Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer

Transforming Ideas into Opportunities

Universities are fertile ground for intellectual property and inventions that change the way we live. At the same time, Universities have a responsibility to be good stewards of discoveries and intellectual property developed from research and to move new ideas quickly into the marketplace, where they can advance the public good. [See: AAU Working Group on Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property, 2015]

From medical discoveries (recombinant DNA process invented at Stanford), to vitamin fortified drinks (Gatorade invented at Univ. of Florida) and diagnostic imaging (CAT scan invented at Georgetown University), these University-based inventions are making the world a better place. But having an idea — even a revolutionary one — isn’t enough. Universities and research institutions need help growing and advancing those discoveries to a final product or service — and that is where technology transfer fits in.

The goal of technology transfer is to make the world a better place, one discovery at a time. The process of technology transfer involves innovation management (such as faculty invention disclosures), protecting ideas (patents/copyrights) and licensing inventions to companies, new venture creation and incubation, and economic development. If an invention has its roots in a non-profit entity, such as a university, hospital or government lab,  it's considered a tech transfer success!

Why Tech Transfer? It’s key to:

  • Prototyping and developing the next life-changing innovation
  • 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 $1.3 trillion in gross industrial output and 4.3 million jobs since 1996
  • Attracting and retaining talented faculty, staff and students
  • Helping Ferris make a broader impact on the community it serves

[Partially Adapted from AUTM,]