Fostering a New Age of Invention, Engagement and Public Service
Academic tech transfer has been around for over 30 years, but university needs, faculty interests, and the patent laws have changed. With federal grant programs being more focused on practical outcomes and “translational research,” and with corporate research funding growing in importance, tech transfer plays an increasingly vital role today.
At UMass Amherst, we are inspired by a vision of being the tech transfer office of the future, and we are working hard every day to take us to that next level. Our aims are high; we want to be a nationally recognized leader in tech transfer, a vibrant and respected resource for faculty, and the destination of choice for industry. Reaching this level is dependent on us making tech transfer an uplifting and positive experience for faculty and companies alike. We also have to look to future needs, and build programs and resources that compliment UMass Amherst’s substantial ambitions for building and expanding its reach and impact.
Our goal is to be a volume business that operates like greased lightning.
Virtually every tech transfer office wants to move technologies from the lab bench to corporate product development, so they can become commercially viable products, processes and services. This benefits the public and has economic payback to the inventors, the sponsors and the university.
But a passive administrative approach only gets you so far. Inventing is voluntary; not a single UMass Amherst researcher has to invent, or even let the tech transfer know they may have made an invention. Similarly, there’s nothing that requires any company to look to UMass Amherst for new product opportunities.
If we want to get more disclosures and more corporate licenses, we have to go out and shake things up! We have to reach out and talk with inventors and companies one-on-one, get them inspired, and give them fantastic service so they will come back again and again.