Tech Transfer Central
Industry-Sponsored Research Management

Technology Transfer Tactics, December 2017 Issue


Technology Transfer Tactics, December 2017 IssueThe following is a list of the articles that appear in the December 2017 issue of Technology Transfer Tactics monthly newsletter. If you are already a current subscriber click here to log in and access your issue. Not a subscriber already? Subscribe now and get access to this issue as well as access to our online archive of back issues, industry research reports, sample MTAs, legal opinions, sample forms and contracts, government documents and more!

Technology Transfer Tactics
Vol. 11, No. 12, December 2017

  • TTOs link with third parties in bid to expand licensing of research tools. While it is always a challenge to motivate faculty to disclose their innovations, many observers agree it is particularly difficult when it comes to the disclosure of research tools — mouse models, cell lines, antibodies, and so forth.
  • Hopkins collaborates with investment firm to de-risk early-stage therapeutics. The Johns Hopkins University and investment advisor Deerfield Management have launched a clever collaboration called Bluefield Innovations that will sponsor research into early-stage therapeutics then license the results.
  • Attorney: Don’t put too much faith in sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity can add to the value of patents owned by state universities, but it is not an ironclad defense against patent challenges — at least not until we hear more from the courts, an attorney cautions.
  • Creative solutions found for improving reporting between IIA participants. In any organization where resources are limited, choices must be continually made on the allocation of those resources. In TTOs, shortages of time and staffing are common, and lack of either or both can cause some processes to fall by the wayside.
  • UTRF makes deal with defensive patent aggregator RPX. A deal between the University of Tennessee Research Foundation and a patent aggregator illustrates one possible outcome when a university asserts patents. Rather than settling an infringement matter through litigation, a defensive patent aggregator may step in and negotiate a deal to purchase the patents and take the case out of the courtroom.
  • Tech Navigator program helps guide New Mexico entrepreneurs. Getting new technology to market in New Mexico is getting a helping hand thanks to a new program — Tech Navigator — which is helping to connect the region’s best and brightest in technology commercialization.

Posted December 20th, 2017

Technology Transfer Tactics, November 2017 Issue


Technology Transfer Tactics, November 2017 IssueThe following is a list of the articles that appear in the November 2017 issue of Technology Transfer Tactics monthly newsletter. If you are already a current subscriber click here to log in and access your issue. Not a subscriber already? Subscribe now and get access to this issue as well as access to our online archive of back issues, industry research reports, sample MTAs, legal opinions, sample forms and contracts, government documents and more!

Technology Transfer Tactics
Vol. 11, No. 11, November 2017

  • UC Santa Cruz goes all out to engage students from non-STEM fields in entrepreneurship. Getting “creative” students from non-STEM disciplines involved with innovation and entrepreneurship always sounds like a great idea, but making it happen is another matter.
  • Multi-party auction used to create U of Arizona start-up culminates in $35M acquisition. When you have a mature product and several potential buyers, a tech transfer office can find itself in the unusual position of dictating terms and waiting for the best offer.
  • Private equity fund bets on litigation finance, sees high potential in university patents. Litigation financing holds appeal for universities trying to protect valuable IP because they typically can’t afford to gamble on a complex patent case against a deep-pocketed corporation.
  • Pitt TTO takes business-like approach with surveys to improve customer engagement. While they certainly have ongoing relationships with many businesses, and have a number of the same processes and structures as businesses, it is clear that in many ways TTOs are not businesses — at least in the traditional sense.
  • Contrary Capital offers a new funding option for student start-ups on 55 campuses. You may have heard something about Contrary Capital after a PR blitz resulted in numerous articles in local news outlets at some of the 50+ campuses around the country where the new student-focused pre-seed fund will have its outposts.
  • New tech scouting platform offers help for TTOs seeking to get IP off the shelf. Technology transfer offices struggle to capture the attention of industry for many of their inventions — in fact in most offices the vast majority of IP assets never find a commercial partner. Enter Resolute Innovation, a new technology matchmaking and scouting software platform that connects companies with TTOs, federal laboratories, start-ups, hospitals, and other research organizations.

