Now that we’ve sprung forward into Daylight Savings Time, it is also time for university technology transfer offices (TTOs) to spring ahead with their summer internship programs. March is usually the month when TTOs issue their “Apply Now” announcements for summer interns. But all is not lost for TTOs who are just getting started. Although there are significant advantages when you begin planning a new summer internship program the previous fall, March is not too late to start. For example, it was last spring when a university TTO asked Fuentek for help with establishing their internship program. They wanted to start that coming summer, so we jumped in to help them, using the tricks that we have learned over our long history of establishing effective internship programs… Continue reading
At 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
We have returned from New Orleans and are settling back into our daily routine in our respective offices and enjoying/battling the snow. Thinking back over the AUTM® National Meeting this past week, a few highlights are sticking with me and the rest of the Fuentek leadership team that attended the conference. Today’s post shares those highlights with you. Enjoy! Continue reading
As I discussed in early December, I’ve been curious about the experiences of those starting (or restarting) their TTO. So we created a short survey and invited the tech transfer community to use it to share their experiences. Two dozen folks responded — not bad considering it is a niche question– and today I’m sharing these responses along with some of my insights and experiences. Continue reading
In 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
Having first-hand experience with starting up a brand new technology transfer office (TTO), I have watched with great interest as universities and other institutions have formed (and reformed) their TTOs. In the past few years, it seems that new TTOs have been popping up like wildflowers. (Can you tell I’m a gardener?) And reorganizations of already-established TTOs are just as commonplace. This flurry of activity is not surprising given the increased focus on tech transfer in the media and policy discussions both on the national stage and at the state level. Yet little has been written about the experiences of those establishing new (or renewed) TTOs.
So we are conducting a short survey (<10 minutes) on these offices’ challenges and successes. We'll share the results on the Fuentek blog early in 2015. Continue reading
It’s great to be in San Francisco for the 2014 AUTM national meeting. Today was our first full day here, and it’s been busy! The meeting is definitely off to a great start!
I spent a good bit of today at the Fuentek booth (#207). I haven’t seen formal registration numbers, but the traffic at our booth suggests there is solid representation from all over the world. Becky Stoughton and I met a number of attendees from Europe, South America, Asia, and the Middle East. Many of our conversations with those from outside the U.S. were about starting technology transfer offices (TTOs) or effective strategies for growing a nascent TTO. Continue reading
In my last post, I offered recommendations for connecting with potential partners while you’re at the national meeting for AUTM®. Today I’m sharing more general advice for having a productive experience at the conference. I know it’s hard to make time for these things when you’re frantic preparing to be away from the office for several days and trying to clear the decks. But a little time invested up front will be well worth it. Learn about your learning opportunities: Do you need to get better informed about a specific aspect of technology commercialization? Check out the advance meeting program to get the lay of the land, identifying sessions and events that are of particular interest to you. If you’re a paper person, print pages Continue reading
Fuentek will be attending the 2014 national meeting of the Association of University Technology Managers® (AUTM®) in San Francisco Feb. 19-22. I must confess I am especially looking forward to this year’s meeting as I have completed my time as a member of the board of directors. So that gives me lots more time to participate in and attend sessions and network with other tech transfer professionals. I’ll even have time for a Friday afternoon tweetup!
I am particularly looking forward to being a panelist in session A6: A Shifting View On Intellectual Property: Ways Universities Are Attracting R&D Funding and Its Impact on the Technology Transfer Office (wow, that’s a mouthful!) on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. Moderated by Kevin Wozniak of the Georgia Tech Research Foundation, this session also features Kevin’s colleague Carla Lema Tome and Holly Meadows of the UAB Research Foundation. Continue reading