First of its kind partnership provides educational material for university faculty and research staff
Texas A&M University Innovation Partners has completed a new educational project in partnership with AUTM, the non-profit leader in efforts to advance research innovations from the lab to the marketplace.
For the past two years, Innovation Partners has provided faculty, staff and students at Texas A&M University with free access to AUTM’s educational library, which contains hours of professional development webinars on various commercialization and entrepreneurship topics, such as invention disclosure assessment; intellectual property protection; the patent process; industry-academia collaborations; and SBIR/STTR funding, among other topics.
Through this partnership, AUTM will host a course curated by Innovation Partners, Basics of Technology Transfer for University Faculty and Research Staff, in their Learning Center beginning July 28, 2021. The course will be made available to AUTM Members and those in industry for a fee and will be offered to Texas A&M University employees and students free of charge.
Beth Deuermeyer, Education Concierge at Innovation Partners, explains how this partnership offers individuals a way to easily access the information they’re seeking.
“AUTM’s educational library is extensive,” Deuermeyer explained. “The course we have created takes the guesswork out of the inventor or tech transfer office having to decide whether a webinar is applicable to them or not.”
The course is intended to help enrollees understand the societal benefit and economic impact of technology transfer, as well as increase understanding and support of the role of technology transfer among senior university administrators, policy makers, and the general public. AUTM and Innovation Partners also hope this will lead to strengthened relationships between university faculty and staff members and TTOs and increased understanding of the value of commercialization to the institution and its stakeholders.
Michael Sharer, Associate Vice President for Commercialization and Executive Director at Innovation Partners, is excited to be partnering with AUTM on this initiative.
“Texas A&M University Innovation Partners is pleased to be working with AUTM, and to be helping to support their mission, while also helping to educate A&M faculty, staff, and graduate students,” said Sharer “In today’s world, we believe it’s important to train and educate new graduate students, faculty, and others on intellectual property, commercialization, and new venture concepts as part of their overall professional development while at A&M.”
This partnership and the course born out of it help to promote both institutions, as well as inventors and tech transfer offices beyond A&M. Barbara Gunderson, Professional Development Director at AUTM, who is enthusiastic about the course, said that the partnership is in keeping with the AUTM mission and strategic plans of supporting and empowering technology transfer worldwide.
“The AUTM Membership has expressed interest in educational content for researchers and university upper management regarding technology transfer and its benefits to the university and economic development, including topics on how to work with the technology transfer office,” Gunderson said.
The seeds of this effort were planted in 2020 when Deuermeyer began to develop a curriculum using AUTM’s content to help educate faculty and research staff on various topics important to the commercialization process. The existing setup, however, required learners to navigate multiple platforms to access the desired resources, hindering the user experience. This is when Deuermeyer approached AUTM for help.
“We each saw a unique opportunity to partner on this project which brings together the AUTM educational content and the expertise of Innovation Partners staff to identify content tailored to the needs of researchers,” Gunderson said.
Learners will now be able to take the course virtually via AUTM Learning Center and it will be made available for purchase by other universities and organizations.
The course includes several sections taking the learner from invention disclosure all the way through the licensing of a technology, where throughout, learners will complete assessments, writing assignments, and engage in discussions with other learners. Learners can earn a certificate and CEU credit upon completion of the course.
“The more faculty and research staff can understand the work of the TTO and the commercialization process, the better relationship there will be between the two and the smoother the process towards commercialization. Understanding the process may also increase the number of research ideas brought to the attention of the TTO,” said Gunderson. “It will enhance the partnership between researchers and the TTO.”
About Texas A&M University Innovation Partners
Texas A&M University Innovation Partners is the designated member commercialization office for the Texas A&M University system member, and is focused on harvesting new innovations born from the Texas A&M University research community, evaluating and facilitating the commercialization process for the identified inventions to help usher technology from the lab to the marketplace. As one of four member commercialization offices within the Texas A&M University System, Innovation Partners works in coordination with Texas A&M System Technology Commercialization and peer member offices to promote an innovative and entrepreneurial culture among the university research community, encouraging and welcoming the development of industry partnerships to expand opportunities for commercialization, further economic development, and ultimately impact the lives of people locally, nationally, and globally.
AUTM is the non-profit leader in efforts to educate, promote and inspire professionals to support the development of academic research that changes the world and drives innovation forward. Our community is comprised of more than 3,000 members who work in more than 800 universities, research centers, hospitals, businesses and government organizations around the globe. To learn more about AUTM, visit www.autm.net.
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