Tag Archives: IP Management-Other Insights

Found in Translation: Insights on Gap Funding for Tech Transfer

Photo courtesy of Jason Powell of the University of Vermont • Used with permissionWant to pack a room? Talk about gap funding at the Eastern Region Meeting (ERM) of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM®). Recently I had the pleasure of moderating the “Found in Translation: Making the Most of Gap Funding” session at AUTM-ERM with four panelists: Richard Chylla of Michigan State University, Corine Farewell of the University of Vermont (UVM), Marc Sedam of the University of New Hampshire, and Todd Sherer of Emory University. In sharing their experience and insights, these panelists represented a diversity of perspectives… Continue reading

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Consolidating Multi-Campus Tech Transfer: The Foundation Option

ConnectedTwo weeks ago Tech Transfer Central’s eNews Blog featured a new effort by the Purdue Research Foundation to pool its resources with several related organizations — including other research centers and an entrepreneurial incubator — to increase innovation, research grant awards, and tech transfer throughout Indiana. According to the original news release, this collaboration will be managed by a board of advisers composed of local and state stakeholders as well as educational and economic partners. This struck me as a great example of the value provided by foundations that reside outside of the state university structure and own/manage the institution’s intellectual property (IP). Several state universities have implemented foundations to manage their technology transfer programs, entrepreneurship support, and more. These foundations can take advantage of greater flexibility in deal structure, reduced bureaucracy, more autonomy, and a broadening of services. For example,… Continue reading

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5 Keys to Tech Transfer “Reboot” Success

red-reboot_iStock_000050491100_lowrezI’ve blogged before about technology transfer offices (TTOs) that are entering a new phase of life. Today I’d like to share Fuentek’s recommendations for the top of your To-Do List for rebooting a TTO. These are based both on what we’ve done for our clients and on my personal experience in the trenches at the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) at the University of Texas at Dallas. Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Streamlined/Low-Cost Licensing: Making Sure Faster and Cheaper Are Better

Sealing the deal with time to spareI read with interest two recent news stories about technology transfer offices (TTOs) looking to increase licensing deals by addressing two oft-cited barriers: high costs and long negotiation times. The logic: Offering intellectual property (IP) at a super low cost (or even for free) and/or through non-negotiation, ready-to-sign license agreements will result in more technologies getting to market faster. These types of programs have been around for a bit (see my prior posts about free IP and ready-to-sign licenses) and the trend seems to be growing. So let’s look at the two recent examples and consider how to make these types of programs successful. Continue reading

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Conversations with DoD & the White House on Federal Tech Transfer Initiatives

Last week I gave a presentation at a tech transfer workshop for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). This workshop was well timed, given President Obama’s recent memorandum announcing a new directive requiring all federal research labs to bolster and streamline technology transfer efforts to increase the likelihood and efficiency of getting research results to market. Attendees at the DoD meeting discussed the memo as well as possible solutions, as each agency has been tasked with presenting a plan back to the President on how they will achieve his goals. Possible solutions have been at the top of my mind recently as well…. Continue reading

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How’d We Do?: Establishing Useful Technology Transfer Metrics

Fuentek White Paper How’d We Do?: Establishing Useful Technology Transfer Metrics This white paper provides research-based recommendations for measuring performance and success of tech transfer programs in government, academic, and corporate institutions. It is available for download free from the … Continue reading

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