Distinguished Lecture

Straight Down the Crooked Path: The Dynamic Process of Commercializing Research

Dr. Michael McCorquodaleCTO and Founder of Mobius Microsystems, Inc.

Dr. McCorquodale is visiting Michigan as a special Homecoming guest of the College of Engineering and will give this lecture during his visit. He is the College of Engineering Recent Engineering Graduate Alumni Award Winner for 2009.
The past, present and future of Mobius Microsystems is presented as a backdrop for discussing the challenging and dynamic path of commercializing university research. Mobius is an analog semiconductor device company and was borne out of research at the U. of Michigan over five years ago. Its flagship technology enables all-silicon solid-state oscillators to replace piezoelectric quartz-referenced oscillators, primarily in consumer electronics. However, Mobius product embodiments based on this enabling technology have varied over the years. Against this backdrop, that which will seem to be nearly a random walk is dissected and a framework for understanding the process of commercializing research is presented. As opposed to previous talks Dr. McCorquodale has presented on this topic, this talk will focus on understanding the business concepts, development cycles and external factors which play critical and often serendipitous roles in the development of a new venture from research. In particular, the concept that research commercialization is a ‘technology push’ will be presented and contrasted to a ‘market pull’ in which established industry engages for its product development efforts. The talk will conclude with recommendations for those seeking to commercialize research while leaving adequate of time for questions and answers.
Dr. Michael S. McCorquodale is the CTO and founder of Mobius Microsystems, an analog semiconductor device company based in Silicon Valley and with a design center in Ann Arbor. Mobius was founded based on Dr. McCorquodale’s research at the University of Michigan in precision analog integrated circuits for frequency generation and quartz replacement. On that work, he has published over 25 technical articles and holds inventorship on over 30 issued and pending U.S. patents. Governor Granholm awarded Mobius for the Largest High-Tech Job Creation in Michigan in 2005 and the SBA recognized Mobius for developing the Innovation of the Year in Michigan in 2006. EDN recognized Mobius all-silicon spread-spectrum clock generator as one of the Hot 100 Products of 2008. Dr. McCorquodale earned the B.S.E. degree with honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the M.S.E and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan, all in Electrical Engineering. He was recently awarded the Young Alumni Achievement Award by the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Alumni Board at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Electrical and Computer Engineering