Cornell University

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CTL eNewsletter: May 2016

2015 FLC Award of Excellence in Technology Transfer
Cornell Ithaca Campus

FLC Award

(From left to right) Dr. Terence Robinson, Dr. Gennaro Fazio,
Ms. Jessica Lyga, Dr. Herb Aldwinckle

Apple orchards are being transformed into more sustainable production systems thanks to the efforts of a partnership between Cornell University and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The researchers worked together in a rootstock breeding program at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY to develop new rootstocks for the industry. These efforts earned them the 2015 Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer. This award recognized employees of FLC member laboratories and non-laboratory staff who accomplished outstanding work in the process of transferring federally developed technology. Cornell University initiated the breeding program in the early 1970s. Several of the apple rootstock varieties transferred to the industry between 2005 and 2014 started as seeds at the beginning of the program. The rootstocks developed in this program are resistant to key apple diseases such as fire blight and phytophthora rots, insects, and components of replant disease complex.

The joint efforts of Cornell scientists, Dr. Terence Robinson, Dr. Herb Aldwinckle and Dr. Gennaro Fazio of the USDA, with the help of Jessica Lyga, Technology Licensing Officer at Cornell University's Center for Technology Licensing, resulted in the production of 3 million apple rootstocks in 2014 worth about $3.5 million. Ms. Lyga's contributions were crucial in the success of the transfer because not only did she act as a liaison between inventors but she also made possible the legal connection between the technologies and the users. Now these rootstocks are being adopted by farm operations of all sizes in apple growing regions in the US and internationally.

Center for Technology Licensing Announces New Cornell Startup, Fesarius Therapeutics
Weill Cornell Medicine

Fesarius Theraputics

There may be new hope for patients suffering from skin wounds due to injury or surgery – thanks to tissue replacement scaffolds developed by Cornell researchers. These scaffolds, which use specially designed hydrogels containing microspheres of differing densities, promote accelerated wound healing time. Through the increased rate of cell invasion and neovascularization, the tissue replacement scaffolds may drastically improve the efficacy of wound healing products currently used by surgeons.

Fesarius Therapeutics intends to further develop the patent-pending microstructure-containing gel scaffold technology to the acellular dermal replacement and wound care markets through the launch of a product family, ScaffoSphere*. The first item the company plans to market is DermiSphere*, a set of engineered tissue scaffold products for the skin and dermal layers. The advancement of such products aim to benefit those with wounds resulting from burns, plastic surgery, tumor removal, and other forms of trauma.

Co-inventor of the engineered tissue replacing scaffolds, Dr. Jason Spector, believes Fesarius’ product line will offer significant enhancement to dermal layer applications over the currently used products. Furthermore, continued research and development of the technology may offer additional treatment options in other areas as well. For updates on the progress of Fesarius Therapeutics, please visit our News and Highlights webpage and follow us on Twitter.

*Trademark Pending

Systems and Methods for Securing Bitcoin Purchases Made via Credit Card
Cornell Tech Campus


Bitcoin, the decentralized virtual currency, is revolutionizing the way online payment transactions take place. Since the technology’s release in 2009, international populations have taken significant notice to how Bitcoin can serve as a useful exchange in the online marketplace. By offering anonymity in merchandise purchases and remaining free from government regulation, Bitcoin provides ease to consumers and businesses alike.

Despite the attention Bitcoin has gained in recent years, challenges to widespread adoption still exist. One particular challenge surrounds the security risks of purchasing Bitcoin via credit card. Currently, there is no way for credit card companies to verify valid completion of transactions. If a transaction is disputed, companies are left unable to confirm or refute a claim, thus putting both the vendor and purchaser in a vulnerable position. For this reason, very few Bitcoin vendors permit purchase via credit card.

The Bitcoin vendors that do allow consumers to purchase by way of credit card must implement extensive authentication processes. Oftentimes, purchasers are required to video record themselves displaying multiple forms of identification prior to completing a transaction. Purchasers may be turned off by how cumbersome the process is, resulting in a decision not to use Bitcoin at all.

Fortunately, researchers at Cornell University have developed a system of solutions to these problems. The set of three schemes created by Ari Juels and Faiyam Raham aim to provide efficient and verifiable methods for an individual to purchase Bitcoin via credit card. The approach is based on cryptographic and user-authentication methods that permit a consumer to bind her identity in a private and authenticable manner to a Bitcoin account. Ultimately, they will offer greater peace of mind to both vendors and purchasers while simplifying the overall purchasing process.

