Celebrating Technology Transfer Professionals DayDecember 12, 2022

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. From 1996 to 2017 Academic Technology Transfer has contributed $1.7 trillion to the U.S. gross industrial output, $865 billion to U.S. gross domestic product, 5.9 million jobs, 480,000+ inventions disclosed, 117,000+ U.S. patents issued, 15,000+ startups formed and 200+ drugs and vaccines developed.

In addition, in 2020, there were $83.1 billion in research expenditures, 933 new products created, 17,738 new U.S. patent applications filed, 8,706 U.S. patents issued, 10,050 licenses and options signed, 27,112 invention disclosures, and 1,117 start-ups formed, all increases year-over-year.

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, healthier food products, as well as software and electronic engineering inventions that enable smart phones, computers, and space travel.

The recent passage of the CHIPS Plus Science Act is poised to revolutionize the technology transfer industry since it includes a provision of $3.1 Billion to support technology transfer and represents the first ever federal funding support for the commercialization of government supported research.  Not since the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 has there been such groundbreaking legislation in the field of commercialization of science-driven innovation. All of this bodes well for technology transfer professionals who will be leading the way for the next great wave of inventions from the academic world.

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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