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Blurred Lines and Gray Areas: Managing Conflicts of Interest in University Tech Transfer and Sponsored Research

Format: On-Demand Video, DVD, or PDF Transcript
Originally presented: August 16, 2016

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Blurred Lines and Gray Areas: Managing Conflicts of Interest in University Tech Transfer and Sponsored ResearchManaging conflicts of interest (COIs) between funding sources, faculty researchers, and the start-ups they create is always a tough challenge for tech transfer offices that requires much coordination between departments at the university.  Although TTOs recognize that conflicts are a given during the process of transferring IP either through a license agreement, spinoff, or other arrangement, managing and mitigating those COIs is a seemingly never ending battle.

Take a look at your university’s COI policy. Most likely, it is a one-pager, broadly written and located on the university’s website, addressing common conflicts such as disclosing roles and equity stakes in start-ups. There are clear lines drawn, but in reality very seldom do COIs involved clear lines – more often gray areas that are still fraught with hazards that can lead to bad publicity, loss of funding, and legal consequences that can nearly disable ongoing tech transfer efforts.  That’s why we’ve invited three COI experts to lead this practical webinar:

Blurred Lines and Gray Areas: Managing Conflicts of Interest in University Tech Transfer and Sponsored Research

This one-hour webinar, sponsored by Technology Transfer Tactics’ Distance Learning Division, pools the knowledge of three highly experienced COI veterans to analyze and provide solid guidance on the blurred lines of conflicts as they relate to research, funding, and start-ups in the university setting. Please join DJ Nag, Kirsten Leute, and Barbara Flynn when they cover:

  • Conflict of interest policies
    • What to consider: The gray areas
    • Variations between institutions
  • When to initiate a conflicts of interest review
  • Conflict of interest review memo contents
  • Who should provide input on a conflict of interest review
  • Strategies for improving faculty COI orientation and ongoing education
  • Defining individual, institutional, and imputed institutional interests
  • Determining “intangible” conflicts of interest and review examples
  • Managing and Reporting:
    • Conflict of commitment
    • Financial Conflict of Interest
      • Research funding sources
      • Equity stakes in start-ups
      • Family members’ financial interests

PLUS: Follow along with the recorded Q&A session!

Your expert presenters

Kirsten LeuteKirsten Leute
Senior Vice President of University Relations, Osage University Partners

Kirsten worked in Stanford University’s Office of Technology Licensing for almost nineteen years, her last position as an Associate Director of the office. At OTL, she handled a diverse caseload of biotechnology and high technology inventions and also has experience with software, trademark and copyright licensing. She worked dozens of start-ups during her tenure. An active speaker, Kirsten has presented to audiences at BIO, LES, WIPO, ProTon, AUTM, and other meetings around the world. Kirsten is a registered U.S. Patent Agent.

Dipanjan "DJ" NagDr. Dipanjan “DJ” Nag
Associate Vice President of Technology Transfer
The Ohio State University

Dr. Dipanjan “DJ” Nag recently joined The Ohio State University as the Associate Vice President of Technology Transfer spearheading the technology commercialization initiative for the university. DJ is part of the Corporate Engagement Office, the university arm that facilitates technology commercialization, corporate engagement, and economic development. Previously he was an entrepreneur and successfully launched a number of companies in the intellectual property strategy and medical devices space. From 2009-2012 he was the Executive Director, Office of Technology Commercialization, at Rutgers University where he successfully led the overall commercialization efforts from a $430M research budget, placing Rutgers in top 10 rank for start-ups. DJ was a Vice President at ICAP Ocean Tomo, a subsidiary of ICAP Plc, a $2B+ company. Prior to that as a Director at Ocean Tomo he led private sales and auctions of patents. He led technology transfer as Director of Operations and Interim Assistant Vice Chancellor for Technology Development at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He served on the Board of AUTM as the Vice President for Professional Development (2012-2014). In 2005 he received the prestigious Howard Bremer Scholarship in technology transfer. He is currently an adjunct faculty member at Rutgers University and visiting Professor at Shizuoka University. He is a well renowned speaker and has delivered keynote addresses in Japan, Poland, Brazil and many other countries.

Barbara Flynn
Director of the Conflict of Interest Review Program for Stanford University School of Medicine

Barbara has been administering conflict of interest policies and analyzing conflicts of interest and commitment for over 30 years. Prior to joining the Stanford community in 2001 she spent 20 years at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) where she was involved in various regulatory activities, as well as managing conflicts of interest for its four schools. In addition, she is an original member the Forum on Conflicts of Interest in Academe (FOCI-A) and served on its Steering Committee from its inception until 2009.

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