Posted November 21st, 2017

Technology Transfer Tactics, October 2017 Issue


Technology Transfer Tactics, October 2017 IssueThe following is a list of the articles that appear in the October 2017 issue of Technology Transfer Tactics monthly newsletter. If you are already a current subscriber click here to log in and access your issue. Not a subscriber already? Subscribe now and get access to this issue as well as access to our online archive of back issues, industry research reports, sample MTAs, legal opinions, sample forms and contracts, government documents and more!

Technology Transfer Tactics
Vol. 11, No. 10, October 2017

  • Imperial College establishes two tiers of support for academic inventors. All inventors are not created equal, nor do they all need the same level of support from their institutions.
  • UCLA credits environment, change in culture for driving start-up success. As economic development has gained prominence in state government, it has seen a parallel rise in importance for universities and their TTOs, which are churning out technology-based companies. Indeed, start-ups are routinely tallied as one of the prime indicators of commercialization success.
  • Old Dominion pulls in $41 million with risky IPO strategy. What’s the secret behind a university not necessarily known as a research powerhouse coming away with $41.6 million from a start-up going public? Being gutsy enough to take the money up front and risk a long dry spell in the future.
  • Indiana schools will bundle their IP in licensing deal with research institute. Four Indiana universities will make some of their innovations available to a research institute there so the institute can commercialize them, then split the proceeds with the schools. The quartet — Ball State University, Indiana University, Purdue University, and the University of Notre Dame — signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute in Indianapolis that sketches out the details of IBRI licensing each university’s “available life sciences technologies at pre-defined terms.”
  • WSU spreads innovation culture with a dramatic shift in program focus. It was not that long ago — 2016 in fact — that Washington State University saw the launch of the Entrepreneurial Faculty Ambassadors (EFA) initiative, a peer-to-peer mentoring program designed to broaden faculty outreach and ultimately lead to more disclosures and revenue. With a recent announcement, however, it has become clear the program will not only be significantly expanded, but that it will be guided by a distinctly redefined shift in messaging.

Posted October 24th, 2017

Technology Transfer Tactics, September 2017 Issue


Technology Transfer Tactics, September 2017 IssueThe following is a list of the articles that appear in the September 2017 issue of Technology Transfer Tactics monthly newsletter. If you are already a current subscriber click here to log in and access your issue. Not a subscriber already? Subscribe now and get access to this issue as well as access to our online archive of back issues, industry research reports, sample MTAs, legal opinions, sample forms and contracts, government documents and more!

Technology Transfer Tactics
Vol. 11, No. 9, September 2017

  • TTOs assess many factors to make decisions on PCT conversion. Let’s say you have a promising biomedical discovery, but with the provisional patent about to expire, there is still no licensee. A decision must be made on how — or even whether — to keep patent protection on the discovery alive.
  • Moving software through the tech transfer process requires speed, finesse. Apps and software are becoming more common in TTO portfolios, but they may require a slight reworking of how you think about IP and guide it to commercialization, experts say.
  • Indiana U refocuses tech transfer on industry engagement, splits off start-ups. Indiana University is restructuring its tech transfer operations, moving most of its traditional industry-facing work out of the non-profit Indiana University Research and Technology Corp. and back under direct university control, while splitting off start-ups as the sole purview of IURTC.
  • “Commercialization Guide” makes an impact as outreach tool for Penn. The Penn Center for Innovation’s (PCI) Commercialization Guide, published in early June, is a publication designed to serve as a “one-stop-shop” for faculty and graduate students interested in learning about the key steps in the commercialization process, and is considered an important part of PCI’s outreach efforts.
  • GA Tech undergraduate entrepreneurship programs yield three successful exits. CREATE-X, an initiative comprising multiple entrepreneurship programs for undergraduates launched at Georgia Tech in 2014, has already created 81 start-ups from 26 majors, earning over $2 million in follow on investments, including three venture-funded start-ups that have been acquired by other companies. The CREATE-X founder, Raghupathy Sivakumar, professor and Wayne J. Holman Chair in the school of electrical and computer engineering, credits its success with strong support from successful alumni and curricula based on a “learn, make and launch” approach.

