strategic alliance with Haygard, who have the best equine veterinarians in the business, is the culmination of work by so many people in Lexington."

 

Parent company Orthopeutics-Intralink Spine was the client of the Lexington city government-Commerce Lexington-University of Kentucky economic development partnership. Hauck also worked with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development that oversees the Kentucky SBIR-STTR Matching Funds Program, which according to Hauck, was the initial impetus for relocating the biotech company and Hedman's research group from Texas to Lexington.

 

"The Equinext-Orthopeutics story is a great economic development success for our state and for the Lexington-Bluegrass Region," said Len Heller, UK vice president for commercialization and economic development. "As a result of the work of all of the partners, we now have a brilliant new researcher at UK, a new technology-based company at Coldstream that has already created a spinoff, and new high-paying jobs."

 

Equinext is currently sharing lab space and staff with Orthopeutics-Intralink Spine at Coldstream. Plans call for a separate Coldstream lab and hiring four new staff. Hauck is working with Kentucky's largest sterile pharmaceutical manufacturer, Coldstream Laboratories Inc., to produce the device for the clinical trials. Coldstream Laboratories is also located at the UK research campus.

 

"It is very exciting to see a technology like this which has multiple applications," said Warren Nash, director of the Lexington Innovation & Commercialization Center and part of the UK commercialization and economic development office, who is working on Equinext. "There is no question that it will have a huge impact on the Lexington-Bluegrass Region's multi-million dollar horse industry."

 

ABOUT ORTHOPEUTICS-INTRALINK SPINE

Orthopeutics-Intralink Spine Inc., the parent company to Equinext, relocated from Texas to the University of Kentucky Coldstream Research Campus last year along with CSO Tom Hedman and CEO Eric Hauck. Read more about Tom Hedman's research. For more information on Orthopeutics-Intralink Spine or Equinext, contact Eric Hauck 512.818.8469.

 

About UKCED

The University of Kentucky Office for Commercialization & Economic Development creates jobs and grows Kentucky’s economy through the commercialization of research and innovations, R&D industry partnerships, and business development of university spinoffs, startups and Kentucky small businesses. UKCED manages the intellectual property portfolio and assesses, patents and licenses technology. UKCED includes the ASTeCC campus incubator, Coldstream Research Campus, Kentucky Small Business Development Center, Kentucky Technology Inc., Lexington ICC and the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship.

Atlanta-based Allconnect sales and service center comes to Coldstream Research Campus


FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 30, 2011)—Gov. Steve Beshear today announced that Allconnect Inc., a leading consumer services company, is locating a new in-bound sales and customer care center in Lexington. The company is investing nearly $7 million to establish an approximately 32,000 square-foot facility in the Coldstream Research Campus that will add up to 220 new jobs in the community.

 

Allconnect will occupy all 32,000 sq. ft. of the 4th floor of the Lexhold building at Coldstream, 1648 McGrathiana, behind the Embassy Suites Lexington. The Atlanta-based company is expected to move into their new space at Coldstream in May. Allconnect is a client of the Bluegrass Business Development Partnership between the University of Kentucky, Commerce Lexington and city government.

 

"I'm pleased to welcome Allconnect to the Commonwealth," said Gov. Beshear. "The company's new facility will have a positive economic boost on the Lexington community, creating new jobs for Kentuckians. We look forward to continuing an ongoing partnership with Allconnect to create additional opportunities in the future."

 

The new operation will allow consumers to order or transfer home services, such as satellite and cable TV, Internet, phone, and home security service. Allconnect is based in Atlanta, Ga., and has relationships with a variety of service providers across the country, including AT&T, Comcast, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon. The facility is expected to be operational in summer 2011.

 

"Our new Lexington facility provides the technology foundation and first-rate workforce required to support our growing customer base with the best consultation and service as they compare and select home services," said Allconnect CEO Mark Miller. "The opportunities for growth and the pool of talent in Lexington are an ideal fit as we continue our rapid expansion and deliver the highest quality service to every single customer."

