What do Stanford, Univ. Alabama, Arizona State, and Univ. Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have in common? They’re all in non-metropolitan areas. And that’s the focus of the conference I presented at this week. Hosted by UIDP and the University of Arkansas, this university-industry engagement workshop brought together a diverse collection of higher education institutions from outside major metropolitan areas. These universities face common as well as unique challenges.
I was recently chatting with folks in the technology transfer office (TTO) at the University of Vermont (UVM). They asked Fuentek to help again this year with evaluating proposals for the SPARK-VT gap funding program. SPARK-VT is designed “to address the challenges of translating novel research into the community” by funding additional research and commercialization. Last year, Fuentek was asked to help evaluate proposals.
Whether you want to improve your own business or introduce a new product or service line, technology/innovation is usually a major part of the solution. With all of the R&D at universities and government labs, it’s not always necessary to start from scratch to create that new solution or improvement. In fact, it’s best to always start by looking outside your company using open innovation—or better yet, Symbiotic Innovation—tactics.
Every university technology licensing officer dreads that moment when a company has expressed interest in a piece of intellectual property (IP)… but doesn’t want to sign a license. Fuentek has found that industry-sponsored research can be a useful tool to get things “unstuck” in these situations. We moderated a session at the AUTM annual meeting that provided insights on this approach from two universities and a pharmaceutical company.
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…
This Friday, March 4th at noon EST, the Industrial Research Institute (IRI) is focusing its 1-hour “Brown Bag” webinar on Collaborating with Universities and Government Labs. This is a great opportunity for companies to gain tips and useful resources for navigating the partnerships between industry and research institutions. And you don’t have to be a member of IRI to attend Friday’s webinar – it’s open to all. I’m pleased to be a panelist for this interactive, web-based discussion along with Dr. Richard Chylla of Michigan State University. Rich and I co-authored an article published in IRI’s bimonthly journal Research–Technology Management on this very topic. Our conversation on Friday will focus on how to pursue collaborations with academic and government organizations…
For technology-based companies, universities and government labs are a great resource for reducing the risk, cost, and time to market for new products. Not only have they extensive capabilities, expertise, and intellectual property (IP) portfolios, but they also have a growing interest in collaborating with industry. Companies wanting to pursue partnerships with university/government labs now have a new resource to consult for how-to advice.
Co-authored by Laura A. Schoppe and Richard W. Chylla, Ph.D. Collaboration between well-matched partners is a synergistic way for a company to enter a clearly defined, adjacent market based on breakthrough technology to achieve higher growth. University and government labs across the United States collectively represent a potentially useful partner, given that they have capabilities, expertise, and intellectual property (IP) portfolios that support commercial products. And because many of them are keen to partner with industry, they have been simplifying their policies and offering new programs to facilitate collaboration. Today’s blog post summarizes one such university program, and we provide specific advice for entering into discussions with potential collaborators… and knowing when it’s time to move on.
In 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.
Last week I was invited to participate on a panel at the 2014 AUTM® national meeting. The focus: How university technology transfer offices (TTOs) are shifting their view of intellectual property (IP) terms when securing R&D funding through sponsored research agreements (SRAs). My fellow panelists and I discussed the current models at various universities. Here’s an overview.