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4 ways tech transfer offices can improve IP education for researchers

In her recent blog post, Danielle McCulloch, a senior tech transfer consultant for Fuentek, offers advice for university tech transfer offices (TTOs) that aim to educate students and professors about their role in protecting IP and engaging in tech transfer. “There are scientists and engineers currently in the work force who could use this training,” writes McCulloch. “And technology transfer offices can help. In fact, it’s a TTO’s interest to provide it.” Here are four things TTOs can do to be as helpful and effective as possible:

1. Do your homework. Engage with researchers to understand their opinions, needs and concerns. Are the forms for filing disclosures difficult to access or to complete? Are they too busy to concern themselves with IP and tech transfer? Do they fully understand what tech transfer is and why it’s important?

2. Make it as easy as possible. Most researchers would rather stick to the lab than worry about IP and fill out forms, so make it easy for them. “It’s important to strike a balance between providing enough information to ensure understanding and overwhelming researchers with more than they need.”

3. Put it online. This helps make information about IP and tech transfer more understandable and accessible to researchers, and it makes it easier to update rather than having to print brochures and forms. Perhaps most importantly, however, is that it allows researchers to fill out required IP forms online.

4. Hit them from all sides. “The more you repeat your message, the more likely it is to sink in,” writes McCulloch. Don’t just use one medium to reach out to researchers; try online training videos, presentations, newsletters, or any number of ways to communicate your message about tech transfer.

Source: Fuentek

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