 

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved Allconnect for tax incentives up to $2.2 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive will allow Allconnect to keep a portion of its investment over a 10-year period through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

 

"It's good to welcome Allconnect, a new corporate citizen bringing jobs to Lexington. Our people need jobs and we need to compete in every arena," said Lexington Mayor Jim Gray. "Thanks to Governor Beshear, Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Larry Hayes and Commerce Lexington for their recruiting efforts."

 

"We are excited to announce the location of Allconnect to Lexington," said Bob Quick, president & CEO, Commerce Lexington Inc. "Lexington is thrilled to be the top city selected amongst four cities and three states. We look forward to working with Allconnect as they establish a new operation creating new jobs for our citizens. Welcome to Lexington!"

 

For more information on Allconnect, visit www.Allconnect.com or follow them at www.twitter.com/Allconnect and www.facebook.com/Allconnect. For press inquiries, contact Mary@mPRessionspr.com. Candidates can apply at www.Allconnect.com/Lexington.

 

Information on Kentucky's economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.

View a detailed community profile for Lexington (Fayette County).

Lexington area early-stage companies attract $65 million in venture funding


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 25, 2011) — In 2010, entrepreneurial companies in the Bluegrass Region attracted $65 million in venture funding, including angel and venture capital investments, according to the annual survey by the Lexington Venture Club. The 89 Central Kentucky early-stage companies that participated in the survey reported a total $94 million in revenue and 748 people employed with an average full-time salary of $63,485. These companies hired 240 people for newly created jobs in 2010.

 

The Lexington Venture Club released the survey results at Buster's Billiards & Backroom during the annual entrepreneur celebration. The keynote speaker was Jeri Smith, president and founder of Galmont Consulting in Chicago, Ill. Smith, a UK alumna, has opened a software testing center in downtown Lexington and plans to hire UK engineering graduates.

 

UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. received the lifetime achievement award for promoting entrepreneurship and economic development in Kentucky. Todd, a graduate of UK and MIT, is a former UK engineering professor who helped found two Kentucky technology companies.

 

"It was another remarkable year for early-stage companies in the Bluegrass," said Dr. Todd. "I applaud the entrepreneurs in our community who dare to do something new – to do something different. And I thank those who provided funding to these entrepreneurs, as strategic investment holds the key to creating a thriving high-tech economy."

 

A total of 465 technology jobs have been created in the Bluegrass Region in the last five years. The employment total of 748 reported for 2010 represents 537 full-time and 211 part-time jobs.

 

"The Lexington Venture Club is proud to work with entrepreneurial companies in Central Kentucky that are creating quality, high paying jobs," said Bob Quick, President and CEO of Commerce Lexington Inc. "These companies are strengthening Lexington's high-tech sectors and we're impressed each year by their growth. They truly are rocks stars in our community!"

 

The Lexington Venture Club event was hosted by Bob Quick and included remarks from Dr. Todd and Mayor Jim Gray. New companies APO CMS, founded by UK alumnus Tony Schmidt, and Intralink, that moved from Austin, Texas to Coldstream Research Campus last year, were also recognized.

 

Venture funding rose 38 percent over 2009 and is at an all time high since the first Lexington Venture Club survey in 2003. In the past eight years, $300 million in early-stage capital has been raised by these Lexington area companies. Early stage funding not only comes from angel investors and venture capital firms, but also from founders, friends and family; federal funds including SBIR and STTRs; Kentucky state funds; and from strategic partners.

 

The majority of the companies participating in the survey are in the biotechnology and healthcare, advanced manufacturing, IT and software, and energy and biomass sectors.

The Lexington Venture Club was founded in 2002 to bring entrepreneurs, investors and service providers together to share new business opportunities. It is co-founded by Commerce Lexington and the University of Kentucky Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship and Lexington Innovation & Commercialization Center in the UK Office for Commercialization & Economic Development. Survey results are available at www.lexingtonventureclub.com.

