Mark Souther, professor and director of the Center for Public History + Digital Humanities at Cleveland State University, has been honored with the inaugural Technology Commercialization Award from the Ohio Faculty Council. Souther was recognized for his role in the development of Curatescape, a low-cost app which allows museums, cultural institutions and historical societies to create web-based, virtual historical and cultural tours. The technology has been licensed to organizations all over the world including the Smithsonian Institution, the National Trust of South Australia and the city of Kisumu, Kenya.
“I am honored to receive the OFC’s first Technology Commercialization Award, and would like to thank the award committee for recognizing Curatescape,” Souther says. “The app framework was created to allow cultural institutions to utilize their rich collections to create accessible and engaging virtual exhibits that appeal to wide audiences, and this recognition further illustrates the broad appeal of the technology.”
The OFC Technology Commercialization Award was created in 2016 and will be presented annually to recognize a faculty member in the state university system of Ohio for exceptional research discoveries and the role they have played in supporting the translation to marketable products and/or services. In partnership with VentureOhio, the OFC celebrates the success of faculty in working toward creating a collaborative and resourceful statewide entrepreneurial ecosystem that allows high-potential companies to grow and prosper.
“The public university system of Ohio is a key incubator for innovation and the OFC embraces the opportunity to recognize the role that our world-class faculty play in economic development,” notes Dan Krane chair of the Ohio Faculty Council. “Curatescape is a tremendous example of the ingenuity and entrepreneurship taking place on campuses across the state.”
The award is part of a broader effort by the OFC to promote and encourage innovation throughout the public university system. Moving into 2017, the organization hopes to present a pre-licensing award for technologies that are still being developed and is also exploring ways to recognize teaching innovation.
“Technology commercialization is a key focus of CSU’s broader research enterprise and we commend the OFC for their continued efforts to reward and enhance tech transfer,” adds Dr. Jerzy Sawicki, CSU’s vice president for research.