Email list hosting service & mailing list manager

Re: Tech Transfer Models Michael Odza 17 Oct 1996 12:01 EST

Erin, I took the liberty of cross-posting your request for tech transfer
models on the university tech transfer list, techno-l, and so far, have
received just this one response. Perhaps I too didn't quite understand the
nature of your request. I'm sure you know that almost every research
university  and many doctoral universities and medical schools have some
variation on a freestanding tech transfer office, including UCLA. In most
cases, I think  it's assumed that the tech transfer aspect of all research
on campus, center or no, is handled by the central office.  (Have you talked
to Claire Wake about this?)

Within the tech transfer community there's an ongoing debate on what factors
contribute to success, and indeed how success itself should be defined, and
measured. (In fact there's a thread on techno-l right now.) For a center to
have its own tech transfer operation, several conditions must be met, or
questions answered..
1. The rights/responsibilities/turf of the existing office must be dealt with.
2. The goals of the freestanding operation must be clarified: is it expected
to pay for itself from royalties earned? (That would be difficult in under 5
to 7 years,  and most tech transfer people will estimate that you need
$40-50 million a year in research to support a profitable office...)
3.  Will sufficient resources be provided to pay for staff, patent expenses,
marketing, overhead in the interim, or indefinitely, if the tech transfer
office is intended to be a service operation, not a profit center?
4.  If the center will have significant industry involvement, as many do, or
hope to, the companies may lobby hard for pre-arranged rights to the
technology. Is the university willing to sacrifice control of the
intellectual property in advance in exchange for the research support? It's
a tempting bargain, but it's not always necessary to submit to onerous terms.
 And so on. (I've got to get back to work!)

To answer your question more directly, there are a very few centers that
have independent tech transfer offices. (Sometimes a medical or engineering
school within a university will have an assigned tech transfer
representative to facilitate closer contact with that faculty, but they are
not freestanding.)  Probably the most innovative and successful, is the
Center for Advanced Technology Development at Iowa State U and Ames National
Lab,  run by Lisa Kuuttila, 515/294-2067. It isn't a research center in the
typical definition, but it draws on a subset of the researchers, and lives
on grants and some day, royalties.

>From: "Nechama Bassewitch-Frankel" <>
>Organization: Weizmann Institute of Science
>To: (Michael Odza)
>Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 09:49:37 +200
>Subject: Re: Tech Transfer Models
>X-Confirm-Reading-To: "Nechama Bassewitch-Frankel"
>X-pmrqc: 1
>Return-receipt-to: "Nechama Bassewitch-Frankel" <>
>I am not quite sure I understood your request, but
>should your interest relate to  technology transfer
>entity/unit within a university, I am "at your service".
>Yeda R&D Co. Ltd has been in existence for over 30
> years and deals with commercializing the inventions
> of the scientists of the Weizmann Institute of Science.
>We either licence them to wellknown commercial
>entities or establish start-ups with investors.
>Funding research in the scope of interest of such
>entity is in most cases a substantial part of the
> agreement in adition to other consideration for
>the licence.
>Please feel free to call me and discuss the matters
>you are concerned with.
>Nechama Bassewithch Frankel, Adv.
>Vice President legal affairs
>Yeda R&D Co. Ltd.
>Weizmann Institute of Science
>P.O.Box 95 , Rehovot 76100
>Tel ++972 8 9470617/8
>fax ++972 8 9470 739


Michael Odza, Publisher
Technology Access Report,  Intellectual Property Advice (for researchers),
Technology Express News (daily, via,
 and other tools for professionals and executives in technology transfer...
8 Digital Dr., Suite 250
Novato, CA 94949-5759
800/733-1516 (415/883-7600), fax 415/883-6421

"Our Mission: To help you speed innovation from lab to market."