Tech Transfer eNews Blog

UGA launches digital images and artwork licensing program

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: September 4th, 2019

Patented and patentable technologies may “rule the roost” in tech transfer, but that doesn’t mean universities are ignoring other creative forms of innovation that may be desirable to licensees and could represent potential new revenues — not to mention the chance to get more faculty involved in commercialization activity.

A good example can be found at Innovation Gateway, the TTO at the University of Georgia, which recently announced that “more than 300 unique and beautiful images emerging from university research are now available for public benefit.” The digital images and artwork are currently being made available to license through Zenfolio and Flintbox.

The images run a broad gamut, from microscopy to cultures, from flowers to crystals. Other categories include nature/wildlife; landscape; fine art; agriculture; biology; chemistry; and physics. “We decided to determine what additional IP was available out there,” shares Gennaro Gama, senior licensing manager, who adds that he was looking for “non-traditional materials.”

While the program was officially started late last year, the website was just launched in June. Generating additional revenue, Gama emphasizes, was not the primary driver behind the site.

“Our purpose,” he explains, “is to engage researchers that do not develop patentable materials. Our thought was, let’s engage them — to bring to this environment individuals who have never worked with us before.”

As with many innovative ideas, this one came from a clear illustration of an unmet need. Gama recalls that several years ago a faculty member approached his team with a handful of images and wanted to know if they could do something with them. “This was their first — and only — disclosure,” he notes.

At the time, he continues, “there was nothing we could do; we did not know much about his field, either. It sat there for several years until we said, let’s expand these and look at what else is out there.”

A detailed article on UGA’s artwork licensing program appears in the August issue of Technology Transfer Tactics. For subscription information, CLICK HERE.

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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