Industry-Sponsored Research Week

Just published: The Tech Transfer Book of Best Practices


By David Schwartz
Published: August 12th, 2019

The all-new Tech Transfer Book of Best Practices has just been released. This must-have 729-page resource is chock-full of how-to strategies and case studies covering the most critical challenges facing tech transfer professionals. This all-new book of best practices is compiled from our world-leading newsletters offers the most cost-effective way to zero in on proven best practices in every key area impacting your TTO. With this comprehensive report you’ll boost your program’s results with critical success strategies implemented by the world’s top TTOs. 

Available in both print and electronic download, The Tech Transfer Book of Best Practices is packed with over 190 detailed articles filled with tips, tactics, ideas, expert guidance, and nuts-and-bolts solutions for TTOs. For complete details including a complete table of contents or to order, CLICK HERE.

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Tesla’s Canadian research partners on the trail of energy-dense Li-ion battery cells


By David Schwartz
Published: August 12th, 2019

Conventional wisdom in the battery industry holds that solid-state products will rule the future. But researchers at two Canadian universities that are partnering with Telsa have unveiled a path to more energy-dense Li-ion cells that could shift research away from solid-state. continue reading »

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Penn State lands Liberty Mutual as newest member of IT college’s Corporate Associates Program


By David Schwartz
Published: August 12th, 2019

Liberty Mutual has become the latest company to join the Corporate Associates Program within the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST).  The insurance giant joins 14 other businesses in the program, which provides opportunities for organizations to engage with the IST community by funding college initiatives and student internships. continue reading »

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Standard Operating Procedures for TTOs: How Consistency Can Improve TTO Performance and Productivity


By David Schwartz
Published: August 12th, 2019

All TTOs strive for efficiency and consistency when triaging technologies or moving an innovation through the commercialization process, yet few actually take the time to map out their procedures. But without Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), your office is prone to splintered communication among staff, less than optimal quality of work, decreased productivity, and a generalized perception of disorganization.  

Well-drafted SOPs document exactly what your office does, who does what, and how it is done most effectively. Though time-consuming to develop, the reward for investing in SOPs is a higher performing and more efficient operation, consistency in recordkeeping, and faster integration of new staff — all of which will lead to higher morale and ultimately more licenses and start-ups.

To help you and your staff make the most of SOPs while avoiding potential pitfalls, Tech Transfer Central is sponsoring this detailed, how-to webinar led by the experts at Fuentek, LLC: Standard Operating Procedures for TTOs: How Consistency Can Improve TTO Performance and Productivity, scheduled for September 25th. For complete program details and to register, CLICK HERE.

Also coming soon:

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UPMC, Carnegie Mellon to use Amazon’s AI tools in Big Data-enabled health research


By David Schwartz
Published: August 12th, 2019

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and other leading prominent Pittsburgh research organizations have unveiled a plan to leverage an Amazon division’s machine learning capabilities to accelerate breakthroughs in patient care and product commercialization. continue reading »

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Smart city initiatives offer new avenue for industry collaboration


By David Schwartz
Published: August 6th, 2019

The need for urban areas to efficiently manage Internet of Things (IoT) assets, to become “smart cities,” is a space that has become increasingly attractive to political leaders. Recognizing that they do not have the necessary expertise in-house to take such challenges on themselves, they are frequently turning to universities (for knowledge and research) and industry (for research and bandwidth) as partners in these initiatives.

This trend admittedly came as a bit of a surprise to Tom Snyder, executive director of NC RIoT, a non-profit that supports Internet of Things and disruptive technology industry growth. He is also co-instructor with Product Innovation Lab, a multidisciplinary course in innovation and entrepreneurship at NC State.

As head of an organization that has between 80 and 85 sponsor organizations (corporate, municipal and university partners), Snyder holds various forms of workshops, seminars, lunch & learns, and educational activities, while also running an early-stage start-up accelerator, thus receiving plenty of feedback on trends in the IoT area. This particular area of growth, he admits, was unplanned.

