Editor’s Note: This is the first in a five-part series examining Fuentek’s Deal-Making 4 P’s. This overview will be followed by posts that focus on each “P” within this approach. Visit our blog each Monday to check them out.
Fuentek’s proven methodology of applying the Deal-Making 4 P’s can help position your Technology Transfer Office (TTO) to more consistently and predictably execute licensing and partnership agreements for your institution. The 4 P’s can take your organization’s deal making from an art to a science, improving your overall success rate of transforming technology disclosures into deals. The Deal-Making 4 P’s are:
- Planning. Effective planning includes establishing a strategy with supporting goals that deliver the greatest return on investment (ROI) from limited resources. It is imperative to implement practices that position your organization to focus on delivering results in line with your institution’s goals.
- People. While it may be obvious that your goals should include attracting, recruiting, and retaining qualified professionals for positions within your TTO, the challenge of doing so can often be considerable. Additional key tactical and strategic details and procedures demand your attention, including your on-boarding process, establishing mentors for new staff members, and developing the right sourcing strategy for personnel to support your mission.
- Process. Institutionalizing “just enough” process discipline (the extent to which you define and follow specific steps for activities) across your TTO will enable your office to be agile and efficient, positioning your organization to deliver consistent high quality services within stated time and resource constraints. Process institutionalization requires a conscious effort to define, document, communicate, and train your staff on key activities within your organization, such as evaluating commercialization potential and required documentation from prospective licensees before an agreement is signed.
- Platform. Your TTO can achieve tremendous efficiency and effectiveness by taking advantage of modern, low-cost, widely available technology solutions. These tools include IP asset management database applications (from online invention disclosure submission to docket tracking to recording licenses), calendaring and scheduling, instant messaging, websites, e-mail marketing, Web conferencing, blogs, wikis, microblogging and other social media tools. It is important that the tools you deploy are intuitive and not overly complex and that they help rather than hinder your key professionals in performing their jobs effectively.
What steps does your organization take to improve the effectiveness of converting disclosures into licensing and partnership deals? Chime in with a comment below, and be sure to check back over the next few weeks to learn more about how Fuentek implements the 4 P’s.
–By Jack Spain