As Nannette Stangle-Castor and I get ready for Fuentek’s new webinar on implementing open innovation best practices in technology transfer offices (TTOs), I am reminded of conversations I’ve had with a wide range of tech transfer professionals over the years. What has struck me time and again in these discussions is the broad applicability of open innovation concepts to tech transfer and the value of implementing these concepts in a proactive manner.
Despite the fact that government, university, and corporate TTOs vary in their missions, perspectives on innovation, goals/metrics, and economic and entrepreneurial climates, they all have the potential to benefit from implementing sound principles related to open innovation. To a certain extent, I talked about this in my “Yes, I’m Talking to You (About Symbiotic Innovation)” post. But it’s been a while, so this is worth revisiting.
As Net mentioned last week, the idea of turning to outside sources for innovation (beyond traditional work-for-hire procurement contracts, that is) to get needed technology solutions has been around for a long time. Nowhere is this more evident than in government laboratories. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, CRADAs (Cooperative R&D Agreements), and NASA’s equivalent Space Act Agreements are government contractual vehicles (some funded, others not) that enable forms of open innovation. Regardless of the terminology, the techniques for finding the best partners and putting win-win agreements in place are the same.
For public and private universities, the trend toward R&D partnerships is growing. The techniques we’ve used over the years in establishing open innovation partnerships help in identifying new funding opportunities, forming better relationships with sponsored research partners, and securing more sponsored-research agreements (SRAs). At the same time, when implemented in a symbiotic manner with spin-out activities, open innovation can help increase universities’ licensing deals/revenue.
In the corporate environment, open innovation has been finding a foothold, particularly among the R&D branches of companies. As I’ve blogged about before, the activities of companies’ licensing office can positively influence the formation of open innovation partnerships.
So, whatever sector you’re in, I look forward to sharing our experiences and techniques so that your TTO can be effective, efficient, and successful in pursuing open innovation partnerships. Sign up for the webinar now.