“We bring people together in various types of events and forums, usually doing work around a particular tech like blockchain, AI, transportation, or smart cities,” he explains. “The smart cities space was already a very big sector, but what we found was municipal governments all over the country were looking fairly siloed. They had similar challenges (traffic, crime, storm water runoffs, parking) but not necessarily a voice to help them coordinate and share best practices and lessons learned. They started to come to us.”

Other municipalities and/or universities are initiating collaborations on their own. The city of Houston is partnering with Rice University and other local institutions, Microsoft, and Intel on an accelerator program for smart cities technology. And Stanford’s Disruptive Technology and Digital Cities Program includes industry partners such as commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, Booz Allen Hamilton, Amazon Web Services, Deloitte, Hitachi, Microsoft and Prologis.

Houston’s Chief Development Officer Andy Icken is very clear on the need to involve academia and industry in these efforts. “We know when you get right down to it an effective workforce is the key to maintaining competitiveness,” he says. “Academia is really in that business; they’re charged with that. It’s one thing to bring technology from industry, but you also need to bring a community with workforce skills.”

Snyder agrees. “To move things forward you really need university involvement, government, established corporate entities, entrepreneurs, and the investment community,” he says. “Municipalities can present the problems, universities can do the research and provide talent pipelines, businesses provide solutions, and you also need some moderator or coordinator to pull some of these together.”

A detailed article on smart city initiatives involving academia, government agencies and industry appears in the July issue of University-Industry Engagement Advisor. For subscription information, CLICK HERE.

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National Science Foundation moves to crack down on IP theft by foreign researchers


By David Schwartz
Published: August 6th, 2019

In the latest move by U.S. federal research agencies to combat IP theft by competitor nations, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has initiated several policies that some observers say are necessary in light of recent problems, while others warn such measures could needlessly disrupt international collaborations.

The NSF policies are detailed in a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter sent by the agency director France Córdova. The letter restates a rule introduced in 2018 that NSF rotators  must be U.S. citizens or have applied for U.S. citizenship, and also issued a new policy prohibiting permanent and temporary personnel from participating in foreign talent recruitment efforts like China’s ‘Thousand Talents’ program. Links with such international initiatives could violate ‘ethical principles,’ Córdova cautioned, and lead to inappropriate foreign influence on NSF policies and  program — including its merit review process.

In addition, the NSF sent a reminder to agency staff that ethics rules require accurate and timely financial disclosure reports, including disclosure of any fees or gifts received from foreign governments.

Córdova insisted NSF’s values have not changed, stating that ‘what has changed is the scope and sophistication of the activities threatening our research community, such as certain foreign-government-sponsored talent recruitment programs.’

The NSF action comes on the heels of several other actions recently taken by government research agencies, including the Department of Energy’s directive in June prohibiting its scientists from participating in certain talent recruitment programs, and the National Institutes of Health investigations of more than 60 research institutions regarding failure to disclose financial ties to foreign entities.

Some researchers and science advocates are expressing concerns about these efforts. The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), for example, is urging federal officials to “consider the unintended consequences that may result from the implementation of policies that signal a more restrictive and xenophobic U.S. research enterprise.”

While acknowledging the importance of protecting federally funded IP, ASBMB policy analyst André Porter said the group hopes agencies will “be very measured in their approach … not barring students from particular countries, for example.”

Several leading research universities are also pushing back, including MIT, Yale, Caltech, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, the University of Chicago, and Columbia, issuing statement supporting foreign students and scholars, and arguing that international scientific collaborations are being disrupted by unprecedented scrutiny in the U.S.

Source: Chemistry World

On July 25th, Tech Transfer Central hosted a critically important webinar, Mitigating Risks Associated with Foreign Research Collaborators, in partnership with export control and trade compliance expert Wendy Epley.

