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About Us

OTC Services


  • Identify and evaluate patentable inventions
  • Develop and manage patent prosecution strategies
  • Facilitate transfer of technologies into commercial products
  • Market and license UTEP inventions
Patent Portfolio

Our Patent Portfolio consists of patents from our major technology sectors, including: water tech, 3D printing, therapeutics, medical devices, and advanced materials.

Patent Management

We identify potential licensees and start-up opportunities, and then draft, negotiate, and manage all commercialization activities. This includes various agreements involving confidentiality, material and data transfers, option, licensing, and sponsored research and collaboration.

Educational Resources

We provide educational resources to UTEP innovators and entrepreneurs on start-up formation, business plan development, fundraising, and resource-matching activities.

MEET OUR TEAM

Chao Zhang - Director - Chao joined the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) at UTEP in 2016. Since then, she has expanded and increased campus-wide awareness in IP protection and technology commercialization. Chao is involved in all steps of university technology transfer, offering assistances in invention identification, marketing analysis, and industry collaborations. She also provides guidance and counseling for faculties and students in fostering venture activities.

Before joining UTEP, Chao was the Invention Manager at Innovation and New Ventures office, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL for more than 9 years. Her experiences includes performing due diligence review of over 200 invention disclosures, managing over 280 U.S. and foreign patent prosecutions for 30 faculty members, drafting and negotiating over 60 commercialization agreements.

Chao has a B.S. in Applied Chemistry from Peking University, Beijing, China and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.
Jennifer Ramirez - Patent Coordinator - Jennifer joined the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) at UTEP in 2014. She maintains our patent docket and oversees all aspect of patent filing and patent prosecution. Jennifer helps increase campus-wide awareness in IP protection and technology commercialization. She coordinates and corresponds with faculty and outside counsel to ensure all the logistic of obtaining a patent is accomplished in a timely manner. Jennifer assists in research, promotes the office on social media and reconciles all office’s financial accounts, and is a vital member of the team at the core of increasing office productivity and maintaining smooth operation.

Before joining UTEP, Jennifer was an experienced paralegal dealing with patent and trademark applications and prosecutions.

Jennifer has a degree in Associate of Applied Sciences in Paralegal Studies from El Paso Community College, El Paso, TX.
Nicole Gustafson - Invention Associate - Nicole joined the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) at UTEP in 2018. She is currently a student studying biochemistry and has a wide interest in all scientific and biomedical topics. At OTC, Nicole helps promote campus-wide awareness in IP protection and technology commercialization. She promotes the office on social media, helps maintain the OTC website, and conducts research on prior art and market viability for various inventions to assist the technology commercialization process. Nicole conducts interviews with professors and provides content for our social media platforms.

Before joining UTEP, Nicole was an attorney experienced in employment and labor law prosecution. She also has experience in commercial law and proposal drafting for federal grant to fund city projects.

Nicole has a B.A. from Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA and a J.D. from Moritz College of law, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.
Manuel F Flores Cacho - Invention Associate - Manuel joined the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) at UTEP in 2018. He started pursuing his Masters degree in Computer Engineering in 2017, but decided to change the Masters program to Software Engineering. At OTC,he helps maintain the OTC website, and conducts research on prior art and market visibility for various inventions to assist the technology commercialization process. Manuel have experience in web development, and is currently interested in android development, have some knowledge in computer architecture, os, software development, and 3D design.

Manuel has a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering with a concentration in Computer Engineering from The University of Texas at El Paso.

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