Tech Transfer Central

Best Practices for TTOs in Forging Strong Internal Stakeholder Relationships

Format: On-Demand Video, DVD, or PDF Transcript
Originally presented: October 11, 2011

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There is one factor that is common to virtually every top-performing tech transfer office: widespread and enthusiastic support from faculty and other key internal stakeholders. By the same token, a lack of support – typically a result of misconceptions, poor communication strategies, and inadequate or ineffective engagement efforts – is the single most damaging barrier blocking many TTOs from realizing their full potential for successful commercialization of university research. It’s up to you to break through that barrier and develop creative, well-coordinated, and well-executed tactics to educate and engage your faculty as well as university leaders. The difference — and the power of evangelizing the TTO – can be breathtaking in terms of increases in disclosures, start-ups, licenses, partnerships, and revenues. 

In fact, when Peter Schuerman, PhD, signed on as director of licensing and intellectual property in the Office of Technology Commercialization at the Texas A&M University System, he faced down these exact challenges. His first and ongoing mission was to change the TTO’s perception among faculty and administrators by employing the strategies he’ll reveal in this program. Join Dr. Schuerman as he shares the best practices he developed to gain internal support:

Best Practices for TTOs in Forging Strong
Internal Stakeholder Relationships

Keep in mind, forging strong internal stakeholder relationships is no small undertaking and can’t be accomplished quickly or easily — but the benefits of a coordinated and continuous effort are astounding. Dr. Schuerman will review:

Part I: The Foundations of Strong Relationships

  • Identifying your Internal Stakeholders: Who are your clients?
  • The Fundamental Issue Underlying Poor Relationships with Clients
  • The Three Ways to Address the Fundamental Issue
  • Sponsored Research Offices: The Lifeguard’s Dilemma
  • Technology Commercialization Defined: What TTOs Should Do
  • Mission Impossible: Bad Definitions of Customer Service
  • Opportunity Assessment, Investment Management and Project Execution
  • Transparency Problems: The Solitaire Assumption
  • Escaping from the Black Hole: The Disclosure Management System

Part II: Growing the Relationship

  • The Client’s Role in Managing “Pre-Disclosure” IP
  • Working with IP / Patent Committees
  • Showing an Interest: Reviewing Proposals
  • Broadcasting vs. Narrowcasting
  • Fostering Word-of-Mouth Advertising
  • Starting Companies Together
  • Pursuing Research Opportunities Together
  • Facing the Challenges of Commercialization as Partners

Your Expert Presenter:

Peter Schuerman, PhD, isDirector of Licensing and Intellectual Property in the Office of Technology Commercialization for the Texas A&M University System. He and his team work with researchers to develop translational research strategies, refine intellectual property development and management processes within the System, and build relationships with industry partners who support A&M research. Prior to joining the OTC, Dr. Schuerman founded and led the Industry Alliances Office (IAO) at the University of California at Berkeley, and served as the Associate Director for Life Sciences, where he assisted faculty in developing collaborations with industry partners and was responsible for nearly tripling the level of Berkeley’s industry-based research support in his first year of managing the IAO. His experience also includes management of intellectual property portfolios with Rice University and the University of Florida.

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