Skip to main content
VCOM Carolinas Campus

Office of Research and Innovation

Who is the ORI?

The Office of Research and Innovation’s (ORI) mission is to work with VCOM faculty to maximize the impact of their discoveries and innovations in public health advancements and solutions. We strive to foster creativity and collaboration by providing VCOM faculty with expertise and guidance regarding ideas and innovations. We perform services across the continuum of intellectual property development and innovative entrepreneurship:

  • Early-stage discussion of potential for intellectual property creation in research projects
  • Preparation and evaluation of intellectual property disclosures
  • Guidance and oversight of the patent and copyright processes
  • Drawing up contracts and agreements
  • Licensing intellectual property
  • Launching startup companies
  • Commercializing research

VCOM has patented devices and methods in neurodegenerative diseases, traumatic brain injury, combat casualty care, and rehabilitative care. From new medical devices to mobile apps, the ORI identifies and promotes innovations that have the potential to improve public health, aid the warfighter both on the battlefield and at home and support first responders. 


Why is ORI Needed?

A significant challenge facing inventors is to manage the disclosure of critical technology knowledge in ways that allow innovations to be placed into the public for the broadest possible application. Improper disclosure of inventions can affect the potential for patenting, dramatically limiting or, in some cases, eliminating future development into public health products and services. Protect your ideas! Only discuss with outside interests if a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) has been executed by the appropriate VCOM personnel, and only disclose in a publication or poster once you have filed an invention disclosure. Please see Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them.

How can ORI help? 

Complete VCOM’s Invention Disclosure Report and submit all pertinent information to ORI as soon as possible. We will contact you shortly to discuss your idea and perform a prior art search. If your idea proves novel, useful, and nonobvious, we will proceed with filing a preliminary patent application. ORI personnel will liaison with a patent attorney who will develop the provisional with input from the inventors. Discussions will remain ongoing during the year following to ensure the correct patent type is filed. For more information, please visit the Process for Patenting an Invention

ORI will manage the protection and marketing of your idea. We have a stable of patent attorneys and access to prototype development specialists and commercialization and marketing experts. We will work with companies to enable research relationships and negotiate all research contracts with private industry. Per VCOM Policy, net license revenues are split 50/50 between the inventor(s) and VCOM.


How can you Contact ORI?

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have an idea or have questions about the process. We are happy to set up a Zoom meeting to discuss the process and how we can help navigate your idea to commercial success! 


As the Director for Research at VCOM, Eryn promotes research and scholarly activities across all VCOM campuses. She is responsible for policy development, managing research functions, and directing research staff. In this role, Eryn oversees the service areas of research: Office of Sponsored Programs, Office of Research and Innovation, Institutional Review Board, and Proposal Development. Eryn has over 20 years of experience in developing grant projects and initiatives, as well as proposal planning and writing. She is skilled in implementing outcome measures and evaluation strategies to ensure institutions reach their goals of expanding research programs and remaining financially viable. In addition, Eryn has experience in the stewardship of financial resources related to research programs and projects.  

Michael Miller is the Technology Transfer Manager serving all VCOM Campus locations. His career has spanned a broad range of technologies, including fiber optics, computer science, aerospace engineering, advanced materials, nanomaterials, and pharmaceutical and medical device development. He has 40 years of experience in patenting, developing, and licensing technologies ranging from local tech startups to Fortune 500 corporations. Within the VCOM research community, Mike assists innovators in working with patent attorneys to protect their inventions and works with the VCOM research administration team to evaluate and execute technology agreements and licenses.