Industry Collaboration & Sponsored Research | Available MSU Technologies | MSU Technical Services

students and faculty researching/gathered around a computer

Industry Collaboration & Sponsored Research

The Technology Transfer  Office pursues three primary outreach goals:        

  • Establishing collaborations and working relationships between industry and each of the research and creative areas of MSU. This includes pursuing industry sponsored research and collaborating on commercial opportunities.
  • Licensing the inventions of MSU faculty and researchers to industry and managing the relationship between the University and its licensee partners.
  • Serving the economic development arm of the University and working with Montana companies and entrepreneurs to leverage the resources of MSU to the benefit of Montana's economy.

Industry sponsored research successes through MSU TTO

While the primary goal of the MSU Technology Transfer Office (TTO) is to protect and license the intellectual property generated by the faculty, often the inventions disclosed by faculty to the TTO are too early in development to attract licensing interest. One of the best alternatives in this case is to collaborate with a company in further development of the research.  In addition to no-cost collaborations, industry sponsored research can sometimes be appropriate when government funding is no longer a good fit--as is the case when efforts are shifted away from research towards development.

The TTO has been instrumental in facilitating research collaboration and sponsored research agreements between MSU faculty and leading companies.  Recent activities include:

  • Kevin McPhee, Plant Sciences & Plant Pathology
  • Blake Wiedenheft, Immunology & Microbiology
  • Joe Shaw, Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Mike Giroux, Plant Sciences & Plant Pathology
  • Stephen Sofie, Mechanical Engineering
  • Frances Lefcort, Cell Biology and Neuroscience
  • Garrett Moraski, Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Bob Peterson, Land Resources & Environmental Sciences
  • Ryan Anderson, Chemical & Biological Engineering
  • Nick Stadie, Chemistry and Biochemistry


The TTO welcomes the opportunity to talk to faculty and industry about ways to work together.  For more information, reference this MSU agreement grid or contact Daniel Juliano at


MSU Technologies available to industry

professor near plants (biotechnology)


Lab-On-A-Chip Method for In Vitro Growing Cells with Controlled Geometry

Technique for growing cells with highly reproducible and predetermined curvature can be used to understand role of geometry in cell function and disease.

Bi‐Phasic Switch‐Based Biosensor Chemistry

A novel chemistry which is both simple and adaptable to a broad range of biomarker detection applications.

Genome editing with the Type I CRISPR/Cas3 systems

Bi-directional genome editing with CRISPR Type I systems for gene knockouts, knock-ins, or knock ups. 

Gene editing with a multi-effector CRISPR Type I system

Use of Cascade holds promise for enhanced binding and reduced off target effects.

Mouse Monoclonal Antibodies

 Anti-gp91phox, Anti-p22phox and Anti- CAP-18

optic laser shooting from out of vehicle


Diode laser for low-cost identification of water in the lower atmosphere

Better weather forecasting with a micro-pulse differential absorption LIDAR (DIAL).

Discrimination of Herbicide-resistant Weeds with Hyperspectral Imaging

At Montana State University, an electrical engineering professor and a weed scientist have used funding from the state to develop a technology that can identify herbicide-resistant kochia, with the potential to save farmers $1 billion per year.  This technology is now available for licensing.

Flying Insect Detection and Identification

Laser-based detection system can monitor and discriminate flying insects.


engineering students working on a mechanical project


Superior Separation Membranes for Fuel Cells, Batteries, CO2 Conversion, and Electrocatalysis

A new manufacturing technique to make laterally graded porous membranes for improved efficiency at a much larger scale than available with current membrane systems. 

Large magnetic moment bcc FexCoyMnz ternary alloy thin films

Montana State University seeks a partner to license and commercialize a breakthrough metal alloy with magnetic moment up to 3.25 μB/atom—shattering the previous record of 2.45 μB/atom.

Microbially and Enzymatically Induced Calcium Carbonate Composites as Adhesives

Microbial or plant sourced ureolytically induced calcium carbonate composite adhesives for indoor adhesives application.

Low Cost Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) Training System

An affordable tool for training doctors, nurses, and first responders.

Radiation tolerant computer proven to work for Aerospace Applications

Montana State University has developed a small lightweight computer that can resist damage from radiation exposure from low-orbit to deep-space missions.

Discrimination of Herbicide-resistant Weeds with Hyperspectral Imaging

At Montana State University, an electrical engineering professor and a weed scientist have used funding from the state to develop a technology that can identify herbicide-resistant kochia, with the potential to save farmers $1 billion per year.  This technology is now available for licensing.


field of wheat for department of agriculture


Alleles for Intermediate Height Durum Wheat with Optimal Yield and Quality in Montana, North Dakota, and Canada

Intermediate height varieties from novel gene mutations increase yield 10% without decreasing quality.