In the first scheme, the purchaser registers their public key directly with their credit card company. This will allow the company to inspect the blockchain, thus verifying if a vendor transferred the Bitcoin to the purchaser. By creating such a system, vendors and purchasers have a way to track the transaction should a dispute arise.

The second scheme is designed to address security concerns put forth by purchasers. In this method, the purchaser encrypts and sends private personal information, Bitcoin account details, and transaction information to the credit card company. At that point, the credit card company can then decrypt the information and verify a binding transaction based on the purchaser’s Bitcoin account.

A third method created by Juels and Raham presents the purchaser and Bitcoin vendor with a way to publicly bind the transaction and make it verifiable by a credit card company. To do so, a purchaser’s e-mail address is used by the credit card company to match purchaser registrations. Once a match is made, the company is then able to verify a transaction.

The schemes developed at Cornell University offer safer and simpler approaches to purchasing Bitcoin via credit card. They provide solutions to challenges that have prevented widespread adoption of the virtual currency, thus allowing the Bitcoin ecosystem to grow. For a detailed technology overview, please visit

For more information or licensing opportunities, please contact Martin Teschl, Senior Technology Licensing Officer, via

Upcoming Events

Ithaca IP & PizzaThe Inventor’s Role: Understanding the Tech Transfer Process
Date: June 8, 2016
Time: 12:00-1:30PM
Location: Kennedy Hall, Room 213, Cornell Ithaca Campus

Join the Center for Technology Licensing for an informative and interactive session that will explore the inventor’s role within the technology transfer process. Our experienced Technology Licensing Officers will share tips and suggestions to make the most of CTL services and how you can help us, help you!

Topics to be discussed include:

  • What to be mindful of in your research regarding intellectual property
  • When should you contact CTL?
  • How does CTL commercialize your research?
  • Intellectual property timeline
  • Cornell policies

For more information or to RSVP, please contact Audriana Marmuscak via

Recent Events

Weill Seminar & Social HourExploring Startup Potential
Date: April 20, 2016

Attendees participated in an engaging evening featuring presentations from two Weill Cornell Medicine inventors, Erik Alexander Zavrel and Dr. Benedict Law.

Erik Alexander Zavrel, Graduate Student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, discussed a device and method for exercise of the Genioglossus (GG) for treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). The tongue training device can be used by OSA patients to mitigate symptoms.

Benedict Law, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology in Radiology, presented a self-assembling peptide based drug delivery platform. The technology can be employed to deliver therapeutics with high specificity and can facilitate delivery of precise drug combination ratios to target sites.

CTL is exploring the commercial potential of these two technologies. Attendees were invited to participate in the discussion and provide feedback.


To view photos from the event, please click here


Weill IP & PizzaStaking Claims: Invention and Commercialization Basics at Cornell
Date: April 19, 2016

Attendees participated in an informative and engaging presentation to learn about the basics of Intellectual Property, the technology commercialization process, and how the Center for Technology Licensing (CTL) supports Cornell inventors.

Topics discussed included:

  • Intellectual Property Basics
  • Disclosure Process Overview
  • Technology Commercialization Insights
  • CTL Services and Contacts

To view photos from the event, please click here


CTL New Business and Emerging Technology Showcase
Date: April 14, 2016

The Center for Technology Licensing hosted a New Business & Emerging Technology Showcase event on Thursday, April 14, 2016 from 12:30 P.M. – 2:00 P.M. in the Statler Ballroom on Cornell’s Ithaca campus. The program featured emerging technologies and new business opportunities from the Ithaca campus, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, Cornell Tech in New York City, and Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City. Researchers, business representatives, and Technology Licensing Officers were present to discuss the technologies and companies.

CTL’s New Business & Emerging Technology Showcase is an event during the milestone annual two-day entrepreneurship conference, Celebration, that brings together more than 1,000 alumni, faculty, and staff, and students.

Technologies presented included:

  • Battery and Clean Technology
  • 3D Printing
  • Fiber Apparel and Design
  • Optics
  • Biomedical Devices
  • Mechanical Engineering

To view photos of the event please click here.


Ithaca IP & PizzaThe Inventor’s Role: Understanding the Tech Transfer Process
Date: March 30, 2016

Attendees participated in an informative and interactive session that explored the inventor’s role within the technology transfer process. Our experienced Technology Licensing Officers shared tips and suggestions about how to make the most of CTL services and how you can help us, help you!

Topics discussed included:

  • What to be mindful of in your research regarding intellectual property
  • When should you contact CTL?
  • How does CTL commercialize your research?
  • Intellectual property timeline
  • Cornell policies

To view photos from the event, please click here