Technology transfer—moving tech from lab to market—isn't a new concept. But now, universities are stepping up efforts to commercialize their research. Technology transfer offices (TTOs) have been cropping up at research universities from coast to coast.
TTO functions include establishing healthy industry relations, protecting intellectual copyrights, providing legal counseling and business consulting services, and promoting forward-thinking entrepreneurship. The aim is simple—to help institutions capitalize on technological breakthroughs made in their laboratories and research facilities. While numerous approaches help achieve this goal, institutional thinking agrees on the vital role of the TTO. Here are some Flyover Future standouts.
Carnegie Mellon’s CTTEC
CMU Center for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation (CTTEC) founder Benno Bernt stated, “In the end, the inventor is still the hero and always will be.” And CTTEC strives to provide inventors with the right resources to succeed. Its goal is to:
- Facilitate and accelerate the transfer of intellectual assets to the commercial marketplace.
- Negotiate and execute commercial technology transfer agreements.
- Manage the intellectual assets (patents, copyrights, etc.) of the university.
- Ensure CMU’s compliance with relevant federal regulations and reporting requirements and obligations to sponsors relating to IP.
The University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute
The University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute, faculty, students, and alumni can access comprehensive technology transfer services and educational programming, networking opportunities, and mentorships. The Innovation Institute also partners with the university's Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence, helping entrepreneurs throughout western Pennsylvania.
UofL Commercialization, Entrepreneurship, Partnerships and Innovation Center
Allen Morris, director of University of Louionewly renamed TTO, describes its primary focus: commercialization, entrepreneurship, partnerships, and innovation (Commercialization EPI-Center for short).
The group’s priority is developing, nurturing, and fostering technologies that grow the regional economy, increase quality of life, and provide a benefit for society.
The Purdue Foundry
Founded in 2013 at the direction of Purdue president Mitch Daniels, the Purdue Foundry helps faculty, students, and local alumni “move ideas to marketplace more quickly.” Geared toward helping individuals turn ideas into companies, the Foundry says that the process and passion for the success of each company is driven by the entrepreneur, while the Foundry provides support, education and additional tools to help each client reach success.”
University of Michigan Tech Transfer
U-M Tech Transfer is widely recognized as a top-ten tech transfer institution. U-M Tech Transfer has invested more than $1 billion in U-M startups since 2000 and stresses the symbiotic nature of its endeavors, highlighting its ability to:
- Provide additional research resources for the university.
- Enhance the university's reputation.
- Stimulate regional and national economic development.
- Increase the likelihood that new innovations will benefit society.
University of Minnesota Technology Commercialization
UMN Technology Commercialization promotes the transfer of technology that benefits the greater public good, encourages economic growth, and provides revenue to support the university's mission. Ranked among the top 10 institutions in tech transfer, UMN Technology Commercialization specializes in new technologies in medicine, biotech, chemistry, engineering, and agriculture, helping launch more than 150 UMN-affiliated startups since 2006.
NC State Office of Research Commercialization (ORC)
NC State Office of Research Commercialization (ORC) is a regional heavyweight when it comes to tech transfer. Having helped launch more than 170 startups, ORC promotes and protects intellectual property and technological breakthroughs for faculty and students, offering innovators and entrepreneurs an array of resources to take new ideas to market. NC State startups have raised $1.7 billion in financing and created more than 8,500 jobs.