It should come as no surprise that the research industry is experiencing a digital revolution. Paper-based, manual processes, or even homegrown systems are falling to the wayside, in favor of digital, cloud-based solutions that offer greater flexibility, transparency, and opportunity. The tech transfer office, which is known for managing innovations and intellectual property matters is one of the many research areas going through this change. Let’s take a closer look at the priorities, challenges, and modern solutions facing tech transfer today.
Tech transfer is more than IP management
The primary objective of the tech transfer office is to further support the institution or organization’s mission to not only advance research outcomes, but broadcast those innovations to positively affect society. The first step is to effectively identify intellectual property that is created from research. Next, those innovations must be protected, marketed, and matched with commercial partners who will enter a licensing relationship with the university or other research entity.
Inefficient processes and strained communication channels made the process difficult to manage in the past. For example, let’s say a faculty member has an invention. The university would file a patent through the tech transfer office and then, more often than not, nothing would happen next. If the institution was lucky, someone with a commercial interest would find the invention and use it, but this wasn’t a guarantee, and certainly wasn’t something the team could effectively manage or promote with outdated systems and processes.
Now, however, there’s a much more explicit intentionality about innovations at universities and other research organizations. Many organizations are focused on advancing these innovations with the intention of earning profit, while others are focused on teaching and spreading knowledge for the benefit of society. In either case, the focus is clear: research-derived innovations are an integral part of the research process and should be carefully communicated, managed, and promoted.
Rise in tech for innovation management
There’s a fundamental shift in the expectations and overall processes within the tech transfer office. Whereas at one time, intellectual property protection was the singular expectation of the tech transfer office, now, many are finding themselves in the role of contributing to attracting and retaining faculty members and graduate students. With a robust tech transfer office, the university can support researchers and students who may be more engaged in entrepreneurial research or involved at the Industry-Academia interface.
As institutions prioritize innovations, the needs of those working in the tech transfer office will expand. It’s a natural evolution that requires a modern solution to support.
Paper-based documentation and manual routing, or even piecemealed solutions that serve as digital bandaids, will no longer be an option. Instead, digital, cloud-based solutions, like Cayuse Inventions, will serve as the next generation of innovation management, supporting the tech transfer team from identification to commercialization.
Technology Transfer is often thought of as a business service center within the research institution. Our customers have interactions with various stakeholders, inside and outside of the organization, along the path from research and discovery to commercialization. This creates complexity when managing innovations and engaging all relevant stakeholders. With Cayuse Inventions, every stakeholder, regardless of their immediate affiliation with the institution, is equipped with the tools necessary to achieve greater communication and management of tasks.
Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs), assisting with finding commercial partners, and aiding in effective engagements with inventors and other stakeholders become streamlined and much easier to manage with Cayuse Inventions.
Cayuse Inventions is built for the modern technology transfer office. To learn more about Cayuse Inventions or see it in action for yourself, visit: https://cayuse.com/inventions/.