Tag Archives: Structuring the Program-Key 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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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

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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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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

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Proactively and Strategically Managing Innovation (or Tips for Avoiding the Tech Transfer Chasm): A Free Webcast

A free webinar on proactively and strategically managing innovationThere’s a big difference between how research organizations and private corporations communicate and think about technology transfer. Research organizations tend to focus on how to manage and share their intellectual property (IP). Technologies are often embryonic, development moves at a deliberate pace, and the focus isn’t so much on developing a product as on developing the next innovation. For industry, IP has to serve a purpose and advance the bottom line, whether it’s creating new revenue sources, improving net profits, or moving products quickly into the marketplace. Research organizations that act proactively can… Continue reading

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Commercializing Federally Funded Research: Paper Lays Out Roadmap

What’s the best way to get federally funded technologies out of university and federal labs and into the market? This is the big question of late, and it’s generating a lot of hubbub. Regardless of the merits of all of the initiatives, directives, and legislation, I think a key aspect is being overlooked. As any technology transfer office (TTO) can tell you, not every technology emerging from federal R&D spending will be the next Honeycrisp™ apple, implantable pacemaker, or Red Hat, Inc. But some do have the potential to launch new companies, improve or expand the product/service offerings of existing companies, create jobs, or otherwise positively impact the U.S. economy and/or provide humanitarian benefits. The question is: Which technologies? And, more importantly, how do TTOs find them and commercialize them efficiently? Continue reading

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A White House Meeting Revives Tech Transfer Recommendations

The White HouseYesterday I went to Washington with about two dozen other North Carolina small businesses to meet with several of our country’s legislative and executive leaders. It was a great opportunity—one that I hope will eventually lead to genuine action that supports the transition of innovations developed with federal funding into commercial applications. And I have a few ideas about how to do that. Continue reading

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Fostering Collaboration between Tech Transfer and Economic Development Organizations

If you read yesterday’s blog entry, you know we have a new poll running, and the topic is the overlap (or lack thereof) between economic development and tech transfer organizations. (Editor’s note: Here are the poll results.) TTOs’ compatibility with … Continue reading

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