Alleles to Control Plant Height and Tillering Characteristics for Optimal Yield and Quality in Grain, Forage, and Dual-Purpose Wheat Varieties

Novel gene mutations have been identified to optimize production and quality for both grain and forage production.

MTF1435 Forage Winter Wheat

In 2018, Montana State University partnered with two seed companies to commercialize MTF1435, a winter wheat developed as a successor to the popular Willow Creek forage wheat variety.  Licensed territories include many western US states.  The variety is still available for International licensing.

FORAGE FX 1001 Nearly Awnless Winter Forage Triticale

Montana State University seeks an international partner to license and commercialize this forage variety outside the United States and Canada.

Essential Oils as Safer Alternatives for Synthetic Fungicide Seed Treatments

Researchers at Montana State University have identified 7 commercial essential oils as effective natural fungicide seed treatments in pulse crop production systems.

Discrimination of Herbicide-resistant Weeds with Hyperspectral Imaging

At Montana State University, an electrical engineering professor and a weed scientist have used funding from the state to develop a technology that can identify herbicide-resistant kochia, with the potential to save farmers $1 billion per year.  This technology is now available for licensing.

Stem, Leaf, and Stripe Rust Resistance in Wheat

New germplasm has been developed based on a suite of homeologs to enhance bread wheat resistance to various rust pathogens.


MSU Technical Services

MSU can provide a wide array of services to industry - services which utilize the unique expertise of faculty, researchers and students. Such resources may also involve methodologies, equipment or techniques not commonly found in the commercial sector. A partial compilation of the divergent research areas on campus which also provide highly specialized services to industry is provided below. The TTO can provide additional information on these and other capabilities available at MSU.

Center for Biofilm Engineering

The CBE's mission is to advance fundamental interdisciplinary research and education related to the management of bacterial biofilms, and to transfer that knowledge to the realm of applied science and technology. The CBE's Industrial Associates program provides key support for CBE research and operations, as well as valuable input that keeps CBE research relevant.
Image and Chemical Analysis Laboratory

ICAL provides analytical facilities for the physical, biological and engineering sciences. These facilities are open to both academic researchers and the general public. Laboratory instrumentation is dedicated to the characterization of materials through high resolution imaging and spectroscopy.
Optical Technology Center

The Optical Technology Center is a multidisciplinary center at Montana State University, offering opportunities for students, faculty, industry, and other interested partners to learn and work together to find solutions to practical problems and to discover new applications for optical technology.
Spectrum Lab

The Spectrum Lab was established in 1999 to advance the opto-electronic technologies emerging from the research laboratories of Montana State University and foster their transition to Montana companies and in the process provide enhanced educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.
Subzero Science and Engineering Research Facility

Montana State University is home to the Subzero Science and Engineering Research Facility, a unique and state-of-the-art suite of laboratories used to study the effects of the cold on projects across many scientific disciplines.
Thermal Biology Institute

The Thermal Biology Institute conducts and promotes research and education focused on the biology and interrelated physical and chemical processes of geothermal environments in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Western Transportation Institute

The Western Transportation Institute is the country's largest National University Transportation Center focused on rural transportation issues. WTI's main facility with its state-of-the-art labs is adjacent to MSU. WTI has additional offices in Alberta, Canada, and central Washington, and a large testing facility in rural Montana near Lewistown.
Blackstone LaunchPad

The MSU Blackstone LaunchPad is an entrepreneur resource for students, alumni and faculty. The Blackstone LaunchPad is designed to encourage entrepreneurial thinking to create a new generation of entrepreneurs that will contribute to the economic revitalization of their regions.
Montana Innovation Partnership

The Montana Innovation Partnership (MTIP) powered by MSU TechLink Center in partnership with the Montana Department of Commerce offers no-cost services to help Montana innovators and entrepreneurs learn about and compete for over $2.5 billion in federal research and development funding under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. 

Montana Manufacturing Extension Center

The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center is a statewide manufacturing outreach & assistance center staffed by full-time professionals with degrees in engineering and extensive experience in manufacturing and business in a variety of industries. MMEC has a proven record of positive impact for client firms and the economy.
Prospera Business Network

Prospera offers a wide variety of small business resources designed to facilitate growth and development of small businesses in Southwest Montana. Prospera provides networking opportunities, small business loans, business relocation services, economic research, and entrepreneur guidance.
Montana Department of Commerce

The Department of Commerce is a resource for Information on loans, grants, incorporation, business statistics, links to Small Business Development Centers and much more.