Prioritizing an intellectual property (IP) portfolio is an important, and often huge, task for tech transfer offices (TTOs). In today’s Stories from the Field post, I share details of how an efficient and effective IP portfolio screening helped a university do more than just prioritize its IP for future technology transfer and marketing efforts.
A major research university approached Fuentek about screening a group of 30 technologies in the nanotechnology sector. As covered in our webinar, Fuentek’s process for screenings provides an expedited and economical means to identify technologies that show promise and should receive further study and marketing for licensing—all part of the Fuentek Filtering Process. This kind of technology triage separates the wheat from the chaff and identifies those technologies with the highest commercialization potential.
The interesting part of this story is that our screening revealed more than just those few top technologies where marketing resources should be focused. Because Fuentek always seeks to provide our clients with the best value, we identified opportunities to cluster some of the technologies into groups for efficient future evaluation in a market-based assessment and marketing. These were technologies that had originally been developed for disparate applications and initially seemed unrelated. But Fuentek recognized that they likely would be of interest to the same target companies and therefore should be grouped together.
This strategic approach to technology evaluation did more than simply point out where to focus or abandon technology transfer efforts to achieve efficient resource allocation. Clustering enabled technologies that were rated lower in terms of commercialization potential to be combined with higher rated ones and assessed/marketed as a group rather than individually, adding depth and credibility to our client’s technology offerings. As an added bonus, the feedback in our screening reports helped university innovators make market-based decisions regarding funding of technology R&D, ensuring a better match-up with the market. The screening process also identified a couple of areas where the market had moved beyond the university’s technology, so funding to these programs was cut and reallocated to more promising research. As a result of these outcomes, several key decision makers in the university gained an understanding of the value of proactive technology transfer through strategic IP portfolio evaluation, yielding greater support for technology transfer activities.
The lesson? Taking a strategic approach to IP portfolio screening has long-term value beyond the near-term help with prioritizing technology transfer activities.
Have you clustered technologies to better assess or market them? Do you provide screening information to inventors to help them prioritize expenditure of their research dollars? Tell us about it by leaving a comment below or contacting us privately. And if you find that your TTO’s tech managers don’t have enough time to proactively identify the high-priority techs, then consider tapping into Fuentek’s services so they can focus on negotiating deals. Our diverse team of consultants can help support the portfolio evaluation and technology marketing needed to keep your deal pipeline filled.