Posted September 19th, 2017

Technology Transfer Tactics, August 2017 Issue


Technology Transfer Tactics, August 2017 IssueThe following is a list of the articles that appear in the August 2017 issue of Technology Transfer Tactics monthly newsletter. If you are already a current subscriber click here to log in and access your issue. Not a subscriber already? Subscribe now and get access to this issue as well as access to our online archive of back issues, industry research reports, sample MTAs, legal opinions, sample forms and contracts, government documents and more!

Technology Transfer Tactics
Vol. 11, No. 8, August 2017

  • Supreme Court takes up inter partes review: Is relief in sight? The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that calls into question the very nature of inter partes review and could relieve patent holders — and TTOs — of what has become a thorn in their sides that has kept many potential licensees on the sidelines given the risk of an IPR challenge.
  • TTOs looking to deal directly with patent annuity management firms. In the classic tune “Accentuate the Positive,” composer Harold Arlen advises the listener, “Don’t mess with mister in-between.” It seems that some TTOs have taken that advice to heart when it comes to managing patent annuities.
  • Analysis of survey data makes the case for a metrics revamp. Is it time to get beyond just counting the number of disclosures, licenses, start-ups and the like to gauge technology transfer success? Arundeep Pradhan, the co-founder of APIO, a Portland, OR-based consulting firm, makes the case.
  • NYU entrepreneurship program using podcasts to promote start-ups. When thinking about social media, TTOs and other university tech transfer organizations may not often consider partnering with a radio station, but that’s exactly what NYU’s Entrepreneurial Institute has done recently, creating a series of podcasts called “Talking Startups at NYU.”
  • Maximize collisions and minimize friction for best TTO performance. TTOs can maximize their performance by adopting a model that fosters as many connections with industry as possible while making it as effortless and trouble-free as possible to license the university’s inventions, according to the experience at Boston University.
  • “Vortex” universities thrive on retaining talent to build innovation ecosystem. The right people with the right skills and ideas are such a critical resource in innovation that universities should prioritize the accumulation of “a supercritical mass of human talent” in the community, suggests a prominent tech transfer expert from the University of California.

Posted August 18th, 2017

Technology Transfer Tactics, July 2017 Issue


Technology Transfer Tactics, July 2017 IssueThe following is a list of the articles that appear in the July 2017 issue of Technology Transfer Tactics monthly newsletter. If you are already a current subscriber click here to log in and access your issue. Not a subscriber already? Subscribe now and get access to this issue as well as access to our online archive of back issues, industry research reports, sample MTAs, legal opinions, sample forms and contracts, government documents and more!

Technology Transfer Tactics
Vol. 11, No. 7, July 2017

  • Sovereign immunity growing as inter partes defense, effect on licensing terms unclear. The University of Florida’s successful use of sovereign immunity to end an inter partes challenge was no fluke, as two other schools are using the same defense and legal analysts say it will become a reliable strategy for some universities.
  • Faculty-friendly IP policy nurtures innovation, attracts industry sponsors. Without the Bayh-Dole Act, research institutions in Canada are free to develop IP policies without worrying about whether or not research is funded by government entities. This has prompted many universities there to adopt some version of a creator-owned IP policy, granting generous rights to inventors.
  • NMSU offers ‘research-only’ license to stimulate more start-ups. The TechMatch program at New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center offers a research-only license as an incentive to get would-be entrepreneurs interested in one of several hundred technologies just waiting for someone to turn them into start-ups. It’s a key element of the program — essentially a self-serve menu of innovations backed by a web of interlocking support services designed to push products to market — but it’s just one arrow in the quiver.
  • Silicon Valley event opens doors for U of Arizona research. Musicians dream of playing Carnegie Hall and start-ups dream of pitching in Silicon Valley. Both can be long shots, but Tech Launch Arizona, the commercialization arm of the University of Arizona in Tucson, recently held an event at which its start-ups told their stories to investors in the epicenter of innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • ‘Creative Destruction Lab’ launches successful start-ups accross Canada. If a start-up program set as its goal to have its “graduates” create a total of $50 million in equity over the first five years, and those companies instead created over $1 billion in equity in four and a half years, you’d have to say that was a pretty darn successful program.

