Better World Project Award

AUTM Annual Meeting

Better World Project Award

AUTM’s Better World Project helps the public, policymakers, the media, even our own institutional leadership, better understand the impact of research commercialization, and how technology transfer benefits millions of people around the world every day.

Whether explaining the genesis of the Honeycrisp apple or the founding of Google, Better World stories showcase the value of academic research innovations, their applications and the important steps that build tech transfer success. Today, Better World's searchable database includes more than 450 stories and videos.

While we don’t have popcorn or klieg lights, we’d like to premier a new Better World video for you now featuring the University of Arizona, and their academic spin-out, Senestech. It’s the story of how one technology is making a difference by reducing rat populations through non-lethal fertility control.

In order to recognize great work like this, we this year launched our first-ever Better World Project Award competition.

If you would like a chance to be recognized at next year’s Annual Meeting, submit your innovation success stories to our Better World Project. We love reading these great stories and look forward to seeing yours on AUTM’s website in the coming months.

This year, AUTM is delighted to present its inaugural award to the University of Central Florida for their work on the “Bold & Gold” – a low-Impact dirt technology that offers a safer, cheaper way to clean water.
Svetlana Shtrom
Director of the Office of Technology Transfer 
University of Central Florida

On behalf of our entire technology transfer team, I would like to thank the AUTM Board and the Better World Project Committee for selecting UCF’s innovative technology for this prestigious award.

This technology, which is trademarked as Bold & Gold®, consists of patented biosorption activated media and filtration systems to safely remove as much as 90 percent of pollutants from our most valuable natural resource: WATER.

One of the most remarkable aspects of this technology is that it consists largely of natural materials, such as sand and clay, and recycled materials, such as tire chips and compost.  The lead faculty inventor started a company, Stormwater Treatment Environments (STE), and licensed the underlying UCF patents and trademarks.  STE has since sublicensed rights to local manufacturers and distributors with national and international presence.

The current and exclusive manufacturer of Bold & Gold® media is also a Central Florida startup company called Environmental Conservation Solutions. ECS custom blends the Bold & Gold® media for a variety of uses, including green-roofs, site septic systems, stormwater retention or detention ponds, silviculture, agriculture, geothermal discharge, and aquaculture.

UCF’s Technology Transfer Office is proud of its partnership with STE and ECS and recently organized a field trip to ECS’ manufacturing facility. Invitations were extended to various senior UCF administration officials to witness UCF technology transfer first hand and in their own backyard! As the tour concluded, and as we lined up for a group photo, looking into the camera with smiling faces, we recognized that technology transfer plays a small, but critical role in making our world a better place now and for generations to come.

Thank you, AUTM and the Better World Project Committee, for creating this annual award, which recognizes the impact of our daily work and makes us grateful to be a part of this amazing profession!

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