Impediments to Tech Transfer—and Solutions
The Impediments Universities, federal labs and research institutes do not have adequate incentives to commercialize ideas. These “idea factories” have [...]
May 18 2014 by William J. Holstein
- Universities, federal labs and research institutes do not have adequate incentives to commercialize ideas.
- These “idea factories” have an incentive to charge large, up-front royalties rather than accept shares in successful start-ups that may not yield gains for several years.
- Ph.D. inventors inside these idea factories do not have enough personal connections with business-minded people with MBAs.
- Tech institutions do not know how to build teams with the right combination of skills to commercialize an idea.
- Would-be entrepreneurs emerging from a lab lack access to seed-stage capital to test their ideas in the market.
- Established businesses looking for new ideas may want to strike quick deals that secure control of a technology.
- Alter federal funding methods to encourage not just basic research but also encourage commercialization efforts. Allocate funding, for example, to technology-transfer offices, including the writing of patents.
- Persuade idea factory leaders that they will achieve greater, long-term financial gains by making it easier and cheaper for technologies to be spun out. No longer require tech-transfer offices to fund their own operations from licensing fees.
- Create social-networking events where technologists meet with potential CEOs, as well as marketers, financial mavens and manufacturing experts. Break down rigid, vertical siloes in universities between engineering and business schools.
- Create more incubators just outside the idea factory’s walls to serve as crossroads for different types of talent.
- Encourage early-stage investors and venture capitalists to go to events inside technology institutions to meet people with the best ideas.
- Business leaders must recognize that successful technol- ogy transfer requires more than just licensing a patent.