Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Report says U of Florida has most productive tech transfer operation among large U.S. universities


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: July 1st, 2020

The University of Florida (UF) is the most productive large university in the U.S. when it comes to spinning out research into products and companies, according to a study released by the George W. Bush Institute and the consulting firm Opus Faveo Innovation Development. continue reading »

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Amazon donates $200K to U of Michigan philanthropic start-up fund


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: July 1st, 2020

Amazon is donating $200K to a University of Michigan (U-M) philanthropic fund aimed at supporting the commercialization of new technologies. continue reading »

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Contracts team at Johns Hopkins gives big assist in supporting COVID-19 research


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: July 1st, 2020

A contracts team at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) that helps provide researchers with necessary biologic materials is being put to the test as scientists rush to develop diagnostics and treatments for COVID-19. continue reading »

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Best Practices in Material Transfer Agreement Management


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: July 1st, 2020

Your university spends untold dollars and hours on negotiating terms and processing hundreds, maybe even thousands of MTAs every year. And since MTAs can have serious ramifications in terms of rights to resulting inventions, for future licensing agreements, and for publication rights, it’s not a process you should be taking lightly or rushing through.

That’s why we’ve created Best Practices in Material Transfer Agreement Management. This highly-rated distance learning collection includes two practical programs that deliver specific strategies to help you manage your agreements, your time, and your IP. Here are more details on the two-program collection:

  1. Material Transfer Agreement Management: Negotiation Strategies to Strengthen Legal Protection and Gain Efficiency — You’ll gain solid guidance from two experts at the University of Iowa who have successfully addressed the MTA challenge, and are ready to share their strategies with you.
  2. Managing Material Transfer Agreements: Key Practices for Saving Time and Money — The Vanderbilt University TTO’s home-grown MTAShare automated MTA management system enables an extremely streamlined process, slashing both paperwork and many hours of staff time. Learn exactly how the university tackled its MTA workload, culminating in this time- and money-saving automated solution.

Click here for complete details on this valuable collection or to order.

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Brown U’s student-run VC fund is off to a great start


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: July 1st, 2020

Brown University’s first student-run venture fund, launched by two alums less than two years ago, is having a big impact on both the students involved and the companies it supports. continue reading »

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Tel Aviv U researchers use microbubbles to deliver gene therapy to cancer cells


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: July 1st, 2020

Researchers at Tel Aviv University (TAU) have developed a non-invasive method for delivering a gene therapy into breast cancer cells. continue reading »

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U of Bristol awarded for start-up that supports domestic abuse victims


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: July 1st, 2020

The University of Bristol has been awarded for its creation of a start-up that helps survivors of domestic abuse get specialist help. IRISi was founded to promote and improve the healthcare response to gender-based violence through sustainable, evidence-based interventions. Its IRIS platform, which is based on research from the university, has helped save and improve the lives of 16,000 people to date. continue reading »

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Atrelo Biosciences expands license agreement with SUNY-Stony Brook to advance cancer therapeutic


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: July 1st, 2020

Clinical stage biopharmaceutical company Artelo Biosciences has expanded its existing license agreement with the Research Foundation for the State University of New York (SUNY) to advance a novel cancer therapeutic based on a SUNY-Stony Brook innovation. continue reading »

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Comings and goings


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: July 1st, 2020

George Mason University (GMU) has selected Aurali Dade to serve as interim vice president for research, innovation and economic impact. Dade previously served as GMU’s associate vice president for research and innovation, through which she was responsible for developing and implementing university strategy for creating a dynamic, supportive and growing research ecosystem. 

“Aurali has a wealth of experience as a leader and researcher, and I am very pleased and appreciative that she will lead our Office for Research, Innovation and Economic Impact during this period of transition,” says Mark Ginsberg, interim provost and executive vice president of GMU. “I am grateful to her for stepping into this role. Her views on the importance of and dedication to research, combined with her appreciation for and deep understanding of governance structures, is invaluable.”

Dade comments, “I am delighted to take on this role to support the Mason community in our aspirations related to research, scholarship and creative works, and our engagement with local communities and partners. I look forward to working closely with the colleges and my colleagues in Research, Innovation and Economic Impact to continue to pursue our goals of elevating research, supporting research of consequence, and serving as a community builder.”

Dade will assume her new position on August 1 and will continue until a permanent successor is identified following a national search.