UK ranks 1st for creating startup companies among benchmarks for third consecutive year


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 21, 2011) —For the third consecutive year, University of Kentucky faculty, staff and student entrepreneurs have created more startup companies than their colleagues at UK's 19 benchmark institutions according to a recently released report by the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM).

 

UK also ranks 4th for startups among all public institutions and 6th among all public and private institutions in the 2009 report. One hundred forty nine top research institutions participated in the AUTM survey. AUTM is the global network of universities, teaching hospitals and others charged with licensing innovations from academic and nonprofit research.

 

"These rankings are not only an opportunity to measure our work in economic development against the top universities in the country, but also to draw attention to our mission as Kentucky's land grant institution to be an economic engine for the Commonwealth," said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr.

UK is also 13th among its benchmark institutions in licensing income per $10 million of research expenditures.

 

"Now more than ever it is important that we commercialize UK technology and create spin-off companies and new jobs," said Len Heller, UK's vice president for Commercialization & Economic Development. "Long term, we grow Kentucky's economy by growing these startups and attracting investors to get them to the next level and help them succeed."

 

During last fiscal year, UK received $2.2 million in gross licensing income and managed 162 total licenses. Twenty new licenses were issued, including 10 new licenses to UK startup companies.

 

"Research harvesters work campus wide with faculty to drive disclosures, educate faculty on the commercialization process, and provide market research services to encourage researchers and clinicians to consider the business potential of their ideas," said Dean Harvey, executive director of the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship and part of UK's economic development office.

 

UK's 19 benchmark institutions, which include universities such as Wisconsin-Madison, Arizona, Maryland, Michigan, Illinois and Florida, are selected in collaboration with the Council on Postsecondary Education. View more information online.

Tom Hedman and new UK research team work on low back pain treatment


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 9, 2010) — For anyone who has suffered a long-term, chronic ailment like low back pain, a simple cure such as a shot in the back sounds like a miracle. You should know that University of Kentucky researcher Tom Hedman is working on just that—a miracle medical device that will alleviate and prevent future back pain for more than 15 million Americans annually.

 

Tom HedmanThis miraculous treatment will come in the form of NEXT, a one-time spinal injection developed by Orthopeutics/Intralink Spine using Hedman's research. Hedman comes to UK from Texas A&M and will hold joint appointments in the UK neurosurgery and biomedical engineering departments as he sets up a new lab to expand his research.

 

Orthopeutics/Intralink Spine, a biotechnology company, also moved with Hedman from Texas to UK's Coldstream Research Campus to manufacture the chemical reagent that permanently stabilizes the spine, relieving pain and pressure without surgery, recovery time or missed work, which costs America $100 billion every year.

 

"The implications of this treatment are just dramatic," said Hedman who has 25 years experience in spinal research and 30 issued or pending patents. "You have four out of five people who will have a serious episode of back pain in their lifetime. At any particular time about 30 percent of people will have low back pain. It is a huge problem that is poorly addressed by health care today."

 

Hedman and his team diverged from new and emerging treatments that biologically engineer parts of the body to take a path less traveled, pursuing a biomimetic approach. How does it work? Twelve years in the making, Hedman's research imitates the body's own function and design. He describes it as "humbling" himself to the body, realizing that trying to recreate the body's tissue would yield years of research and no remedy. Instead his team studied the natural processes of the body and found a chemical that would speed up the body's natural behaviors and do in just a few minutes what the body could do over a period of decades.

 

"As a scientist you look for applications where your research efforts can meet a need in your lifetime," Hedman said of the project, which is now ready for clinical trials. "I can see my research benefiting people in my lifetime."

 

Hedman intends to bring Phil Tibbs, chair of UK's Department of Neurosurgery, to Malaysia where they will initiate the clinical trials process for the medical device.

