5 Snapshot Points on Tech Transfer from the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM).

These points are from an interview of Jane Muir by IP Watchdog.  She is the Director of the Florida Innovation Hub at University of Florida and is presently the President of the AUTM.

1. It is important to understand that the process of technology transfer, going from lab discoveries to marketplace takes a long time, which in biotech can be 5 to 10 years. It is also a complex process consisting of discovery, patenting, licensing and putting the technology on the market place.

2. The valley of death: the majority of discoveries in universities are early stage. They are patentable but not yet a ‘product’.  The valley of death is the process of getting a product through the development stage to market.

3. Universities are restricted in what they can research (by the terms of available funding), and often cannot do development work.  Government will tend to direct research money to solving problems that the nation faces.

4. Universities have to choose their commercial partner carefully, agreeing milestones that ensure that development happens in the right way.  Tech transfer offices are often challenged in finding the resources to look for the best partners.

5. It has to be recognised that getting a technology to market is difficult and requires very different skills to those that scientists (or patent attorneys) have.

You can read the interview here.

You may also wish to see related articles Patent Advice for Tech Transfer Offices and Advice to Scientists Setting up a Company.

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