office operations, strategic planning & policy support

Effective management depends largely on leadership. But leadership doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Program objectives must be aligned with the goals and policies of the university, and need to be responsive to the changing environment.

The Evolution of Technology Transfer:  Our profession has evolved from the Society of Patent Administrators to the Association of University Technology Managers and, we do much more than patenting and licensing; licensing however, remains the primary performance measure on which we are evaluated. Increasingly, technology transfer functions involve responsibilities such as MTAs, SRAs, economic development and business development. Essentially the profession has moved from what we call “Technology Transfer 1.0” in the 1980s to a “Technology Transfer 3.0” model of the last decade that incorporates all of the above functions.

The profession continues to evolve as we speak. Universities have started looking at innovations – not only from the traditional STEM fields, but also from social sciences, especially in the areas of educational tools and programs. Universities have begun to commercialize innovations as opposed to inventions, expanding the scope of technology transfer once again in to a “Technology Transfer 4.0” model or an Innovation Transfer (iX) model.

This sounds simple enough but from a practical standpoint it means consolidating disparate functions and in some cases functions that did not previously exist at the institution. These changes in operations also influence how the office functions within its innovation ecosystem to catalyze and create opportunities that further their mission of commercializing university research.

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Aligning Operations:  Simplistically, the major steps of transferring innovations from academia to industry are:

  • Receiving disclosures
  • Record keeping and management
  • Commercial and business assessment
  • Lead generation and marketing
  • Intellectual property protection and management
  • Negotiations and agreement drafting, and
  • Managing active agreements

Add to this all of the tasks associated with economic development, industry sponsored research and business development and the complexity of managing all of these functions under one umbrella is apparent. How all of these parts relate to each other and how they can influence one another is important to understand and manage.

Apio’s Advantage

With over 25 years of experience Apio assists its clients in many ways. We have experience in process re-engineering and establishing expanding and managing offices. On the operations side our services range from providing exclusive access to Inteum (for offices with 2FTEs or less), creating standard operating procedures and providing template agreements to determining licensability, marketing innovations and agreement drafting and negotiations. On the strategic side, we help with policy development, strategic planning and establishing offices.