Worth Reading… and Listening and Watching and Responding To

Online reading of technology transfer newsAlthough it’s hard to put down the latest summer best-seller, technology transfer professionals might consider doing so in favor of these recent items. A few of these might generate some strong reactions — I hope so, anyway! Join the discussion by adding a comment below.

Let’s start by easing into things.

Strengthening the Link Between Industry and University Research: This article, contributed to Forbes.com by NorTech‘s Rebecca O. Bagley, offers some guidance on how to “break down some of the barriers that exist between industry and universities to accelerate the tech transfer process.” These suggestions had emerged during the development of a recent report from the Ohio Board of Regents. Not unlike the NRC report mentioned in June’s “worth reading” post, the 200-page Ohio report was prepared to help increase and improve technology transfer among Ohio’s universities and industry. Since most tech transfer practitioners are hard pressed to dedicate time to reading such a lengthy report, Bagley’s summary is most welcome. I look forward to her next post, which promises to outline the recommendations for universities and companies.

Try These “Easy” Keyword Research Tips for Inbound Marketing Success: Kudos to the Technology Transfer Tactics IP Marketing Blog for featuring this useful article. It gives useful tips for doing the market research to find the keywords industry uses, for example by looking at the meta keywords and other meta data used on their websites. You can then weave these keywords into your technology marketing materials. One caveat from Fuentek’s Web guru Lee Ann Obringer: The meta keywords that you would look for in the page source are rarely used anymore. Recent articles indicate that most search engines ignore them and pay more attention to the keywords used within the text, files names, links, etc. Nevertheless, the general principles still apply.

Okay, now for the discussion-starters.

Healthcare Innovation & Tech Transfer: Patriotic Duties for Universities?: MedCity News released this transcript as well as an audio recording of the extemporaneous statement by Drexel University’s senior vice provost for research Deborah Crawford that:

research universities have lost sight to some extent of their role in our nation…. The fact that tech commercialization offices are created as cost centers in order… to be self-sustaining is in fact the wrong model to use in the research university…. We receive federal funds to do research on the nation’s behalf. And running a tech commercialization office is part of that responsibility set…. I think part of the difficulties we all experience in tech commercialization is in part a consequence of this struggling to redefine our roles and be clear about our roles, and the respective roles of our partners in this.

What do you think, tech transfer?

Can This Legal Heavyweight Remake Our Broken Patent System?: Writing on The Motley Fool, Anders Bylund discusses Richard Posner’s controversial suggestions for fixing the U.S. patent system. One of Posner’s suggestions intrigued me:

Require inventors to make and/or sell something based on their patents, thus removing patent trolls from the equation.

It’s intriguing not because it’s feasible but because it’s getting to the crux of the issue. As I’ve discussed before, there is something to be said for having barriers to filing patent applications. It may be something practical to implement, such as raising the cost to file. Or, as with Posner’s suggestion, it may be virtually impossible to enforce (unless there is a Captain Patent superhero out there). But regardless, these suggestions force us to consider the question: Why are you getting a patent if you’re not going to do something productive with it? Posner’s suggestion is impractical, but IMHO his concept is moving in the right direction.

How do you think the USPTO could monitor and enforce use/sale requirements?

And finally, for those of you with an interest in promoting STEM and perhaps were lucky enough to have missed the European Commission’s controversial Science: It’s a Girl Thing abomination (oh, I mean “commercial”), consider these two better options for getting young people excited about pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and math:

BTW, if you’re looking for a well-articulated rebuttal to the Girl Thing (as opposed to the expletive-laden comments on YouTube), check out this 9-minute interview with astronomer Dr. Meghan Gray.

As always, feel free to post your comment below or send me a private message.

Share
Posted by Laura Schoppe

2 Responses to Worth Reading… and Listening and Watching and Responding To

  1. Nancy Pekar says:

    Regarding Posner’s idea for dealing with patent trolls, I just came across this Techdirt post that has more suggestions — this time from Mike Masnick. What do you think of these?
    “Judge Posner On A Mission To Fix Patents; We Have Some Suggestions”
    http://bit.ly/PoD9VV

  2. Laura Schoppe says:

    Part 2 of the Rebecca Bagley’s Forbes article on “Strengthening the Link Between Industry and University Research” has come out: http://onforb.es/MHGcYV In it, she talks about considering industries (and their customers) as the university TTOs’ immediate customers, which helps establish priorities and goals for industry-university collaborations. We agree, and this is something university TTOs can start effecting immediately and does not cost them anything because it’s a change in approach and communication. We talk about this as AMMO (audience, message, mechanism, outcomes). Check out this blog post http://bit.ly/tA4QcQ where Net describes how using the AMMO made a technology showcase event more effective.