Newswise — As part of an ongoing effort to connect Nevada’s cutting-edge research and innovations with industry, the Desert Research Institute (DRI) has recruited the help of its long-time neighbor and partner at UNLV.

A new partnership between DRI and UNLV’s Office of Technology Transfer is enabling faculty and students to leverage each other’s talent and resources to foster new research collaborations and transform technologies and inventions into new products and services.

The first successful product of the new partnership is a commercial licensing agreement for Cumulus Weather Solutions LLC, a DRI-born startup company that builds weather decision support systems for the wind and solar energy industries. Craig Smith, Ph.D, a DRI assistant research professor who developed the intellectual property behind the company, has more than 15 years of experience in numerical weather prediction and developing weather data solutions for the next energy economy.

“We are very excited to bolster out partnership with UNLV,” said DRI President Kristen Averyt. “Realizing the contribution of research to the new Nevada economy is meeting a key DRI priority. Partnerships like this will help our scientists navigate the commercialization pathway to make a real difference for traditional and emerging industries in Nevada, and beyond.”

The partnership also aligns DRI and UNLV in their efforts to support Nevada’s new economy and help bolster economic development and diversification throughout Southern Nevada.

“UNLV has made major strides in its economic development activities in recent years, and joining forces with DRI was a natural next great step,” said Zach Miles, UNLV’s associate vice president for economic development. “This partnership creates a new unified front that supports the commercialization of both organizations’ innovations and attracts additional industry-sponsored research, student opportunities, and inter-institutional collaborations.”

UNLV technology transfer and economic development staff facilitate the university's process to bring discoveries and inventions to the marketplace. The office is part of the UNLV Division of Research and Economic Development

DRI is a recognized world leader in investigating the effects of natural and human-induced environmental change and advancing technologies aimed at assessing a changing planet. With campuses in Reno and Las Vegas, DRI serves as the non-profit environmental research arm of the Nevada System of Higher Education.