The following is a list of the articles that appear in the December 2021 issue of Technology Transfer Tactics monthly newsletter.
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Technology Transfer Tactics
Vol. 15, No. 12, December 2021
- TTOs grapple with new DOE domestic manufacturing rules, some will avoid projects. The Department of Energy’s new policy requiring inventions resulting from DOE-funded R&D to be “substantially manufactured” in the United States has tech transfer leaders studying how to comply, and some are determining that the burden is too great. Those programs are deciding to decline licensing of DOE-funded inventions altogether.
- U Memphis hires post-docs full-time to start businesses using university IP. Their website calls the Patents2Products program “A New Frontier for Entrepreneurship” — and perhaps it is. The program, which is a partnership between the University of Memphis and Epicenter, a non-profit entrepreneurship hub in the greater Memphis area, hires post-doc fellows on a full-time basis to start businesses using patented IP developed at the university.
- Grant funding for TTO operations and programs: An overlooked resource. Federal grants are the lifeblood of university research, and TTOs also benefit from the innovations that spring from that funding. But tech transfer offices can benefit more directly by applying for and gaining grant funds to pay for their own internal projects or initiatives, as several TTOs are proving. And as federal agencies have become keen to support innovation and entrepreneurship, ignoring these opportunities may amount to a significant missed opportunity.
- McGill gap fund uses unique phased approach to support full innovation lifecycle. McGill University in Montreal, Canada, — celebrating its 200th anniversary this year — is taking a decidedly new path to funding its promising technologies and start-ups. Seeking a more effective way to cross the Valley of Death while supporting innovation throughout a technology’s commercialization journey, the university’s TTO created the McGill Innovation Fund (MIF).
- AI-powered tool lets TTOs expand mentor networks, boost alumni connections. University TTOs looking to expand their expert and mentor networks — and then connect those networks with appropriate start-ups or projects — can spend many hours e-mailing, calling, and engaging in other forms of outreach. It’s a part of the job that can often be left on the back burner when staffing is tight and more pressing work often leaves it sitting on the “to-do” list.
- Venture Analyst programs employ grad students as a force multiplier. TTOs facing the perennial dilemma of understaffing may want to take a close look at what the Washington Research Foundation (WRF) is doing to assist in evaluating its large portfolio of potential investments in university start-ups.