The Tech Transfer IP Forum is devoted to providing in-depth analysis of intellectual property issues related to university and non-profit technology transfer. The forum will focus on life sciences, including biotechnology, chemical, medical device, pharmaceutical, and agricultural-related inventions, and will deliver updates on current domestic and international patent law relevant to technology transfer through blog posts, webinars and podcasts.
Unstoppable Growth with Abram Goldfinger
When Abram Goldfinger arrived in New York, there was little significant entrepreneurial activity taking place. In part through his efforts, it is now a thriving entrepreneurial hub. An example which illustrates this point is the fact that NYU’s Technology Opportunity and Ventures (TOV) office, of which Abram is the Executive Director, has gone from launching 2 or 3 startups a year in the early 2000’s to almost 20 over the past few years!
In today’s episode, Abram talks us through his educational background and what drew him to the field of technology transfer. We discuss how TOV is structured, the various forms of support that they offer to inventors and entrepreneurs, and the importance of maintaining strong working relationships.
The success that TOV has achieved since Abram has been involved is astounding, and his optimism about the future of technology transfer is infectious!
In This Episode:
[00:51] An introduction to today’s guest, Abram Goldfinger.
[02:09] Abram’s educational background, and how it led him to the world of technology transfer.
[04:32] A description of the work being done by Technology Opportunities and Ventures (TOV), NYUs technology transfer program.
[06:18] How TOVs investment approach has evolved over the time that Abram has led the program.
[11:35] The goal of the NYU Langone Health Venture Fund.
[12:51] Team members who make up the TOV team, and some of their achievements over the past year.
[14:40] What Abram sees as a major key to success in the technology transfer field.
[16:39] How Abram and his team support start-ups that come out of NYU.
[19:21] Examples of industry relationships that TOV has formed.
[22:35] Philanthropic organizations that TOV has worked with.
[25:15] The two most successful product inventions that TOV has been involved in.
[26:22] Abram shares more successful ventures that TOV has helped bring to the world.
[29:29] Challenges that TOV faces, and how Abram and his team deal with them.
[32:00] How TOV supports underrepresented groups in the technology transfer field.
[34:18] Abram and his teams’ involvement with AUTM (and other organizations of a similar nature).
[36:51] Value that Abram sees in the process of achieving credentials in the technology transfer field.
[38:28] What Abram hopes TOVs future is going to look like.
Embracing Evolution in Technology Transfer with Alice Li
If you aren’t aware of the extent of the depth and breadth of technology transfer, this episode with Alice Li will leave you with a whole new understanding and appreciation of the field.
As the Director of the Centre for Technology Licensing (CTL) at Cornell University, and with 18 years of university technology transfer under her belt, Alice is well positioned to discuss the way the field has evolved over time, and to offer advice on how to approach this continuously changing environment.
Alice’s management and licensing expertise is matched by her desire to serve; a powerful combination which she is using to catalyze meaningful developments in the technology transfer space!
In This Episode:
[00:50] A rundown of Alice’s educational and career history.
[03:05] The interdisciplinary nature of the technology transfer field, and how Alice was introduced to it.
[05:16] How technology transfer has evolved over the years.
[05:56] Alice explains the role of Cornell’s Centre for Technology Licensing (CTL).
[07:47] Growth that Cornell’s gap funding series has experienced over the past few years, and the different stages that make up the series.
[11:49] The venture funding environment at Cornell University.
[12:58] How the CTL office is structured, and why it is structured in this way.
[17:01] Variety that exists in the types of ecosystems that CTL works with.
[18:12] The upsides and downsides of the COVID-19 pandemic for CTL.
[19:34] Why Alice believes that defining and measuring progress is a key to success.
[22:16] How the people you surround yourself with play a role in determining your outcomes.
[24:20] Cornell’s approach to supporting start-up’s.
[27:41] Alice shares some of Cornell’s biggest success stories.
[31:00] Examples of how the technology transfer field is continuously changing, and the mindset that Alice has adopted in order to deal with it.
[33:32] The importance of having a global reach and perspective.
[36:17] How CTL is working towards enhancing diversity and inclusion.
[39:31] Professional organizations that CTL is involved with.
[42:43] Alice’s recently appointed role at AUTM, and what drove her to take it on.
[45:10] Value that Alice sees in credentialing.
