Celebrating Technology Transfer Professionals DayDecember 12, 2023

Today we celebrate Technology Transfer Professionals Day that honors those individuals that work to help universities and research institutions advance their critical discoveries to a final product or service.

The day was chosen since it was the anniversary of the Bayh-Dole Act, that was enacted on December 12, 1980, and was instrumental in encouraging universities to participate in technology transfer activities. It created a uniform patent policy among the many federal agencies that fund research, resulting in small businesses and non-profit organizations, including universities, to retain title to inventions made under federally funded research programs. Prior to this act, fewer than 250 patents were issued to U.S. universities each year and not a single new drug was created from the National Institute of Health (NIH) research when the patent rights were obtained.

Since the passage of the Act, the efforts of technology transfer professionals are driving the innovation economy. For instance, in 2022, there were $91.8 billion in research expenditures, 850 new products created, 16,857 new U.S. patent applications filed, 7,739 U.S. patents issued, 9,884 licenses and options signed, 24,140 invention disclosures, 998 start-ups formed, and 6,801 start-ups still operational, all increases year-over-year.

Why do we care about Tech Transfer? Well, it is the key to:

  • Prototyping and developing the next life-changing innovation.
  • Identifying ways to disseminate non-patentable ideas, like apps and training.
  • Developing academic-corporate alliances on ground-breaking research projects.
  • Forming, incubating, and positioning for success the 1000+ start-up companies launched annually from academic research.
  • Supporting regional economic growth and new job creation — up to $1.7 trillion in gross industrial output and 5.9 million jobs since 1996.
  • Attracting and retaining talented faculty, staff and students.

University based technology transfer resulted in the COVID vaccine, and has produced another 153 FDA approved vaccines. University based research has also given us CRISPR gene editing technology, cancer treatments, healthier food products, as well as software and electronic engineering inventions that enable smart phones, computers, and space travel.

AUTM is a major contributor and valuable partner to the success of the work done by technology transfer professionals by highlighting the public value of government-sponsored academic research, supporting its members through career education, advocating for strong intellectual property rights, and expanding industry-academic engagement. AUTM has more than 3,000 members working in 800 institutions representing 65 countries. MVS supports and applauds the work done by AUTM through our membership on their board of directors and our involvement on a number of AUTM committees and initiatives.

Congratulations to all Technology Transfer Professionals for your continued work to bring life changing innovations to the marketplace. MVS commends your valuable efforts.

Richard Marsolais is the Business Development Director at McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC. To learn more, visit our MVS website , or contact Richard directly via email.

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