Fuentek's Tech Transfer Blog

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 ED agencies is not surprising, given their potential for generating start-up companies and helping local industry expand via the technologies created by their researchers, professors, and other faculty and staff. Some TTOs even have formal ED goals as part of their metrics. Yet many TTOs are not fully collaborating with their counterparts in regional ED agencies. (At least, that’s what we’ve seen so far, but maybe our poll will have different findings.)

Because TTO–ED agency collaboration is an area where growth is needed, I will be leading a panel on this topic at the 2011 AUTM® Eastern Region meeting in Baltimore next week.

Titled, “Play Well with Others: How to Collaborate with Economic Development Organizations,” this panel will consider the mutually compatible interests between regional ED agencies and tech transfer offices (TTOs), particularly at universities and government labs. The goal? For attendees to be able to hit the ground running with a plan to achieve better TTO–ED agency collaboration.

The panel will present three examples of ways to structure TTO–ED agency relationships, as described by:

After brief presentations by each panelist, we’ll have an engaging and informative dialogue about the advantages and challenges of TTO and ED collaboration, with lots of audience Q&A.

Combining this dialogue with some how-to guidance I’ll discuss based on our paper, “Enhancing Economic Development through Technology Transfer of Federal- and State-Funded R&D,” attendees will come away with practical steps that their TTO can take in establishing and building relationships with their regional ED agencies.

So AUTM® Eastern Region attendees should be sure to stop by Session 2A from 10:30 am. to noon on Monday, May 23rd. Oh, and remember to use #AUTMEastern2011 if you’re tweeting from the conference.

And remember, even if you’re not going to the AUTM Eastern Region meeting, you should still take our poll about your TTO’s focus on economic development. We’ll share the results of the poll as well as the panelists’ insights on this blog in two weeks.