[47:18] Hopes that Alice has for the future of CTL.
Technology Transfer in Austria with Markus Wanko
Today’s guest is Markus Wanko, the Head of Technology Transfer at TWIST, which is the Tech Transfer organization for the Institute of Science and Technology (IST) in Austria.
Markus has been driving the development of IST Park, the technology park adjacent to IST Austria and IST Cube, a science and tech-based seed fund.
Markus came to TWIST after a 15-year career in investing and strategy. Specifically, Markus’ background is in venture capital investing with Safeguard Scientifics and the European Investment Fund, strategy consulting with the Boston Consulting Group, and principal investment with QIA, one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds.
Over the course of his career, Markus has supported a broad range of startups in the process, energy, and tech industries.
In today’s episode, you’ll hear Markus discuss how he came to Austria and to TWIST, how Tech Transfer in Austria compares to other countries, and how TWIST has been making an impact.
In This Episode:
[02:21] How Markus Wanko ended up in Austria and at TWIST.
[04:30] Markus talks about TWIST and IST Austria.
[06:46] We learn more about IST Park.
[08:19] IST Cube’s background.
[10:31] Venture funding can be difficult in Austria. What other fundings are available for Austrian startups?
[11:52] How tech transfer is handled in Austria and how it compares to the US and the UK.
[14:30] The role of the Austrian government in tech transfer.
[16:03] Markus’ office structure and his surprising team size.
[17:29] The benefits of having a Fellowship Program for the team.
[19:48] Markus addresses putting the total amount of inventions, disclosures, patent filings, and royalty revenues in the last five years into context.
[21:58] The most important aspect of managing innovations that gives them the greatest chance of success.
[24:01] Tech transfer offices can also make contributions to the success of managing innovations. Here’s how.
[24:32] Markus shares some examples of TWIST’s corporate partners.
[26:03] Markus reveals some successful technologies and startups that have come out of TWIST.
[28:10] Are there any big challenges for TWIST?
[30:07] The diversity, equity, and inclusion program at TWIST.
[32:50] Does credentialing in the tech transfer industry make a difference?
[34:45] Three wishes that Markus would make to improve his office.
The Long Road to Diversity with Natalie Cozier
“A society without black leaders and black researchers does not bear thinking about.”
Dr. Natalie Cozier is, among many other things, a black female doctor, scientist, researcher and consultant who has been subjected to abuse and harassment in the workplace, and in society in general, because of the color of her skin.
Despite this, she stays resilient, and this resilience has led her to have a very successful career in the technology transfer industry. She is now determined to make the industry that changed her life a more welcoming place for people from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds, and in today’s episode she explains the work that is needed to make this possible.
Join us today for a very powerful and insightful discussion on a very important topic.
In This Episode:
[00:46] Why today’s episode is extra special.
[01:18] Today’s guest, Dr. Natalie Cozier, shares some of the numerous characteristics that make her, her.
[03:00] Negative experiences that Natalie has had in the workplace, and in society as a whole, as a result of the color of her skin.
[04:34] Natalie shares why she is here today to share her story.
[05:07] The problem of not having role models that look like you.
[06:26] How Natalie has kept going despite the immense challenges that she has faced.
[07:24] Some treasured experiences from Natalie’s career.
[10:54] Why the UK research sector lacks diversity.
[14:06] Natalie shares some statistics which highlights the lack of diversity, equity and inclusion in the research sector in the UK.
[17:22] The benefits of working in a diverse organization.
[18:07] How the technology transfer field should be progressing in terms of diversity, equity and inclusion.
[22:10] What Natalie wishes she could tell her younger self.
[22:57] Three ways to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in the technology transfer sector.
Thriving Against the Odds with Alvaro Ossa
Today’s guest hails from Chile, a country which still has a long way to go in terms of its capacity for technology transfer, but being the home of many world-class scientists, and with people like today’s guest, Alvaro Ossa, leading the charge, the future looks bright.
For over 15 years Alvaro Ossa has combined his creativity with his engineering skills to head-up the R&D effort, IP protection and commercialization of research at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC). Despite a lack of government funding and a technology transfer policy, UC has achieved a number of major successes over the years, some of which you will hear about in today’s episode.
