Although not nearly as costly as hosting tech transfer events, attending a relevant industry conference still requires a significant financial and time commitment. So, it’s important for your technology transfer office (TTO) attendees to achieve tangible outcomes. (Plus, you don’t want it perceived a junket.) Here is some advice based on our extensive experience supporting TTOs.
Following up on my last post discussing best practices for using events as a form of technology transfer marketing, today I’d like to discuss the specifics of hosting your own event. Putting on a tech transfer–focused event can be challenging. Even relatively small events require significant planning, not only from a content perspective but also all the logistics. Here’s what we have learned in helping a range of technology transfer offices (TTOs) put on a variety of events.
Many university technology transfer offices (TTOs) use events as a key tool for marketing their innovations to potential licensees. They attend industry conferences, they host technology showcases, and they even go to the tech-specific level with web-based briefings. Events such as these can provide a valuable opportunity to engage with potential licensees and sponsored-research partners. For offices that are also charged with assisting their startups, this is a chance to engage with potential investors as well. And when done effectively, events can help you take a major step forward in securing a deal.
What makes an invention disclosure a high-quality invention disclosure? This is an interesting question that has nothing to do with the quality of the technology. Fundamentally, a high-quality disclosure includes enough detail for a patent attorney to identify novel aspects for patentability. It also includes the inventor’s perspective on the technology’s commercialization value. This helps the TTO to better evaluate the invention’s market potential and commercialization options. Unfortunately, many invention disclosure submissions come up short. The possible reasons for this vary. But mostly it seems to boil down to a lack of researcher understanding of the importance and role of the invention disclosure.
As Laura Schoppe noted in her post about the key direct metrics for technology transfer offices (TTOs), there are important indirect metrics to track as well. These are factors that the TTO can influence, but others have more control over the ultimate outcome. Some feed into the early stages of the tech transfer pipeline in terms of the quantity and quality of invention disclosures. These indirect metrics also relate to economic development, which seems to be growing in importance every year. So, today’s post outlines the indirect metrics that are appropriate for various TTOs.
Technology briefings can be a cost-effective way for a technology transfer office (TTO) to reach potential licensees and partners. These briefings typically include a technical presentation from the inventor as well as details on the licensing/partnering process from a TTO representative. Experience has shown that an online/webinar technology briefing: (1) can dramatically increase the efficiency of the marketing effort since it eliminates the need to convey the same information multiple times in individual discussions, (2) allows you to set a specific timeline for receiving and selecting licensing/partnering applications, and (3) eliminates travel costs and provides a recording to post for interested parties who missed the live event. Of course, technology briefings require extensive planning and preparation. And not every innovation is suited to a technology briefing. For the greatest success, Fuentek offers the following advice.
Want 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…
Lots of best practices for technology transfer offices (TTOs) also apply to startups. To leverage that insight, I recently spoke with entrepreneurs in New Hampshire about how to get great feedback from prospective customers when getting a startup off the ground, offering a new product (or service), or breaking into a new market. Similarly, in the tech transfer world, licensing success can be optimized by obtaining robust and comprehensive market feedback through expert interviews. This feedback will inform your strategy for approaching the market as you ramp up to marketing a technology for licensing. For example,…
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the similarities between gardening and managing a portfolio of intellectual property (IP). If you have seen our Cultivating Your IP infographic, this comparison isn’t surprising. But the connection is worth considering. Periodically reviewing the IP portfolio is an essential part of tending to the technologies effectively. Today I’m discussing the approach to and process of reviewing the IP portfolio. Prioritize the Backlog: What’s Dead, What’s Ready to Plant? Having worked with dozens of technology transfer offices (TTOs), Fuentek knows it’s easy for invention disclosures to pile up like plants in a greenhouse waiting to be put in the garden.
Last month, Technology Transfer Tactics ran an in-depth article on best practices for handling departing faculty researchers, post-docs, visiting researchers, and the like. As one of the sources quoted, I was pleased to see the thorough treatment this topic received, because bad things can happen if you don’t stay in front of intellectual property (IP) issues when it comes to transitioning faculty…. There was a lot of great advice in the article. Here’s my take on a few key recommendations.
Benchmarking & Metrics (14)
Competitive Intelligence (26)
Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (23)
Industry Trends (8)
IP Portfolio Prioritization (14)
Licensing Negotiations & Valuation Support (30)
Marketing Collateral (17)
Organizational Analysis (9)
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Researcher Relations (14)
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STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) (18)
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Tech Transfer Industry Events and Activities (36)
Tech Transfer Training (24)
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