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Queen's researchers awarded 20 patents in 2012

A Queen’s University research breakthrough for producing biodegradable plastics from renewable feedstocks is one of 20 Queen’s University-initiated projects to earn a patent last year.

“Once again, we are seeing how innovative research at Queen’s is making an impact beyond the laboratory,” says Carol Miernicki Steeg, Vice-President, Intellectual Property at PARTEQ Innovations, the technology transfer office of Queen’s. “These discoveries are enabling companies to develop new products with benefits to the environment, human health and our economy.”

The patent was issued to professors Bruce and Juliana Ramsay (Department of Chemical Engineering) and co-inventors Xuan Jiang and Zhiyong Sun, both of whom are former Queen’s graduate students. In all, 20 patents (15 U.S., 4 Canadian, 1 European and 1 Chinese) were issued for PARTEQ-managed technologies (including one non-Queen’s technology) over the past year. Seventeen of the patents relate to technologies that PARTEQ has protected and licensed to companies for commercial development.

“These discoveries reflect the exceptional quality of our researchers and their students who have the knowledge and drive to push boundaries and produce ground-breaking and innovative research that affects our daily lives” says Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research) at Queen’s and Chair of PARTEQ’s Board of Directors.

Of the total patents, two Queen’s technologies garnered three patents each. The breakthrough KINARM robotic assessment system, invented by professor Stephen Scott and co-inventor Ian Brown, was recognized with two U.S. patents and a Chinese patent. The KINARM is developed and distributed worldwide by PARTEQ spinoff company BKIN Technologies Ltd. of Kingston.

Three patents (two U.S., one Canadian) were issued to professor Roel Vertegaal and former graduate student Jeffrey Shell (School of Computing), for “Method and Apparatus for Communication between Humans and Devices.” This technology, which has now been granted six patents, offers a wide range of applications in human-machine interactions, including gaming, smartphones and computers.

A U.S. patent was issued to professor Victor Snieckus and Yigang Zhao (Chemistry) for developing a simpler, faster and less costly way of creating chemical formulations. It was one of four patents issued to chemistry and materials researchers at Queen’s.

Other patents were issued to researchers in Life Sciences and Electrical and Computer Engineering.