I’m back with another Metrics Monday post about the types of metrics that new (and newly reorganized) technology transfer offices (TTOs) can monitor while waiting for the long-term metrics to make sense. As noted earlier, these metrics that are measurable in the short term will help ensure your TTO is on the right path to long-term success. Today we’ll focus on productivity and processing cases (i.e., invention disclosures).
Ensuring that invention disclosures and your technology portfolio are being processed effectively is key to keeping the office running efficiently. As your office matures, the TTO’s productivity in processing cases should increase. So this is a key short-term goal to focus on.
Definition: Triaged Inventions
Triaged means an initial decision has been made as to whether to invest resources in protecting and marketing an invention. At Fuentek, we call this rapid screening. The triage process is the first step in building the TTO’s portfolio of technologies.
One of the general metrics for monitoring for case processing productivity is the percent of “open” invention disclosure cases — that is, disclosures received by the TTO that have not yet been triaged. This is a number you want to minimize. Conversely, you could monitor the percent of “triaged” invention disclosures — that is, those received for which triage is complete. This is a number you want to maximize.
Another angle to take on productivity is to look at the percent of triaged invention disclosures that are being patented and marketed as planned. For example, if you decided an invention had enough potential to pursue, is the appropriate IP protection being put in place? If you decided to actively market an invention or portfolio, is active marketing going on yet? Or for a technology selected for passive marketing, is it posted on your website and other channels yet?
Editor’s note: Establishing and tracking useful metrics is part of what we do here at Fuentek. Our white paper “How’d We Do?: Establishing Useful Technology Transfer Metrics” provides research-based recommendations for measuring performance and success of tech transfer programs in government, academic, and corporate institutions. Contact us to discuss how Fuentek can help your office set — and meet — its goals.
Remember: It takes new TTOs time to establish policies and procedures, train staff, etc. So in the near term, these metrics provide a baseline, with changes signaling the growing maturity of the office. In the long-run, they can be used to monitor for signs that additional resources (staff or funding) are needed, or that additional standard operating procedures need to be developed. And as always, you may need additional or slightly different metrics to match your TTO’s situation/needs. (Fuentek can help.)
Becky’s Metrics for New/Like-New TTOs: