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Zach Miles, senior associate vice president for technology and economic development, announced Cowboy Innovations as OSU's new home for technology development.

Cowboy Innovations is the new home for OSU tech ideas

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Media Contact: Harrison Hill | Research Communications Specialist | 405-744-5827 |

The seatbelt, the internet, rocket fuel, chemotherapy drugs and even Gatorade all came from universities. In fact, countless technologies had some type of university involvement in their creation or development.

For Oklahoma State University, the new bridge for that development will be Cowboy Innovations, which will allow technologies and ideas developed at OSU to make an impact on the world.

“OSU, like other universities, is constantly generating novel ideas,” said Zach Miles, senior associate vice president for technology and economic development. “Those ideas will now go through Cowboy Innovations, where they can grow into something that will impact the state and the nation.”

Dr. Kenneth Sewell, OSU vice president for research, said OSU is committed to maximizing the positive societal impact that research creates. 

“Cowboy Innovations will facilitate economic development by seamlessly supporting how we turn OSU discoveries and inventions into products in the marketplace, start-up companies and corporate partnerships,” he said.

Announced Sept. 17, the move unifies existing tech development offices and programs into a single point of contact for industry engagement, Miles said.

“Through this unification, Cowboy Innovations can provide the highest level of service to both internal and external stakeholders and accelerate mutually beneficial engagements with industry,” Miles said. “New life-changing products and services, as well as economic growth and diversification, will occur.”

Miles said the reorganization will also help to attract industry engagement and will provide Oklahoma with high-tech job opportunities, tax revenue and a wider range of economies. The hope, he said, is “to see this bolster the success of economic development and diversification in Oklahoma as well as help weather economic downturns.” 

“Companies have unresolved needs and opportunities and are looking for long term relationship partners to help them,” said Daniel Will, executive director of Brightest Orange Ventures, now part of Cowboy Innovations. “Oklahoma State University has a tremendous degree of innovative engineers and scientists, along with excellent facilities and equipment, that can generate solutions to today’s problems and opportunities.  

“This new organization will streamline the connection of OSU’s research and development capabilities with industry, bringing new solutions quickly to market.”

Cowboy Innovations will also allow room for growth. Over the next several years, the team at Cowboy Innovations plans to add physical and monetary resources to accelerate translation of ideas into commercial opportunities and attract and support high-tech companies in the region. 

“Cowboy Innovations will build off this initial launch and look to become more proactively engaged in the economic development, diversification and entrepreneurial ecosystem within the state, nation and worldwide,” Miles said.

“We will look to increase mutually beneficial engagements with industry, but also with state and federal agencies. We plan to be a source of start-up companies and a resource to companies who can benefit from utilizing the personnel and physical resources at OSU and the OSU Research Park.”

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