Category Archives: Technology Commercialization Processes

When Is the Right Time to Review the IP Portfolio?

Green TreeWhen it comes to managing the innovation and intellectual property portfolio, technology transfer offices need to be able to see the forest and the trees. TTOs have to evaluate each innovation individually, but they also need to consider its strategic value relative to other IP in the portfolio. Therefore, periodically examining the technologies as a collective — whether it is the entire IP portfolio or just a specific selection of innovations — should be part of the TTO’s itinerary. Of course, “periodically” has two meanings: (1) at regular intervals of time and (2) from time to time. So when is the right time to do a whole/partial IP portfolio review? Here’s my advice. Continue reading

Posted in Technology Commercialization Processes | Tagged , | Comments Off on When Is the Right Time to Review the IP Portfolio?

Lean Startup Principles Apply to Tech Transfer: A Dispatch from Poland

As I find myself back in Poland to deliver another round of training courses on entrepreneurship to university researchers, I’m reminded of Steve Blank’s fireside chat at the AUTM® national meeting in New Orleans last month. Specifically, I’m thinking about how the feedback loop that plays a major role in the Lean Startup methodology also has a role to play long before a startup is even a gleam in an entrepreneurial researcher’s eye. What’s the Lean Startup feedback loop? Well, according to Eric Ries: “The fundamental activity of a startup is to turn ideas into products, measure how customers respond, and then learn whether to pivot or persevere. All successful startup processes should be geared to accelerate that feedback loop.” Continue reading

Posted in Economic Development, Technology Commercialization Processes | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Lean Startup Principles Apply to Tech Transfer: A Dispatch from Poland

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

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

Worth Reading in Tech Transfer: External Advisory Panels, Creating Economic Growth, Battling Bayh-Dole Critics, Open Innovation, and a Fun History on the Space Race

Online reading of technology transfer newsWonder what we’re reading as we wait for Congress to pass a budget? Read on. There were two articles in the September 2013 issue of Technology Transfer Tactics newsletter (available with a subscription from Tech Transfer Central) that elaborated on a blog post we ran here concerning the use of panels of external experts in evaluating technologies: Continue reading

Posted in Economic Development, Metrics, Technology Commercialization Processes, Technology Transfer Offices, Worth Reading | Tagged | Comments Off on Worth Reading in Tech Transfer: External Advisory Panels, Creating Economic Growth, Battling Bayh-Dole Critics, Open Innovation, and a Fun History on the Space Race

What to Do When a Patent Is a Couch Potato

I’m back, with another post about the AUTM® Eastern Region Meeting, which I first blogged about last week. Today’s topic: The workshop session “Strategies to Offload Patents that Are Doing Nothing for Too Long.” This session, which I came to think of as the “couch-potato patent session,” was moderated by… Continue reading

Posted in Marketing Intellectual Property, Technology Commercialization Processes | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on What to Do When a Patent Is a Couch Potato

Internal Tech Showcases Kick-Off Tech Transfer

Several weeks back, I participated in an excellent event that should inspire any organization looking to make the most of its R&D through commercialization, collaboration, and other forms of technology transfer. The “Technology Day” event, which took place NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, had value that transcends federal labs and isn’t limited to the U.S. Sponsored by Dryden’s technology transfer organization, the Technology Day wasn’t for… Continue reading

Posted in Technology Commercialization Processes, Technology Transfer Offices | Tagged | Comments Off on Internal Tech Showcases Kick-Off Tech Transfer

Elaborating on OSTP Lab-to-Market Inter-Agency Summit Recommendations

This past spring, I had the pleasure of serving as a panelist at the Lab-to-Market Inter-Agency Summit convened by the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP). This past week, the panelists’ recommendations were released (download the report), and they’re getting some well-deserved attention. And they deserve some elaboration. As summit co-chairs Joe Allen and Diane Palmintera wrote in an article published on Innovation Daily, the summit had an unusual format, with… Continue reading

Posted in Collaborative Research and Development, Competitive Intelligence, Economic Development, Marketing Intellectual Property, Symbiotic Innovation, Technology Commercialization Processes, Technology Transfer Offices | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Elaborating on OSTP Lab-to-Market Inter-Agency Summit Recommendations

Worth Reading: Congressional Testimony, Compulsory Licensing, TTO Blogs, Supporting Labs, and the Birth of the Emoticon

Online reading of technology transfer newsSome of this month’s worth-reading items relate to technology transfer activities in Washington as well as to efforts on the home front. Plus we have a fun little history lesson from my alma mater. Continue reading

Posted in Economic Development, Marketing Intellectual Property, Technology Commercialization Processes, Technology Transfer Offices, Worth Reading | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

External Advisory Boards: A Short-Term Tool for Tech Transfer (or “Not Mr. Right, but Mr. Right Now”)

I was recently asked for my insights about technology transfer office (TTO) use of external advisory boards or committees. Such boards have been frequently cited in reports and the press as a useful tool — or even a required element — for improved tech transfer operations. The thinking is that external boards provide a means to obtain objective industry/market opinions about new technologies and/or to tap into technical expertise not available within the TTO. I am all in favor of… Continue reading

Posted in Competitive Intelligence, Technology Commercialization Processes | Tagged , , | Comments Off on External Advisory Boards: A Short-Term Tool for Tech Transfer (or “Not Mr. Right, but Mr. Right Now”)