Posted July 18th, 2017

Technology Transfer Tactics, June 2017 Issue


Technology Transfer Tactics, June 2017The following is a list of the articles that appear in the June 2017 issue of Technology Transfer Tactics monthly newsletter. If you are already a current subscriber click here to log in and access your issue. Not a subscriber already? Subscribe now and get access to this issue as well as access to our online archive of back issues, industry research reports, sample MTAs, legal opinions, sample forms and contracts, government documents and more!

Technology Transfer Tactics
Vol. 11, No. 6, June 2017

  • University cozies up to patent troll and sparks more debate. University tech transfer offices usually want to stay far away from the criticism aimed at patent trolls trying to squeeze money out of companies with questionable infringement claims, so eyebrows were raised when Louisiana Tech University partnered with a company widely criticized for trolling.
  • TTOs struggle to adjust patenting, licensing strategies under the America Invents Act. As its moniker suggests, the America Invents Act (AIA) was supposed to make things better for innovators, but nearly seven years after the AIA was signed into law, reviews in the university technology transfer community are decidedly harsh.
  • Emory uses data on workload and efficiency to help manage staffing decisions. In many ways, the world of tech transfer is not unlike other industries in the U.S. when it comes to staffing challenges: to hear employees and management tell it, there is constant pressure to do more with less. Lack of resources is certainly not a new issue in technology transfer, but there can be specific instances when it really hits home.
  • UT-Austin’s start-up ‘studios’ make valuable connections for faculty innovators. The University of Texas at Austin’s Innovation Center — housed at the Cockrell School of Engineering — is hosting monthly get-togethers where faculty inventors present their discoveries, inventions and start-ups to small, informal groups of local industry experts and entrepreneurs.
  • The top 10 license agreement issues that lead to litigation, and how to avoid them. As difficult as license agreement negotiations can be, when they are not handled with utmost care they can lead to something even more challenging: Litigation. To help tech transfer professionals minimize that threat, Anne Stratman, associate general counsel at the University of Arizona, prepared the “Top Ten Most Frequently Litigated Provisions in University Agreements” for attendees at the 2017 AUTM annual meeting.

Posted June 19th, 2017

Technology Transfer Tactics, May 2017 Issue


Technology Transfer Tactics, May 2017 IssueThe following is a list of the articles that appear in the May 2017 issue of Technology Transfer Tactics monthly newsletter. If you are already a current subscriber click here to log in and access your issue. Not a subscriber already? Subscribe now and get access to this issue as well as access to our online archive of back issues, industry research reports, sample MTAs, legal opinions, sample forms and contracts, government documents and more!

Technology Transfer Tactics
Vol. 11, No. 5, May 2017

  • Lean Startup principles offer valuable insights for tech commercialization. While Lean Startup methodology, first put forward in 2008 by Eric Reis and widely disseminated by serial entrepreneur Steve Blank, has been adopted by many in industry, it has not caught on quite as quickly in technology transfer circles.
  • U of Arkansas goes where the money is for funding — to the Athletics Department. Tech transfer leaders might admit to gazing out at the football stadium on a Saturday afternoon and dreaming of seeing the massive revenues generated by college games funneled to research and innovation. Sure, universities might direct a trickle of athletic funds in that direction, but at some schools there is just so much revenue generated from football, basketball, and other sports.
  • Changing the mindset: Boosting faculty engagement still a challenge for TTOs. Quick: Name a major department at a university that has been in place for years, and yet many faculty members are not aware that it exists and/or have little idea what it does. If you said “tech transfer office” you’d be dead on, at least in the minds of several experts who participated in a panel at the AUTM 2017 annual meeting.
  • Legal Consult: Mistake by Congress in AIA puts thousands of university patents at risk.
  • Make “reverse pitch” part of your strategy for bringing technologies to marketplace. A “reverse pitch” approach to moving technologies to market — the umbrella name for any number of variations on the theme of potential partners pitching their technology needs to innovators instead of pitching technologies to potential partners — should be an arrow in every university’s commercialization quiver, its proponents stress. It focuses on technologies that companies already know they want, and moves them forward with an eye on the business realities of creating new markets.

