Not Everyone Thinks Free Agency Is the Answer
Free agency proponents assume that technology transfer offices are ineffective and a bottleneck for the licensing process. They assume that faculty are unilaterally dissatisfied with the current technology transfer process. AUTM disagrees.
If you are an inventor who thinks technology transfer is working fine, we want to hear from you. If you work with faculty who are pleased with the technology transfer process, we would like your help reaching out to them. Please send testimonials to Jodi Talley, AUTM Communications Director at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that the opinions expressed here belong to the individuals making the statements. These opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the employing institutions.
Comments in support of the use of technology transfer professionals for university technology transfer, Professor Larry L. Howell, Ph.D., Department of Mechanical Engineering, Brigham Young University 25 April 2012
"For many years I have enjoyed a productive collaborative relationship with technology transfer professionals who have transferred to industry the technology developed in my university research. Their understanding of the university mission and policies, industry norms, and technology transfer laws and processes has been critical for maintaining consistency with our academic mission, avoiding conflicts of interest, compensating for voids in academics’ business knowledge, and efficiently transferring technology to companies that can commercialize our results.
In my experience, the speed at which university technology transfer occurs is not limited by the work of the technology transfer professionals, but rather by the fact that there remains a large gap between where university research ends and where commercial production begins. The introduction of free agency in technology transfer does not address that problem, and instead introduces new challenges that will likely slow the transfer process and result in more harm than good. Free agency would not only increase the time it takes to manage technology, but it would increase misunderstandings over ownership, create conflicts between commercialization and the university’s academic mission, and damage industry’s perception of working with universities."