AUTM on the AIR is the weekly podcast that brings you conversations about the impact of research commercialization and the people who make it happen. Join us for interviews with patent and licensing professionals, innovators, entrepreneurs, and tech transfer leaders on the issues and trends that matter most.
From Idea to Impact: The Finalists of the 2023 Better World Awards
AUTM’s Better World Project recognizes and honors innovative technologies that have the potential to make a significant positive impact on society. In this episode, I speak with the three finalists for the Better Word Project Award.
The first nomination is a novel protein sub-unit vaccine that has overcome issues relating to the cost, scalability, and storage of other vaccines. Nomination number two is the iStent ocular tube which treats glaucoma, an eye condition that is the leading cause of blindness worldwide. The third nomination is a non-invasive therapy that effectively treats numerous neurological disorders.
Listen to this episode to learn about each nominee and then cast your vote for the technology you think is most deserving of the BWP Award! [Voting closes at 3 p.m. Central Time on February 21]
In This Episode:
[00:41] The goal of the Better World Project (BWP).
[00:59] Introducing the first BWP nomination, a novel protein sub-unit vaccine developed by scientists at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital.
[02:19] Issues relating to cost, scalability, and storage of most COVID-19 vaccines.
[04:34] How the scientists at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital have overcome these challenges.
[07:35] The role of universities in the commercialization and distribution of vaccines.
[11:43] Factors that Brad Kairdolf and his team took into consideration when they decided not to file for a patent for the vaccine.
[15:16] Successes that Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital have seen since the development of the vaccine.
[02:34] Introducing the second BWP nomination, the iStent ocular tube developed by Dr. Richard Hill.
[18:02] Alvin Viray explains what glaucoma is and what causes it.
[19:39] How the iStent ocular tube works and the journey to commercialize it.
[23:26] Why the iStent is preferable to traditional glaucoma treatment options.
[26:15] Alvin shares his thoughts on how this technology will evolve in the future.
[27:22] Introducing the third BWP nomination, EKKO Wave Therapeutic Device, which uses vibrational waves to non-invasively treat neurological disorders.
[28:23] A few things you probably didn’t know about the National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST).
[29:17] Dr. Rizwan Riaz explains how the EKKO Wave Therapeutic Device works and the R&D process involved in developing it.
[31:01] Neurological disorders that the EKKO Wave Therapeutic Device can treat.
[31:56] Comparing the EKKO Wave Therapeutic Device to more traditional neurological therapies.
[32:53] The process of commercializing the EKKO Wave Therapeutic Device.
[34:09] Revolutionary potential of the EKKO Wave Therapeutic Device.
The Better World Project
Baylor College of Medicine
Texas Children's Hospital
National University of Sciences & Technology
Technology Transfer: A Singaporean Perspective with Hui Ying Ang
“Don’t underestimate the impact you can bring to the innovation ecosystem.”
Culture shapes almost all aspects of society, including the innovation ecosystem. In today’s episode, we have our first guest from Singapore, Dr. Hui Ying Ang, who is here to provide us with a better understanding of the technology transfer field in her country.
Hui Ying is an associate director with the Industry Liaison Office (ILO) from the National University of Singapore, and in this episode she explains how she first became aware of technology commercialization, the challenges that she has faced since entering the technology transfer space, the four main approaches that the National University of Singapore uses to support technology transfer efforts, and more!
In This Episode:
[00:55] Introducing Dr. Hui Ying Ang, associate director of the ILO at the National University of Singapore (and the first Singaporean guest on the podcast!)
[02:05] The experience that led Hui Ying into the world of technology transfer after she completed her Ph.D.
[03:46] Hui Ying’s advice to anyone new to the technology transfer profession.
[05:12] Elements of the technology transfer industry that still surprise Hui Ying five years after she entered it.
[06:30] Hui Ying provides an overview of the technology transfer process at the National University of Singapore.
[08:04] The four main approaches that the National University of Singapore uses to support technology transfer efforts.
[09:50] Some of the main grants that support the commercialization of technologies in Singapore.
[10:32] Common problems that Hui Ying has faced as a technology transfer professional.
[13:34] Achievements that Hui Ying is most proud of.
[14:41] How Singaporean culture and ideals shape the innovation ecosystem in the country.
[16:21] Gender discrepancies in STEM fields in Singapore, and what is being done to encourage women to enter these spaces.
[17:57] Hui Ying’s hope for the future of technology transfer.
Dr. Hui Ying Ang on LinkedIn
National University of Singapore
The Value of the AUTM Licensing Survey to the Technology Transfer Field with John Miner
Every year, hundreds of institutions take part in the AUTM Annual Licensing Activity Survey, and John Miner, as the Chair of the AUTM Metrics and Surveys Portfolio, plays an integral role in the production and dissemination of this very powerful tool.
Since the early ‘90s, the AUTM Licensing Survey has been collecting data from universities, federal laboratories, and other research institutions with the aim of providing a holistic view of the trends in the technology transfer industry.
In today’s episode, John shares how he became involved with the AUTM Licensing Survey, examples of the questions that are asked in the survey (and how these questions have changed over the years), and why this information is so valuable to the technology transfer field.
In This Episode:
[00:53] What the AUTM Annual Licensing Activity Survey is.
[01:05] Introducing today’s guest, John Miner.
[02:19] John shares how he became involved in the AUTM Licensing Survey.
[05:20] Who the AUTM Licensing Survey is aimed at.
[05:55] Examples of the questions asked in the AUTM Licensing Survey.
[06:45] Why the AUTM Licensing Survey is valuable to the technology transfer field as a whole.
