Public Release: 

Why tech transfer brings universities 'more than money'

University of South Florida (USF Innovation)

Tampa, Fla. (June 26, 2014) - Academic technology transfer - the process of moving research from the lab to the market - provides intrinsic benefits to universities that go far beyond any potential revenues from licenses and royalties.

So say the authors, from five universities across the country and the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), in a new article from the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) that appears in the current issue of Technology and Innovation and is available Open Access.

"More than Money: The Exponential Impact of Academic Technology Transfer" is the work of lead author Valerie Landrio McDevitt, former associate vice president at the University of South Florida (USF) and current executive director of AUTM, and co-authors, Joelle Mendez-Hinds of USF, David Winwood of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Vinit Nijhawan of Boston University (BU), Todd Sherer of Emory University, John F. Ritter of Princeton University, and Paul R. Sanberg of USF and the NAI. USF, UAB, BU and Emory are all Charter Member Institutions of the NAI.

According to the authors, the positive benefits of technology transfer for universities can be significant, including: a vibrant culture of entrepreneurship that promotes recruitment and retention of faculty, increased student success through participation in real world research, public benefits from applied research that seeks to address global challenges, economic development, increased opportunities for funding through inter-institutional and interdisciplinary grants, new start-ups and international research relationships, and increased prestige and fundraising from a stronger university brand.

"In the academic setting, technology transfer is a critical component for facilitating and sparking innovation within universities and helping to connect universities with commercial partners in the community," says co-author Paul R. Sanberg, who is founder and president of the NAI. "Technology transfer can be truly transformational to a university and to the community."


The authors:

Valerie Landrio McDevitt, a registered patent attorney, is executive director of the Association of University Technology Manager (AUTM). She received her J.D. at Emory University School of Law. Prior to joining AUTM, she served as the associate vice president for technology transfer and business incubation at the University of South Florida. She previously worked as a science advisor with a House subcommittee in Washington, D.C., and participated in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellowship program.

Joelle Mendez-Hinds is a patent marketing intern in the Technology Transfer Office/Division of Patents & Licensing at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

David Winwood is chief executive officer of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Research Foundation and senior associate vice president for Economic Development and Innovation Alliances. Prior to joining UAB, Winwood served North Carolina State University and The Ohio State University. He is a member of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness Regional Innovation Initiative Expert Committee and serves on boards of directors for the Council on Governmental Relations, Biotechnology Association of Alabama, Birmingham Venture Club, Innovation Depot, and TechBirmingham.

Vinit Nijhawan, is managing director of the Office of Technology Development and director of Enterprise Programs at the Institute of Technology at Boston University, Entrepreneurship & Commercialization (ITEC) at BU. He received his B.A.Sc. in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. He has more than twenty-five years of experience building five startups and was CEO of three of them. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of TiE Global, a non-profit that fosters entrepreneurship globally; special assistant to the vice president of research; and director of the Kindle Mentoring Program at BU.

Todd Sherer, is associate vice president for research administration and executive director of the Office of Technology Transfer at Emory University. He received his Ph.D. in toxicology at Washington State University. Prior to joining Emory, he was director of the Office of Technology and Research Collaborations at Oregon Health & Science University. He served as president of AUTM and is a registered patent agent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

John F. Ritter, is director of the Office of Technology Licensing at Princeton University. Prior to joining Princeton, he served as a senior licensing professional at Rutgers University. He is secretary of the Review Panel on Conflict of Interest in Research. He received his J.D. from Rutgers School of Law and his M.B.A from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Paul R. Sanberg, is senior vice president for research and innovation and Distinguished University Professor at the University of South Florida, and founder and president of the National Academy of Inventors. He is an inventor on over 30 licensed health-related U.S. patents and a highly cited author with more than 600 publications. He is a Fellow of the AAAS, NAI, Royal Societies (Medicine, Chemistry and Public Health), AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassador, and serves on the evaluation committee of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation for the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The National Academy of Inventors® is a 501c3 organization comprised of U.S. and international universities and non-profit research institutes. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with a patent issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society. Email; web

The editorial offices of Technology and Innovation are located in the USF Research Park, 3702 Spectrum Blvd., Suite 165, Tampa, Florida, 33612 USA. Tel: +1-813-974-1347. Email

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