 

Hedman will partner with UK faculty and graduate students to explore other applications for the NEXT technology. They are looking at using the NEXT technology to repair knee meniscus tears. This new technology has the potential to stabilize the joint, increase its durability and strength and prevent the progression of deterioration. Of the 200,000 people who undergo knee replacement surgery every year, Hedman said most have first experienced a failure of the knee meniscus. "One million people yearly have this injury and there is no good procedure for repair," he said.

 

Another application that drew Hedman and his company from Texas to Kentucky is equine medicine. The team believes their treatment could be used to halt some forms of spinal degeneration including Wobbler Syndrome and treat injuries in the stifle joint in the horse's leg which is similar to the human knee. Hedman is looking forward to working with Dr. James MacLeod in equine medicine at UK and other veterinarians on a hybrid treatment using the NEXT technology alongside a biological treatment to provide an instant and long-term solution to the problems that often end a horse's life or viability. "These animals are very valuable to their owners," Hedman said. "They can be worth dollars and a simple orthopedic problem can put a horse out of service."

Faculty recognized for 2010 commercialization success at Bench2Business event


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 7, 2010) — More than 100 faculty and local entrepreneurs, investors, civic and government leaders turned out for the biannual Bench2Business networking event to applaud those involved in commercialization activities during 2010. Keynote speakers were UK alumni entrepreneurs John A. Williams Sr. '62, founder of Computer Services Inc., and Kim Knopf '82, founder of Sleep Outfitters. B2B was sponsored by the Bluegrass Business Development Partnership, which includes UK Office for Commercialization & Economic Development, Commerce Lexington and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government.

 

Lee T. Todd Jr.Lee T. Todd Jr. congratulates faculty for commercialization activities.UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. recognized faculty and companies for new patents and licenses, SBIR-STTR grants and contracts, investments from Kentucky programs and the Bluegrass Angels, and projects from the new HHS therapeutic discovery program. Two companies, Escent Technologies and TrackFive Diagnostics, moved into the ASTeCC campus incubator this year, and three companies graduated including Adaptive Intelligence Systems, ParaTechs Corporation and Yaupon Therapeutics.

 

Companies receiving licenses for technology developed at UK included CoPlex Therapeutics, Equine Diagnostic Solutions, Escent Technologies, Medical Scan Technologies, NuForm Materials, Phillip Morris Products, Porifera, Secure Analytics, Seikowave, Therix Medical Development LTD Co., and TrackFive Diagnostics.

 

Faculty members were also recognized for receiving patents during 2010. Those receiving patents include Clair Hicks in animal and food sciences; Lou Hersh, Hans Peter Spielmann and Douglas Andres in biochemistry; Stephen Testa, biological chemistry; Darrell Taulbee and John Stencel, Center for Applied Energy Research; Sylvia Daunert, chemistry; Robert Houtz and Mark Alan Williams, horticulture; Brian Murphy, internal medicine; Sue Straley and Bob Perry, microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics; John Littleton, Kentucky Tobacco Research Development Center; Marwan Khraisheh, mechanical engineering; Philip Landfield, Eric Blalock, Kuey-Chu Chen and Olivier Thibault, molecular and biomedical pharmacology; Peter R. Oeltgen, pathology; Jeffrey Moscow, pediatrics; Peter Crooks, Jurgen Rohr, Chang-Guo Zhan, Hsin-Hsiung Tai and Kyung Bo Kim in pharmaceutical sciences; William Bailey, plant and soil sciences; and Vivek Rangnekar, radiation medicine.

 

Guest speakers were UK alumnus entrepreneurs John Williams '62, Gatton College of Business and Economics, and Kim Knopf '82, College of Arts and Sciences. Williams founded Computer Services Inc. in 1965. The company that provides banking services such as online security, check image capturing and debit card transactions has grown to six brands with more than $150 million in annual sales. Knopf started Mattress Warehouse/Sleep Outfitters in 1983, just a year out of UK. Today, the business has more than 90 retail locations in four states. Williams and Knopf also met with the UK Entrepreneurs and Wildcat Investment student groups.

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