Sethuraman "Panch" Panchanathan

A message from Panch

Learn about recent awards, our success in patent rankings and newly appointed National Academy of Inventors Senior Members. 

Welcome back!

Welcome back!

As we begin a new semester, I’d like to share some useful resources, upcoming events and news with you.

First of all, congratulations are in order. Drs. Jennifer Barrila, Yuji Zhao and Sefaattin Tongay were awarded the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in July. These awards are the highest honor the U.S. government grants to young scientists and engineers at the outset of their individual research careers. In addition, Drs. Terry Alford, Devens Gust and Andreas Spanias were recently named Senior Members by the National Academy of Inventors. They are among the 54 academic inventors named to the Spring 2019 class of NAI Senior Members, recognized for their efforts to cultivate an innovative mindset and mentor the next generation of inventors.

If you didn’t hear the news earlier this summer, ASU moved into the top 10 for universities worldwide for U.S. patents awarded in 2018. We’re now ranked No. 10 — a jump from No. 17 — by the U.S. National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association. This accomplishment is a testament to the culture of innovative entrepreneurship and problem-solving driven by our faculty, students and researchers.

In award news, the Biodesign Institute was awarded a major grant by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The project aims to build a field-deployable point-of-care device to rapidly determine if a person has been exposed to weapons of mass destruction or their precursors. The project will be led by Biodesign Executive Director Joshua LaBaer and co-principal investigator Vel Murugan, and is a reflection of ASU’s ability to forge partnerships capable of solving grand challenges on a global scale.


Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan
Executive Vice President, ASU Knowledge Enterprise
Chief Research and Innovation Officer

E+I's faculty and staff networkshop

ASU’s E+I is hosting a "networkshop" to bring together faculty and staff to engage in discussion about how E+I initiatives are being crafted and adapted to support student success, unit goals, and faculty teaching and research. ASU E+I leaders will provide timely program updates and facilitate brief discussions about entrepreneurial resources available at ASU.This is an opportunity to network with entrepreneurially minded colleagues from across ASU. Complimentary refreshments will be provided.

Date: Thursday, Oct.18
Time: 4 – 6 p.m.
Location: 1951 @SkySong

Tools and training
Kick-off: National Science Foundation (NSF) Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI)

This facilitated discussion is designed to help you fine tune your research idea for submission for the NSF FY20 solicitation topics. This will help get your research idea into the hands of program officers at NSF. This event is co-sponsored by Fulton Schools of Engineering and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The EFRI Program aims to focus the engineering community on important emerging areas in a timely manner. EFRI evaluates, recommends, and funds interdisciplinary initiatives at the emerging frontiers of engineering research and innovation. These transformative opportunities may lead to: new research directions; new industries or capabilities that result in a leadership position for the country; and/or significant progress on a recognized national or societal need, or grand challenge. The EFRI Program is the signature activity of the Office of Emerging Frontiers and Multidisciplinary Activities (EFMA) in the Directorate for Engineering.

To see the Dear Colleague Letter for topic ideas for the FY2020 solicitation, click here.

The scientific community is asked to submit nonconfidential topic ideas with 500-word descriptions by October 31, 2018. If selected, you will be invited to present your idea in December to the NSF. This is a clear opportunity to lay the ground work for your research concepts at the NSF.

Lunch will be provided for this in-person event. Parking validation will be provided to those that park at Fulton.

Date: Wednesday, Oct. 3
Time: 10 a.m. to noon
Location: Wrigley Hall 481

Tools and training
Competitive Intelligence Working Group

Join the Competitive Intelligence Working Group for year three of discussion topics, to meet and discuss best practices, share useful resources, and create a network. Anyone currently performing competitive intelligence activities, or who is interested in learning more about this growing area in research development, may attend. Both sessions are offered online and in person.

Scenario planning
This first meeting of the Competitive Intelligence Working Group for the 2018-2019 year looks at best practices for using a method of analysis called scenario planning. Jamie Welch of ASU’s Research Development office will describe what scenario planning is, why decision makers prefer this kind of analysis, and how attendees can conduct scenario planning for their projects. The session will also include discussion of lessons learned from Research Development’s past experience with using the scenario planning method of analysis for projects. Learn more.

Date: Thursday, Sep. 27
Time: 11 a.m. to noon
Location: Centerpoint

Building a competitive intelligence function
This second meeting of the Competitive Intelligence Working Group for the 2018-2019 year looks at how to build a competitive intelligence function in an academic research office. Karen Walker of ASU’s Research Development office will describe the evolution of activities and capabilities within the office, discuss key issues faced, and lessons learned. The session will include a discussion of building resource networks, both internally and externally, and growing a culture that values competitive intelligence. Learn more.

Date: Thursday, Oct. 25
Time: 11 a.m. to noon   
Location: Centerpoint

Tools and training
Horizon 2020 Opportunities: An Overview Workshop

KED invites faculty and staff to attend a workshop on Horizon 2020 presented by the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA).

Horizon 2020 supports basic and applied R&D and technological innovation across a wide range of sectors and disciplines such as health, energy, IT, social sciences and humanities research. This workshop will include funding opportunities in the EU, proposal writing exercise, award management, etc. The event will be free and open to any interested researchers and faculty to attend. Faculty from EU GrantsAccess ETH Zurich, Office of Sponsored Programs at Harvard University and ICFO The Institute of Photonic Sciences will be assisting with the workshop.

Date: Monday, Oct. 1
Time: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Location: Memorial Union, Cochise 228

Tools and training
Apply to ASU Venture Devils and win $1K – $100K for your big idea

ASU Venture Devils is a program that aims to catalyze the success of entrepreneurs by connecting them with mentors that provide startup support. Accepted entrepreneurs receive access to ASU seed funding opportunities, trainings, development offerings and venture development spaces. The program operates year-round on all ASU campuses, as well as online.

Entrepreneurs that apply now will be eligible to compete in the Fall 2018 Pitch Playoffs to win a portion of over $250,000 available in seed grant funding. The application deadline is Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 11:59 p.m. Email to learn more about your eligibility and next steps.

Tools and training