Fuentek's Tech Transfer Blog

Great Ideas for AUTM’s Strategic Alliances

As VP for Strategic Alliances, I was pleased to host a special-interest group (SIG) discussion yesterday morning at the AUTM® annual meeting. It turned out to be a popular session, with more than 40 attendees split about evenly between university and industry tech transfer offices (TTOs). All of them offered great ideas about the various initiatives that Strategic Alliances is pursuing.

Robin Rasor, AUTM 2012

AUTM president Robin Rasor announces the Global Technology Portal

The Global Technology Portal (GTP): Receiving its official launch yesterday (Robin should’ve smashed a bottle of champagne against a computer!), the GTP received very favorable reviews. Attendees at the SIG offered some excellent suggestions for increasing its value further. For example, corporate TTOs pointed out that companies’ researchers (not business development staff) are going to be the real users of the GTP, so getting the word out about the GTP to them is crucial. In addition, university TTOs should publicize the GTP to their researchers, because it can help them better understand industry’s needs and thereby make their R&D more relevant. Plus these researchers can publicize the GTP when they give poster presentations at scientific meetings.

Building Relationships with Other Associations: Attendees offered suggestions for organizations that AUTM should consider partnering with, including the Industrial Research Institute (IRI), the University-Industry Demonstration Partnership (UIDP), the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA), and the Network of Academic Corporate Relations Officers (NACRO). SIG attendees also spoke highly of the annual BIO International Convention, praising its tool for scheduling partnership discussions during the meeting. (I believe the comment was: “BIO has mastered partnering.”)

USPTO director David Kappos, AUTM 2012

USPTO director Kappos announced joint initiative with AUTM to provide technical support to patent examiners

USPTO/AUTM Patent Examiners Training Initiative: This was a big hit! Formally announced yesterday by U.S. Patent and Trademark Office director David Kappos and via press release, the program involves university TTOs identifying faculty to participate in training for patent examiners. The new program ultimately will result in more streamlined patent examination, fewer delays, and quicker final disposition.

Many more great ideas were shared, and the feedback provided by those who attended the SIG meeting was incredibly valuable. I look forward to working on them with my assistant VPs Becky Stoughton and Chris Yochim.