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William Hefley, Dan Ding, Aimee Rosenbaum, Megan Kiniry, Jason Somma and Skyler Berry

As university-industry technology transfer gains in importance, so do the opportunities to learn about technology transfer. A recent service learning project was a collaboration between the Certificate Program in Leadership and Ethics (CPLE) Class of 2015, the Human Engineering Research Laboratories (HERL) and the Innovation Institute at the University of Pittsburgh. Analyses of technology commercialization options for HERL’s Smart Kitchen, and its separate components, were conducted in order to provide suggestions to HERL on possible technology roadmaps and pathways to bring their Smart Kitchen technologies to market for multiple populations that could be served by these technologies. Technology roadmaps, addressing short- and long-term commercialization pathways, were developed for each focal population (Wounded Warrior/Traumatic Brain Injury, Physically Disabled, Aging and Mass Market). Analyses of these roadmaps led to a set of recommendations for HERL’s short- and long-term commercialization plans. The goal of this project was to provide HERL with recommendations for potential pathways for bringing the Smart Kitchen from the labs to product stage and then into the market to provide assistance to the targeted user populations. By examining multiple target populations, we were able to demonstrate that commercialization pathways may not be a single path, but may be dependent on a number of factors such as target population and institutions in the target space. Another lesson was that research projects moving toward commercialization may need to augment their staff and resources to address technology transfer needs.