Posted May 17th, 2017

Technology Transfer Tactics, April 2017 Issue


Technology Transfer Tactics, April 2017 IssueThe following is a list of the articles that appear in the April 2017 issue of Technology Transfer Tactics monthly newsletter. If you are already a current subscriber click here to log in and access your issue. Not a subscriber already? Subscribe now and get access to this issue as well as access to our online archive of back issues, industry research reports, sample MTAs, legal opinions, sample forms and contracts, government documents and more!

Technology Transfer Tactics
Vol. 11, No. 4, April 2017

  • With start-ups given more weight, TTOs look for new ways to gauge performance. With stakeholders pushing universities to show more results in the economic development realm, tech transfer professionals are more favorably disposed toward nurturing start-ups than ever before. However, given that traditional metrics demonstrating performance in this area can be misleading, innovative TTOs are coming up with new and different ways to not only show that their start-ups are real and sustainable, but also that their value is being compounded down the line.
  • Study suggests that university incubators may impair innovation quality. Even the authors admit they were surprised by their findings: that incubators, by draining resources from other university departments and offices, can impair the overall quality of university innovations.
  • Indiana U partners with nearby engineering school to make prototypes. A unique technology commercialization collaboration between affiliates of two universities – Indiana University Research and Technology Corp. and Rose-Hulman Ventures – is coming off its most productive year yet, and the two say the key is each institution focusing on what it does best. The partnership is giving IURTC an easy, hand-off means of creating prototypes for many of its innovations.
  • How to use peer review to guide TTO performance improvement. We’re all familiar with the warning: Be careful what you wish for. And that can certainly be true if you seek to learn the “absolute truth” about your TTO’s performance. But that is the aim of a peer review assessment process discussed in a panel session at the AUTM 2017 Annual Meeting last month.
  • Social responsibility clauses in university IP license remain rare. Social responsibility efforts seem to fit well with the TTO mission to serve the public good, but despite a number of efforts to promote IP license clauses focused on social responsibility, few deals actually contain these provisions.

Posted April 18th, 2017

Technology Transfer Tactics, March 2017 Issue


Technology Transfer Tactics, March 2017 IssueThe following is a list of the articles that appear in the March 2017 issue of Technology Transfer Tactics monthly newsletter. If you are already a current subscriber click here to log in and access your issue. Not a subscriber already? Subscribe now and get access to this issue as well as access to our online archive of back issues, industry research reports, sample MTAs, legal opinions, sample forms and contracts, government documents and more!

Technology Transfer Tactics
Vol. 11, No. 3, March 2017

  • Prioritizing customer service goals, Hopkins TTO promises quick response on disclosures. When Neil Veloso, the executive director of technology transfer at Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures in Baltimore, MD, began looking for a way to improve the TTO’s approach to reviewing invention disclosures, he had multiple goals in mind. “We wanted to be responsive to the PTO’s first-to-file model, and we wanted to provide transparency and more rigor in how we are responding to our inventors.”
  • UF’s sovereign immunity case bodes well for state schools, may offer a marketing advantage. The University of Florida’s reliance on sovereign immunity to prevail in a patent challenge could represent a new defense for state schools, but the ruling isn’t a get-out-of-jail-free card.
  • TTO adopts new strategy based on ‘technology scoping and venture packaging.’ The commercialization team at Missouri University of Science & Technology set out about four years ago to tweak the school’s approach to moving innovations into the marketplace. They didn’t want to abandon the old ways, but the need to build a better mousetrap was clear.
  • Four TTOs join forces for first-ever online technology showcase. Even technology transfer itself can use a better mousetrap now and then, and commercialization staffers at four universities came together last month to produce what they’re calling the first-ever live online Technology Showcase.
  • Heard in the Halls: AUTM 2017.
  • Tech transfer veterans share best practice guidance on gap funding. Nobody said setting up and operating a gap fund was easy. If it were, there wouldn’t be an initiative like Mind the Gap.
  • Pooled mentors-in-residence assist U Michigan’s “sister” universities statewide. Universities challenged by a lack of resources (and who isn’t these days?) have often found that collaboration can be an effective way to expand their commercialization efforts.

