Author Archives: Laura Schoppe

Infographic: The Road to Technology Transfer

Fuentek-TTO-process-thumnail-300pxAt one time or another, most technology transfer offices (TTOs) — particularly at universities, government labs, and other non-corporate entities — are asked why discoveries aren’t getting into the marketplace faster. Or more frequently. Or both. Whether this question comes from innovators, administrators, or legislators, TTOs say they struggle to answer it clearly and succinctly. Explaining the complexities of technology transfer is not easy, yet it is easy to sound defensive. Over time, we at Fuentek heard from so many tech transfer professionals about this being a challenge that we decided to do something to help them with this explanation. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, we developed an infographic that lays out a representative path from innovation to product launch. Entitled “The Road to Technology Transfer,” the infographic moves from… Continue reading

Posted in Technology Commercialization Processes, Technology Transfer Offices | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Innovation-to-Jobs Working Group Recommendations Released

McCrory_2015-01-16Since last summer, I’ve had the privilege to serve on North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory’s Innovation-to-Jobs (I2J) Working Group, whose recommendations were released by the governor 2 weeks ago. I share this with you today because (a) I’m proud of the hard work the group did and (b) our process and approach to developing an implementation plan might serve as a model for others seeking to extract more value from their state’s university R&D. The goal of the Innovation-to-Jobs Working Group was:… Continue reading

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Advice for University Translational Research to Close the Valley of Death

kml0000In her recent Wall Street Journal article “Universities Push Harder Into Realm of Startups,” reporter Ruth Simon observed that “universities are stepping up efforts to create ‘spinouts,’ or business startups born from some of the cutting-edge research of their students or faculty. Some schools are creating funds that help cover startup costs.” She mentions several schools’ efforts to support their spinout/startup companies, including the University of Minnesota’s Discovery Capital Investment Program, the University of Wisconsin’s Ideadvance Seed Fund, and the University of California’s independent UC Ventures. Yet another funding trend is occurring that focuses on an earlier segment of the commercialization pipeline, seeking to address what Simon rightly observed as an obstacle to university spinouts: “Technologies emerging from research labs are often embryonic.” This trend, known as translational funding, is more and more in the news. Continue reading

Posted in Collaborative Research and Development, Competitive Intelligence, Technology Commercialization Processes, Technology Transfer Offices | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

How-To Tips for Corporate Licensing Officers Looking for University/Government Technologies

Laura Schoppe's article "Cutting-Edge Tech: A How-To Guide for Corporate Licensing Officers" appeared in issue 67 of IAM magazineUniversities and government labs — especially in the United States — are keen to transfer technologies into commercial ventures. It can be tough, but not impossible, for corporates to engage with those organisations and find those innovations. So begins an article I was asked to write for Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) magazine. Entitled “Cutting-Edge Tech: A How-To Guide for Corporate Licensing Officers,” this article is now available for downloading from our In-Depth Insights page. Thanks, IAM, for granting reprint permission.Continue reading

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Change the IRS’s “Private Use in Bonded Facilities” Regulation

IRS_iStock_000017797441SmallI wish to offer an answer to the RFI’s third Overarching Question: What specific actions can the Federal Government take to build and sustain U.S. strengths including its entrepreneurial culture, flexible labor markets, world-class research universities, strong regional innovation ecosystems, and large share of global venture capital investment? My answer: Change Section 6.02 of Revenue Procedure 2007-47 (from IRB 2007-29 issued on July 16, 2007) regarding corporate-sponsored research so as to better ensure that such innovative R&D occurs in U.S. universities rather than overseas. This change can serve as a no-cost solution that can have a positive impact on local/regional economies without creating a financial burden on the federal government or on U.S. taxpayers. Continue reading

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Advice for Women Going into STEM Professions

AdvancingWomenInSTEM_SchoppeInterviewRecently I had the pleasure of being interviewed by JJ DiGeronimo of the organization Advancing Women in STEM about my career trajectory, my leap into technology transfer, and what motivated me to start Fuentek in 2001. I was also asked for my advice for women who are newly hired for — or trying to get — a job in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). I was able to share a few ideas during the interview, but today I’d like to elaborate on that list. Actually, this advice applies to women going into non-STEM professions too. Continue reading

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Knowledge Transfer Metrics: It’s Not That Simple

2011-07-14_kid-in-foil-hats_iStock_000016193676LargeAlthough we tend to focus on technology transfer here on the Fuentek blog, our industry is broader than that. One aspect I was asked about recently is knowledge transfer. Specifically, I was asked: Can you suggest a tool to measure/assess quantity and quality of knowledge transfer? This is a complex question since knowledge transfer is more qualitative than quantitative, but metrics gathering is an inherently quantitative exercise. However, there are some quantitative measures that provide a sense of knowledge transfer. Continue reading

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3 Metrics to Improve the Economy Your Tech Transfer Office Should Be Tracking

Welcome to the latest post in our “Metrics Monday” series. Today, I’m going to talk about some important metrics that most TTOs don’t track… but should. Why these metrics? Because these three metrics indicate whether your TTO is on the right path to achieving higher targets for your university’s government funding and industry sponsored research agreements (SRAs). And these targets will have a much bigger impact on the local economy than most startups will because they lead to hiring more staff that are high-salary jobs. Continue reading

Posted in Economic Development, Licensing and Deal Making, Metrics | Tagged , , | Comments Off on 3 Metrics to Improve the Economy Your Tech Transfer Office Should Be Tracking

The Problem with Startup Metrics: Kicking Off the “Metrics Monday” Blog Series

iStock_000024202877SmallSeveral months ago, a read an article called “Are Universities Creating Too Many Biotech Startups?” At the time I thought: The question is not how many startups should a university do, but why are they doing them? Since then, I’ve seen more and more stories in the industry news about universities focusing heavily on startups, particularly within the context of job creation and helping the local economy. Not surprisingly, some of these efforts are emerging from state government and/or economic development agencies. I myself have been invited to participate on several panels and task forces related to this topic. Their recurring mantra has been: “We want to increase startups and licensing revenue.” My response always is:… Continue reading

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Tech Transfer Deal Valuation: Negotiating a Reasonable Royalty Rate

Win-Win-Notes_iStock_000016549417SmallWhat’s a reasonable royalty rate when licensing a technology? Good question! Those of you with years of experience negotiating licensing or other technology transfer agreements know that there are many approaches for determining the value of a potential deal and therefore what the royalty rate should be. Which method is best? When we provide deal-making support to our clients, Fuentek uses a combination of three deal valuation techniques: market assessments, cost assessments, and income evaluations. Let’s consider each element. Continue reading

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