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SBU Experts Discuss Questions of Navigating Conflict of Interest

Coi event

Coi eventMany faculty and staff have questions about how to balance academic and research obligations with their outside activities while understanding and managing perceived or actual conflicts of interest (COI). How can academic entrepreneurs access SBU resources such as core facilities or special equipment? What are the guidelines for subcontracting to the startup or to the lab? How do start-ups engage students and postdocs without facing conflict of interest issues? These and many other questions were addressed during the virtual panel discussion, “Navigating Conflict of Interest: A Discussion for Entrepreneurial Faculty,” co-hosted on June 23 by Intellectual Property Partners (IPP) and the Stony Brook Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI-SBU Chapter). More than 70 attendees joined this virtual, interactive panel discussion.

The panel included SBU entrepreneurial faculty and administrators, and was moderated by Alfredo Fontanini, professor and chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior and vice provost for Research and Infrastructure. Situations surrounding conflicts of interest that may arise when a faculty starts a company were discussed, including guidance related to grant applications, financing, resources and consulting. Panelists also offered advice regarding how to avoid or resolve conflict of interest concerns for researchers and entrepreneurs, what policies govern the COI at Stony Brook, and what is the most efficient way to regulate COI associated with academic entrepreneurship. 

“We recognize the importance of startups in bringing scientific and engineering advances to market for public benefit,” emphasized Peter Donnelly, associate vice president for Technology Partnerships, Economic Development, in his welcoming remarks. “Faculty, student and staff involvement can be critical at many levels and should be encouraged. Oftentimes the startup would not get going or exist without that involvement.”

This is the third in a series of panel presentations cohosted by IPP and the NAI-SBU Chapter. The series is meant to help educate, inspire and encourage faculty, students and staff interested in technology commercialization and industry partnerships.  Additional topics will be announced to the campus community. 

Please visit the IPP website to learn more about the event.

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