Essential Skills for a Successful Tech Transfer Professional

Are you prepared for a career in Tech Transfer? Four important questions you should be able to answer if you work, or want to work, in Technology Transfer.

Technology Transfer truly is a niche field requiring a specialized knowledge of licensing, patents, and business development.  It is also a relatively newer specialty, really getting its start in the 1980s with the Bayh-Dole Act.

It is very important to understand the role Technology Transfer plays in the entire innovation ecosystem. Someone can have patent, business development, startup, or research experience without truly understanding how the technology transfer process works. And while we do recruit for these other roles, when the main focus of the position is technology transfer (common titles include licensing manager, officer or associate, and business development manager), we will ask these questions to make sure you know this process inside and out:

1. Have you ever reviewed an invention disclosure?

Why We Ask: An integral part of the technology transfer process is working with inventors and assessing their technology for both patent and marketability, so we want to make sure you have experience reviewing invention disclosures.

2. What does business development mean to you?

Why We Ask: The next step after assessing the new invention is looking for a business partner to license or support the further development of the technology.  Most technologies coming from universities or nonprofit research institutions are very early stage.  Business Development has many different meanings depending on the position. The role of business development in tech transfer is to build partnerships with companies and startups to get the technology into the marketplace.

3. Have you ever negotiated a licensing agreement?

Why We Ask: This is the ultimate goal of technology transfer. This is a skill every tech transfer professional needs to know. So this question tells us a lot about your knowledge of the field.

4. What is AUTM?

Why We Ask: If you say the season between summer and winter… you would be wrong. AUTM is THE association for university technology managers. If you are working in tech transfer, you would be a member, or at least have attended some of their events. If you haven’t, is the place to start to learn more about tech transfer.

Learn more about the Anatomy of a License Agreement here.

Learn more about the Outlicensing Process here.

Keep an eye on our Open Jobs; you never know when something will come along that fits your qualifications and expertise!