[10:22] How the AUTM Licensing Survey technology can be used by technology transfer offices.
[15:01] Benefits of the STATT Database.
[17:00] The typical number of responses that the AUTM Licensing Survey receives.
[17:20] Why 2022 was a challenging year for the AUTM Licensing Survey.
[19:56] How to use the AUTM Licensing Survey data to your advantage.
[23:49] How the AUTM Licensing Survey has changed over the years.
John Miner on LinkedIn
AUTM Annual Licensing Activity Survey
AUTM Better World Project
Building a More Inclusive Workforce with Patricia Cullum
Historically marginalized population groups face unique barriers in the workforce. Today’s guest, Patricia (Pattie) Cullum, has experienced these barriers firsthand and is on a mission to eliminate them.
Pattie is a Regional Technology Transfer Specialist at the US Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development, Technology Transfer Program. Pattie was chosen as Technology Transfer Rookie of the Year for her success in addressing educational gaps in the VA technology transfer process.
During this episode, Pattie talks about some of the programs and strategies that the Federal government and US universities are working to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA).
In This Episode:
[00:38] The Executive Order signed by President Biden in June 2021.
[01:03] Introducing today’s guest, Patricia Cullum.
[03:23] Pattie explains how the US government is advancing DEIA in the Federal workforce.
[04:59] The uphill battle that women have faced in the workforce.
[06:03] Our personal experiences of the gender pay gap.
[06:57] How government bodies can set an example for the private sector with regard to enhancing DEI.
[08:08] VA programs that help uplift people with disabilities.
[09:17] Pattie’s thoughts on how universities can advance DEI.
[10:36] What research shows about DEI advancements.
[12:31] Examples of government programs that universities can work with to enhance DEI.
[14:31] The best ways to share resources relating to DEI.
[15:39] Pattie shares her thoughts on how to break down the barriers that prevent underserved communities from becoming patent holders and inventors.
[16:49] Advice for how to get started with DEI initiatives.
[17:58] What Pattie sees as success in the DEI space.
Veteran Affairs Office of Research and Development
United States Patent and Trademark Office
Technology Transfer in Educational Institutions vs. the Federal Government with Trina Voss
After working as an interrogator for the US Army and running a scuba shop (among other things), Trina spent 15 years working in technology transfer departments at educational institutions before moving to the Portland VA Medical Center, where she is currently a Technology Transfer Specialist (and the only VA technology transfer professional in the state of Oregon).
Although her title contains the word specialist, her very diverse educational and career background makes her more of a generalist and, as you will hear today, has benefited her enormously in her career.
During this episode, Trina shares why she chose to move from educational institutions to the federal government, the similarities and differences between the two spheres, and her advice for anyone considering making the transition.
In This Episode:
[00:40] Introducing Trina Voss, a Technology Transfer Specialist at the Portland VA Medical Center
[02:04] An overview of Trina’s diverse educational and career background.
[03:53] The email that came at just the right moment in Trina’s life.
[04:50] Why Trina thinks of herself as a generalist and how this has benefited her as a technology transfer professional.
[06:30] Trina shares what motivated her to advance her career through technology transfer certifications and what she learned from them.
[08:10] Why, after 15 years working in technology transfer in educational institutions, Trina moved to the federal government (and some of the biggest differences between the two).
[09:59] The primary goal of VA Medical Centers.
[10:56] Challenges that VA Medical Centers face.
[11:58] How Trina’s time working in university technology transfer offices prepared her for her current role.
[14:41] Trina’s biggest challenge and biggest success at the Portland VA Medical Center.
[16:54] What Trina is most proud of.
[17:52] Advice for any technology transfer professionals thinking about transitioning move from an academic institution to a government one.
Trina Voss on LinkedIn
A Year of AUTM Advocacy with Mike Waring
For the last episode of the year, we are doing a deep dive into what AUTM’s 2022 advocacy activities have consisted of. It was a fruitful and energizing year for AUTM (though not without its fair share of challenges), and there is nobody better than today’s guest, Mike Waring, to share this overview with us.
Mike has been involved in Washington politics for over 40 years and is currently a consultant to AUTM on advocacy issues and chair of AUTM’s Public Policy Advisory Committee.
In this informative and insightful episode, we discuss the benefits of the CHIPS and Science Act, the problems with the DOE’s Declaration of Exceptional Circumstances, AUTM’s approach to preventing unrestricted access to patented therapeutics and diagnostics, and more. This conversation will leave you feeling grateful for the work that AUTM is doing and excited about the year ahead.
In This Episode:
[00:50] Introducing today’s guest, AUTM consultant Mike Waring.
[01:55] Examples of AUTM’s advocacy activities in 2022.
[02:16] Some of the challenges that AUTM faced over the past year.
[03:34] Mike explains how the CHIPS and Science Act came into being and how it will benefit technology transfer offices.
[08:37] Understanding the DOE’s Declaration of Exceptional Circumstances and how AUTM has responded to it.
[11:49] The issue of march-in rights and AUTM’s approach to pushing back against them.
[15:35] The role that AUTM has played in preventing unrestricted access to patented therapeutics and diagnostics.
[18:27] What the Pride in Patent Ownership Act is and why it is a dangerous proposal.
[22:16] Reasons for optimism with respect to Section 101.
[26:40] Mike’s thoughts on what technology transfer offices should focus on in the coming years.
[30:25] Details about the special panel that Mike is going to be a part of at the 2023 AUTM Annual Meeting.
2023 AUTM Annual Meeting
Innovation Center on campus
That was an insightful conversation to starting an innovation center at JSU — way to go HBCUs and AUTM-EDI!