Did you know that UAF’s nonprofit Nanook Innovation Corporation has helped to commercialize 40 faculty or student inventions since its founding in 2012?
One success is a technology developed by UAF to solve problems with sewage management but later pivoted to help mitigate growing problems presented by a family of contaminants called PFAS affecting groundwater and soil across the state and other areas of the country. In recent years, PFAS remediation has become a multi-billion dollar emerging market. PFAS contamination has been discovered at 120 sites across the state, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation. This technology is licensed to Aquagga, an Alaska-based company. This equipment and other UAF inventions meet industry and health needs across Alaska, positioning UA innovation as a critical player in Alaskan economic and scientific development.
Nanook Innovation Corporation is part of UAF’s Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization, directed by Mark Billingsley.
“Research, as you know, is a big part of what we do as a university,” Billingsley said, explaining that this research can bring about myriad positive social and economic impacts. “These impacts might occur through multiple channels, but one of the most direct channels is commercialization: using the market to bring research outputs to the general public for their benefit.”
Nanook Innovation Corp. and OIPC promote and support inventions like the Aquagga’s PFAS mitigation tech generated from research conducted at UAF and work to get technology invented by students and scholars into the hands of businesses across the state.