Source: News at Mason

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Amid various stages of reopening across the country, TTOs plan for next steps


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: June 24th, 2020

A detailed article on planning for a return to on-campus TTO operations appears in the June issue of Technology Transfer Tactics. For subscription information, click here.

When shelter-in-place restrictions and social distancing began across the country in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, university technology transfer offices focused on making sure they could maintain operations remotely. Now that states and universities have begun the staged lifting of prohibitions, the focus for TTOs is on what comes next.

Laurie Actman, chief marketing, communications and program officer for the Penn Center for Innovation (PCI) at the University of Pennsylvania, says her organization rapidly switched to remote working more easily than some because it had developed a comprehensive disaster management plan in concert with an annual university-wide effort. This included making sure everyone had the tools — both hardware and software — needed to ensure remote access and training as necessary for using connective online applications.

PCI also took steps to deal with the uncertainty and stress of the pandemic, as well as ensure consistent communication, including:

  • mandatory weekly updates from both the operational and business development perspectives;
  • frequent team meetings and check-ins by managers with their employees;
  • a new series of staff engagement events, some designed to be fun and entertaining, that staff could participate in remotely to support their emotional well being.

Likewise, Keith Marmer, executive director and associate vice president for technology and venture commercialization at the University of Utah, said his organization implemented its business contingency plan within 24 hours after the need to close its physical location became apparent. Coincidentally, the team was already on alert that week.

“Two days before we had to shut down, we had an earthquake centered near Salt Lake City, just a few miles from campus,” he says. “We didn’t realize we’d have two events in the same week, but the plan was a huge advantage. We learned a couple of things [from the first event]. We tweaked a couple of things, but we made the transition [to the COVID shutdown] within 24 hours.”

Since each state had its own pandemic-related rules and guidelines during the last few months, TTOs are encountering different timetables and landscapes for reopening.

Utah implemented a color-coded system — red, orange, yellow, and green — for assessing the risk of restarting normal life and offered flexibility for different regions of the state based on characteristics such as to urban or rural environments.

Marmer says the Center for Technology and Venture Commercialization plans to phase its reopening based on couple of factors. The first is what stage Salt Lake City and Utah are in based on the color-coded system, while the other is “the order of importance of each individual’s role with respect to being on campus.” He notes that “technology transfer functions are operating at 100% remotely, so we anticipate coming back among the last of the university’s employees.”

The office will take into account concerns of staff as well, calling that a highly individual aspect of the decision-making process. “We’ve got some folks who can’t wait to get back because they miss the interaction. We’ve got some folks who are pretty nervous about it. We’re going to maintain flexibility.”

In Oregon, where many businesses and organizations have been allowed to reopen, some restrictions were still in effect earlier this month.

Andrew R.O. Watson, senior director of technology transfer at the Oregon Health & Science University, says his organization is adhering to those restrictions. “Our university is still on what we call modified operations,” he reports. “Under modified operations, all non-essential personnel are to not report to work unless their function is essential, and all of my tech transfer staff is on mandatory telework from home. We have a trial period ongoing right now in opening up a handful of research labs on campus, but most all research labs remain shut down and there is no current date on when they will open.”

In Pennsylvania, most of the state is in some phase of reopening (“yellow” or “green”). Philadelphia, where PCI is located, has entered the yellow phase, making remote operations still a recommended alternative to in-person gatherings.

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Tech transfer directors share plans for return to campus


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: June 24th, 2020

If you aren’t able to join us for today’s webinar, Planning and Assessment for Safely Re-Opening On-Campus Tech Transfer Office Operations, you can still hear every word and receive all handouts in the on-demand video version.

Tech Transfer Central’s Distance Learning Division teamed up with TTO directors from three universities facing vastly different pandemic impacts and issues — MIT, University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley, and University of Nebraska. They will discuss the ongoing effects of the shutdown on their TTOs, their assessments and plans for transitioning back to campus, and what the future holds for their universities, their offices, their staff, and the faculty, students, and other stakeholders they serve.

Click here for complete program and faculty details and to order.

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Rutgers to receive $44.4M from spinout developing COVID-19 saliva test


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: June 24th, 2020

In a $44.4 million deal, Rutgers University is spinning out the RUCDR Infinite Biologics lab to create a start-up aimed at commercializing a saliva test for COVID-19. continue reading »

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