Posted March 21st, 2017

Technology Transfer Tactics, February 2017 Issue


Technology Transfer Tactics, February 2017 IssueThe following is a list of the articles that appear in the February 2017 issue of Technology Transfer Tactics monthly newsletter. If you are already a current subscriber click here to log in and access your issue. Not a subscriber already? Subscribe now and get access to this issue as well as access to our online archive of back issues, industry research reports, sample MTAs, legal opinions, sample forms and contracts, government documents and more!

Technology Transfer Tactics
Vol. 11, No. 2, February 2017

  • Standardized processes, skilled mentorship ensure the success of new licensing managers. how do TTOs go about the task of preparing new recruits to take on the job of licensing manager?
  • TTOs standing ground on infringement, more willing to sue. Universities are increasingly finding the courage and the resources to stand up and fight when their patents are infringed, with the University of Minnesota’s lawsuit against Gilead Sciences just the latest in a series of challenges to powerful companies. The stakes are high enough for UM to risk defeat, and that calculation is likely to be the determining factor when other schools decide whether to pursue litigation.
  • Emory’s proof-of-concept funding program: A little can mean a lot. Funding for early-stage university start-ups doesn’t have to mean big money — in fact, often it’s the little bit of initial funding that gets these fledgling business over a critical early hurdle and on their way to bigger things. That’s why a growing number of universities are establishing pre-seed funding programs — many of which make only a handful of awards and award only a few thousand dollars at a time.
  • UNH addresses student IP with policy, targeted agreements, communication. With a growing number of programs helping undergrads become more active in entrepreneurship and commercialization, issues surrounding student IP ownership have taken on increased importance.
  • UNeMed’s boot camp training program brings new blood into tech transfer. The long-term health of any tech transfer office depends in large part on building the knowledge base of students and faculty across campus — getting those who have an inkling of interest to better understand and participate in university commercialization activity. Having a formal education and training program has been a big step in the right direction for UNeMed, the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s TTO.

Posted February 15th, 2017

Technology Transfer Tactics, January 2017 Issue


Technology Transfer Tactics, January 2017 coverThe following is a list of the articles that appear in the January 2017 issue of Technology Transfer Tactics monthly newsletter. If you are already a current subscriber click here to log in and access your issue. Not a subscriber already? Subscribe now and get access to this issue as well as access to our online archive of back issues, industry research reports, sample MTAs, legal opinions, sample forms and contracts, government documents and more!

Technology Transfer Tactics
Vol. 11, No. 1, January 2017

  • Tech transfer leaders find pathways to change are full of obstacles and opportunities. No one escapes the process of change, and every few years, it seems, a university’s innovation engine goes through a process of realignment.
  • Universities creating more pre-seed funds to fill the gap, attract later investors. The importance of early stage financing isn’t a recent discovery, but universities across the nation are establishing — and, in many cases, continuing to pump money into — pre-seed funds designed to maximize the often scarce very early money that can make or break a promising idea.
  • Video campaign helps expand awareness of UC system innovations. A new campaign whose basic marketing vehicles are videos shot by entrepreneurs out of the University of California system has been launched to help innovators gain exposure to each other, to potential investors/partners, and to increase awareness of the depth of creativity that has been generated at UC campuses.
  • Student-led innovation center boosts start-ups, provides real-world experience. Universities go to great lengths and expense to provide the latest and greatest technology and tools for innovators, but students don’t always have easy access and they often are not encouraged to work together on multidisciplinary projects. The engineering school at New Mexico State University is addressing those issues with a peer mentoring program.
  • Discovery-based learning for undergrads feeds more campus innovation. During the 2015-16 academic year, a select group of undergraduate students at North Dakota State University had six invention disclosures, applied for one patent, had 13 grants funded, published nine journal papers, gave 32 conference presentations, received 11 awards and earned seven master’s degrees. These students were all participants in the “discovery-based learning” program at NDSU, designed to provide real-world experience in research, project planning, budget development, negotiation, collaboration and dissemination of findings.

Posted January 18th, 2017