How Does Technology Transfer Work?
- Faculty, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students come up with an invention.
- The inventor(s) contact the Office of Corporate Engagement and Commercialization (OCEC), and OCEC works with them to understand the invention.
- The inventor(s) complete an Invention Disclosure Form and Invention Abstract.
- A patent board, comprised of faculty, inventors, technology transfer experts and legal advisors, determines the inventions in which the university will invest. (It can cost $5,000-$10,000 to file a patent application, most of which are legal expenses.)
- OCEC conducts research to see if any similar inventions have been patented and how the technology may potentially fit into the marketplace.
- OCEC conducts market research and obtains leads from inventors about companies that may be interested in the technology. It then contacts them to discuss a collaboration.
- This often results in a licensing agreement, which allows a company to use the university's intellectual property. The company, in return, pays royalties to the university. Royalties are used to cover expenses, reward inventors and invest in further research.