Tech Transfer Central

Planning and Assessment for Safely Re-Opening On-Campus Tech Transfer Office Operations

Format: On-Demand Video/Transcript, or DVD
Originally presented: June 24, 2020

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Price: $197
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The transition to off-campus, remote working environments came swiftly and without the luxury of much advanced planning for many TTOs. Now, just as staff get comfortable in their new daily routines, federal and state governments are eager to re-open the country and get back to “normal.” Research labs are beginning non-essential work again, plans for the fall semester are coming into focus, and your TTO faces the difficult challenge of determining when and how to resume on-campus activity – and what that should look like as safety guidelines, research activity, and budget issues evolve.

To help inform and guide you, Tech Transfer Central’s Distance Learning Division has 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.

Here’s a quick look at what our panelists will cover:

  • Background of each TTO’s trajectory for disclosures, revenues, and staffing for the current fiscal year
  • How that trajectory has been affected by the pandemic
  • Each TTO’s current plan for “re-opening”
  • What factors are being considered in a re-opening plan
  • Student population and new learning options: How that will affect on-campus programs for entrepreneurship and TTO outreach
  • Key management issues:
    • Dealing with decreased or non-existent staffing budgets
    • Issues related to an inter-generational workplace
    • Managing the uncertainty and need for flexibility for schedules
    • Key challenges for managing and supporting remote staff
    • Strategies for leading the transition back to campus
    • Complying with CDC guidelines and social distancing rules
    • Changes in use of technology policies and procedures

Meet Your Program Leaders:

Lesley Millar-Nicholson
Director, Technology Licensing Office
Director, Catalysts
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ms. Millar-Nicholson has led the TLO at MIT since July 2016, and in September 2019 also assumed responsibility as Director of Catalysts in the newly formed MIT Office of Strategic Alliances and Technology Transfer (OSATT).  As TLO Director, she leads a team managing the intellectual assets and technology transfer process for MIT’s inventions.

As Director of Catalysts Lesley leads a team of Catalysts who work closely with faculty on non-federal research and other funding opportunities. Working with colleagues in OSATT (Strategic Transactions Officers), the Catalysts will provide early insight into the proposed engagement to speed the process for drafting and negotiating the right sort of agreement. Prior to arriving in Cambridge, Lesley was Director of the Office of Technology Management (OTM) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Lesley is a past President of the Board of Governors of Certified Licensing Professionals Inc. (CLP Inc.), is on the Board of Directors of the Licensing Executive Society (LES), and on the Board of Cambridge Enterprise, UK. A native of Scotland, Lesley has a B.Ed., M.Ed, and MBA, and is a Certified Licensing Professional (CLP). 

J. Fernando GonzalezFernando González
Director of Technology Commercialization
University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley

Mr. González became the Director of Technology Commercialization almost three years ago after starting the university’s business incubator. He served as Executive Director for the Rio Grande Regional Center of the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, coaching start-ups. Prior to that he worked for eight years in software development, business development and project management as well as business method consulting.

Brad RothBrad Roth, PhD
President and Executive Director
NUtech Ventures
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Dr. Roth also serves as associate vice chancellor for technology development at University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL).  He leads a team of licensing and intellectual property professionals responsible for engaging with faculty, staff, corporations and others to commercialize the intellectual property arising from $318 million in UNL research. He also works with a wide range of campus, corporate and regional partners to encourage innovation, enhance UNL research and research funding to facilitate economic development.

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