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What TTOs can do to move toward gender parity in commercialization


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: June 20th, 2018

If an internal audit found that, through some technical glitch or twist of fate, your TTO was ignoring a significant percentage of researchers and, as a result, was missing out on scores of potential inventions, patents, licenses, and start-ups, chances are you’d rush headlong into corrective action. But as this month’s issue of Technology Transfer Tactics points out, that’s exactly what’s happening at most universities, not due to a technical glitch — but rather an intrinsic, perhaps unconscious set of biases and barriers against women in research commercialization.

It’s a huge issue for TTOs, and correcting it holds the possibility of unleashing a huge stockpile of latent inventiveness among faculty of the so-called “weaker” sex (yes, even our language and idioms contribute to these barriers).

We’ve devoted the entire June issue to exploring this problem, offering guidance from many of the leading voices tackling gender equity in tech transfer. You’ll find data, resources, examples of approaches and programs, and plenty of advice.

To subscribe and access this special issue, along with more than 11 years of best practices and success strategies for TTO in the publication’s subscriber-only archive, CLICK HERE

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Washington University seeks to help female researchers engage in tech transfer


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: June 20th, 2018

Washington University in St. Louis is developing a blueprint to help technology transfer offices support women inventors in patenting and commercializing their innovations.

In a study published June 18 in Technology and Innovation, Journal of the National Academy of Inventors, Nichole Mercier, managing director of Washington University’s Office of Technology Management (OTM), looked at the number of invention disclosures and patents filed by the university’s female faculty members before and after the creation of the OTM’s Women in Innovation and Technology program, which supports female participation in tech transfer.

“There is a very real trend in what we have seen since we started this program,” says Mercier. The study found that 27% more women faculty members had interacted with OTM between 2013-16 than in the three previous years, and the number of patents filed on behalf of women faculty increased by nearly 129%.

According to Mercier, women are just as interested in learning about tech commercialization and as likely to re-engage with a TTO once they have secured a first patent. The disparity in how many women actually do patent their technologies arises from factors like exhibiting a different risk profile, having fewer industry connections, and dealing with family responsibilities. “Sometimes, if women don’t have the language of commercialization, they tend not to engage, and, critically, their networks aren’t as robust as their male counterparts,” she comments.

To tackle this, the Women in Innovation and Technology program encourages female researchers to engage in tech transfer, offering education and a network of female peers that are active in commercialization and other individuals who can serve as mentors and facilitators.

“TTOs must critically understand how women participate in technology transfer at their own institution and seek to enhance participation with purposeful direction,” says Mercier. “We are still one of the few universities that has a program dedicated to tracking female engagement,” she adds.

Source: The Source

Editor’s note: Mercier is one of the experts featured in the June Technology Transfer Tactics, which devotes the entire issue to exploring how TTOs can move the needle on increasing commercialization activity among women faculty. See the article above.

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The 2018 Bayh Dole Revisions: Practical Compliance Guidance for Technology Transfer Offices


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: June 20th, 2018

Important revisions to the Bayh-Dole Act have now taken effect, and it’s critical for TTOs to ensure their compliance procedures are addressing the new rules. TTO leaders agree the changes will significantly increase the amount of time needed to assure full compliance.

From changes in the abandonment and conversion processes to the impact on internal systems and procedures as well as communications with licensees, adjusting to the new rules represents a significant challenge. But it’s a challenge that can be met and even bring improvements to TTO operations if handled with a strong training component and a clear, detailed operational plan.

To help TTOs ensure a smooth transition and full compliance, Tech Transfer Central’s Distance Learning Division has secured an expert team from law firm Amster, Rothstein & Ebenstein LLP to lead a critical webinar, The 2018 Bayh Dole Revisions: Practical Compliance Guidance for Technology Transfer Offices, scheduled for July 17.

For complete details and to register, CLICK HERE.

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Microsoft acquires ed-tech start-up spun out from U Minnesota


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: June 20th, 2018

Microsoft has acquired Flipgrid, a start-up spun out of the University of Minnesota that makes a video-sharing app for classrooms, for an undisclosed amount. The software giant will retain Flipgrid’s operations in Minneapolis and begin offering the start-up’s product for free. continue reading »

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Johns Hopkins spinout raises $32.5M in Series B to advance new class of cancer therapy 


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: June 20th, 2018

Johns Hopkins spinout WindMIL Therapeutics has closed a $32.5 million Series B round that will support a new class of cancer therapy based on a novel cellular approach that the company calls “truly differentiated.” continue reading »

The Strategic Negotiator is a comprehensive manual for negotiating deals at the highest level. In this 800-page resource you’ll find powerful negotiation lessons delivered with thorough case studies and examples that make complex concepts not only clear but interesting and readable. For complete details, CLICK HERE.

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UK NHS and Diagmed aim to commercialize new method of removing polyps to prevent bowel cancer


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: June 20th, 2018

Researchers at the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), in collaboration with Diagmed Healthcare, have developed an improved method to mark and remove polyps in the colon. continue reading »

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Trinity College Dublin start-up secures investment for its VR and AR hologram technology


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: June 20th, 2018

A startup from Trinity College Dublin has secured its first seed investment of €600,000 (over $692K US) to develop and commercialize a hologram technology for the virtual reality industry. continue reading »

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Purdue researchers develop system that allows security cameras to send alerts directly to people’s phones


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: June 20th, 2018

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a technology that enables public security cameras to send personalized alerts to people’s phones without invading their privacy. continue reading »

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Proven Strategies for Reducing TTO Patent Expenses without Sacrificing Quality


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: June 20th, 2018

Your TTO’s patent budget is a major line item, and probably the single biggest area where your office can save significant dollars. The technologies you file on, the foreign filing decisions you make, the attorney fees you negotiate, and the firms you use are just some of the key factors that play into whether you spend wisely.

Technology Transfer Tactics’ Distance Learning Division has created a collection of distance learning programs that target key areas within your patent budget that should be redlined for cost and quality reviews. Each program is led by experts in the field and offer strategic takeaways you can implement immediately. The three-program collection includes:

  • How University TTOs Can Slash Patent Expenses While Improving Patent Quality
  • Best Practices for Cost-Effective Filing of PCT and EPO Patent Applications
  • Maximize Your TTO’s Patent Budget through Effective Use of Patent Counsel

For complete details on this cost-cutting collection and to order, CLICK HERE.

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Flinders University spinoff lands over $500K in investments to commercialize hydrating sports drink


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: June 20th, 2018

A Flinders University start-up has landed more than $500,000 in seed capital for its line of hydration-boosting sports drinks. continue reading »

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Northeastern receives award for excellence in entrepreneurship and innovation


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: June 20th, 2018

Northeastern University has received a prestigious award for its efforts in entrepreneurship and innovation. continue reading »

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Comings and goings


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: June 20th, 2018

The charity organization Cancer Research UK has chosen tech transfer professional Tony Hickson to serve as chief business officer. Hickson is currently the managing director at Imperial Innovations, the tech transfer arm of Imperial College London.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Tony Hickson as our new chief business officer,” says Iain Foulkes, executive director of research and innovation at Cancer Research UK. “Tony will be a huge asset to the charity, bringing great experience and ambition to our research and innovation activities.”

Hickson comments, “I’m delighted to join Cancer Research UK at such an exciting time for the charity’s commercial development. I look forward to taking a lead role in the planned expansion of the charity’s commercialization activity, building a hub for strategic research innovation, welcoming new partners and strengthening our relationships with industry.”

Source: Cancer Research UK

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