Among other valuable knowledge, Alvaro also shares the 6 golden rules for promoting successful technology transfer processes, which are detailed in his book. Alvaro’s passion for advancing the technology transfer ecosystem extends to the whole of Latin America; watch this space!
In This Episode:
[00:50] An introduction to today’s guest, Alvaro Ossa.
[03:23] Alvaro shares what drew him to the field of technology transfer.
[04:26] Some of the characteristics that make Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC) a stand-out educational institution in Chile.
[06:17] A broad overview of the economic ecosystem and technology transfer industry in Latin America.
[08:04] How the Chilean government is evolving to support technology transfer, and the work that still needs to be done.
[09:45] A major factor which makes partnerships between universities and the private sector challenging, and how UC is working to overcome this.
[11:04] How UC supports entrepreneurship.
[13:38] The venture capital fund set up by the UC, and what has been achieved through this funding stream.
[15:21] Alvaro explains how his office is structured, and how they divide up their work.
[16:39] What Alvaro’s office has been able to accomplish over the past year.
[18:03] The competition established by UC, and how it has benefited the university’s technology transfer field.
[12:12] Six golden rules proposed by Alvaro that promote successful technology transfer processes (which you can read more about in his book, Del laboratorio al mercado, currently available in Spanish).
[23:50] The most significant donation that UC has received.
[25:11] GeneproDX; what this UC spin-off company does.
[27:39] Alvaro shares some of UC’s other technology transfer success stories.
[29:06] The focus of Alvaro’s office.
[30:02] How UC is working towards enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion.
[31:01] Organizations that Alvaro is a part of, and the value that he sees in them.
[32:06] What Alvaro sees as the most important element of the technology transfer process.
[32:54] Three wishes that Alvaro has for the technology transfer industry.
“Don’t Close Doors Without Trying Something Out” with Lesley Millar-Nicholson
When Scottish physical education teacher, Lesley Millar-Nicholson, moved to America for her then partner, and now wife, she could never have imagined the career trajectory that lay ahead of her.
An internship in the technology transfer office at the University of Illinois (where she received her MBA) led to a licensing job, which in turn led to her becoming the director of the office. She held this position for 10 years before moving on to her current role as director of the Technology Licensing Office at MIT, which receives one of the highest volumes of inventions per year across all United States universities!
In today’s episode, you’ll hear about Lesley’s team, the various programs that they are involved in, MITs unique approach to corporate engagement, and the challenges that sit alongside the rewards. There are too many to name them all, but Lesley shares a few of the inventions and start-up’s which have come out of MIT’s technology transfer office, including one which landed them an Emmy.
In This Episode:
[00:51] Introducing today’s Scottish born and bred guest, Lesley.
[02:07] Lesley shares what brought her to America, and the journey that led her to the technology transfer field.
[04:24] Why Lesley feels so comfortable in the Northeast United States.
[05:45] What Lesley’s technology transfer team at MIT looks like, and their yearly volume of work.
[07:12] Examples of MIT’s innovation programs.
[08:51] An explanation of the Shirley Transformation Project.
[12:11] OSATT; Lesley explains the important role played by this organization at MIT.
[15:34] What drove the founding of TenU, and what this group of university technology transfer offices does together.
[17:59] How TenU has dealt with the changes that have come about as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.
[19:41] The sole focus of Lesley’s office, and how it is structured.
[21:20] Faculty satisfaction; why Lesley sees this, rather than traditional metrics, as a key to success in the technology transfer field.
[22:34] MIT’s unique and multi-faceted methods of corporate engagement.
[27:09] The prestigious award sitting in the MIT office.
[28:08] Some of the major technologies and start-up’s which have come out of MIT.
[31:35] Two of the biggest challenges being experienced by Lesley’s office.
[33:16] How MIT approaches issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.
[35:47] Comparing MIT’s number of female inventors with the national average, and how they are working towards lowering barriers to engagement.
[38:03] How potential female founders are treated differently to their male counterparts, and the negative impacts of this.
[40:57] Boards of which Lesley is, or has been, a member.
[42:23] Lesley’s opinion on the value of credentialing.
[43:40] Dreams that Lesley has for the future of her office.
Technology Licensing Office at MIT
Innovation Center on campus
That was an insightful conversation to starting an innovation center at JSU — way to go HBCUs and AUTM-EDI!