Ms. Epley discussed how universities can comply with the added security measures being required by federal agencies while identifying red flags and subtle clues of inappropriate foreign influence.

If you missed the live event, the entire program and all supplemental materials are now available as a recorded DVD or on-demand video. For complete details and to order, CLICK HERE.

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Colorado State to open veterinary research lab in partnership with Zoetis


By David Schwartz
Published: August 6th, 2019

Colorado State University has signed a collaboration agreement with Zoetis, a leading animal health company, to establish a research lab at CSU that will explore the livestock immune system and develop new immunotherapies in an effort to create alternatives to antibiotics in food-producing animals. continue reading »

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Taking Legal Action Against Your Licensee: What TTOs Need to Know


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: August 6th, 2019

Every so often, there comes a time when tensions arise between a university TTO and its licensee. Whether it’s due to a communication snafu, license compliance, payment issues, or performance problems, most of the time these disputes can be resolved quickly with little impact to the relationship — particularly for TTOs with an effective enforcement plan in place. However, when discussions fail to bear fruit, there are times when the university’s investment, reputation and the future of the technology demands that a dispute escalate to the point of litigation. Will you be prepared?   

Many TTOs try to avoid conflict with their licensees believing that pressing a dispute will harm the university’s reputation or the relationship between the licensee and the university researcher/inventor. Unfortunately, the result is usually lost revenue for the university and diminished respect for the university’s IP. In fact, as you’ll discover in this eye-opening program, raising a legitimate dispute with the licensee’s decision makers can result in the recovery of unpaid royalties and often lead to an improved and expanded relationship between the university and its licensees and potential licensees.  

Taking Legal Action Against Your Licensee: What TTOs Need to Know, scheduled for August 6th, will explore real-world strategies for addressing disputes with licensees and infringers alike. Proven best practices for navigating the complexities of enforcement — from identifying problems to negotiating solutions to full-blown litigation — will be discussed. Please join Technology Transfer Central’s Distance Learning Division and its team of expert attorneys from Fish and Richardson for this important webinar. For complete program details and to register, CLICK HERE.

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Swinburne U’s ‘Industry 4.0’ program an award winner


By David Schwartz
Published: August 6th, 2019

Swinburne University of Technology’s Industry 4.0 Initiative has been awarded the Business Innovation Award. Responding to the Australian Business Awards honor, the school noted that it is “the only university in Australia with a holistic Industry 4.0 strategy,” under which it is collaborating with global industry to address the challenges and opportunities related to Industry 4.0. continue reading »

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Managing Conflicts of Interest in the Commercialization of University Research


By David Schwartz
Published: August 6th, 2019

Managing conflicts of interest (COIs) between funding sources and faculty researchers is always a tough challenge for tech transfer, sponsored research, and compliance offices that requires much coordination and careful handling. Although tech transfer and research managers recognize that conflicts are a given during the process of transferring IP either through a license agreement, spinout, or partnership, managing and mitigating those COIs is a seemingly never ending battle — and it’s fraught with danger not only for the university, but also for its faculty.

That’s why we’re created the three-session distance learning collection Managing Conflicts of Interest in the Commercialization of University Research, to provide a solid set of guidelines and proven strategies to ensure COI issues related to commercialization activity are addressed effectively. These three programs are included in the collection:

  • Blurred Lines and Gray Areas: Managing Conflicts of Interest in University Tech Transfer and Sponsored Research
  • Ensuring Compliance with Financial Conflict of Interest Regs
  • Best Practices for Managing Conflicts of Interest in Faculty Start Ups

For complete program and faculty details, or to order, CLICK HERE.

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Mayo to partner with Boston Scientific on new med-tech accelerator


By David Schwartz
Published: August 6th, 2019

Mayo Clinic and medical device giant Boston Scientific are joining forces to open a new med-tech accelerator. The collaboration will be located in One Discovery Square, a new building adjacent to Mayo Clinic that’s meant to attract medical technology startups. continue reading »

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