Focusing on Innovation
of the future

About The Office of Innovation Management

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) supports Mississippi’s efforts to grow its knowledge-based economy centered around universities as economic engines of innovation for enhancing the competitive advantages of the state’s industries, which include marine technology, advance materials, agriculture, medical devices, and many others. To facilitate this economic growth, The Office of Innovation Management (OIM) promotes the protection and commercialization of innovations that emerge from all dimensions of USM’s research enterprise, from the sciences to the humanities.

Our team works with inventors to define and market technology portfolios of inventions, to promote new business ventures, and to build business alliances that will accelerate the transition of inventions to the marketplace. OIM aligns strategic initiatives with the capabilities of USM, supporting industry interactions, and negotiating legal agreements.

Additionally, OIM supports the USM Research Foundation’s mission and manages its Gulf Blue Innovation Program, which includes the Gulf Blue Navigator.


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USM uses an augmented stage-gate commercialization process based on an innovation funnel of inventions that is sustained by the university’s very high research activity. To ensure the innovation funnel is fed by high quality inventions, each invention disclosure is currently assessed for commercial viability and novelty. After validation of viability and novelty, USM OIM works with the inventors and its network of patent lawyers to secure patent protection.

Following successfully filing for patent protection, USM OIM supports TRA of early-stage inventions by providing access to SMART BUSINESS ACT funding. These funds can be used for product development activities like market assessments, user inspired research, prototype development, feasibility studies. Applications are accepted annually and USM OIM evaluates applications based on the technology’s commercial viability, the inventors’ engagement, and overall translation potential. After successful completion of these activities, the applicant can reapply for additional funding to advance the technology to the next stage.

Smart Business Accelerator Initiative Application


Why Disclose Inventions?

Through your research, you develop knowledge that can change the world.

We offer help in the form of people, services, teams and tools to help make it happen.

By reporting inventions and even just talking through your work with a OIM Manager, you gain access to great opportunities, such as:

  • Increased funding for your lab, department and college
  • Qualification for industry and federal grants, such as SBIR funds
  • Making your research more attractive for future funding
  • Increased impact and contributing to a better world.

What You Get Working with OIM

We want to ensure that you remain focused on your number one priority: your inventive work.

To that end, we set expectations and coach you through the entire commercialization process. It all starts with an invention disclosure and our team of licensing experts is here to guide you every step of the way.

Disclose an Invention

Use the MS Word Disclosure Form

Would you rather fill out your Disclosure Form using a Word document? Download this form and work with your Licensing Manager to get it completed and submitted.

An invention disclosure reports an invention or technology created by faculty members, fellows and staff members (including students on appointment as University employees), by anyone using University facilities, or by anyone collaborating with any of the above individuals (“Contributors”).

Inventions may include:

  • Processes
  • Products
  • Software
  • Apparatus
  • Materials
  • Composition of matter
  • Living organisms
  • Improvements to existing technology


What Do I Need Before Disclosing?

Disclosing an invention is straightforward and the form itself provides detailed instructions to make it as easy as possible. To get you started on your disclosure, we’ve provided you with a complete outline explaining the process and the information you’ll need.


Our Staff

Brian Cuevas, Ph.D.

Director, Office of
Innovation Management

Joseph Graben

Innovation Ecosystem Manager

Natalie Guess

Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Program Manager

Rachel Myrick

Paralegal and Office Manager


Office of Innovation Management

The University of Southern Mississippi

118 College Dr.
Hattiesburg, MS 39406


Gulf Coast:

Gulf Park Campus

730 East Beach Blvd., Bld. 949
Long Beach, MS 39560


Gulf & Ship Island Building

2605 13th St.
Gulfport, MS 39501



1622 Washington St.
Vicksburg, MS 39180