An invention, innovation or new technology is a seed of a product or application. It faces any number of challenges during the development process including the possibilities of:
- Being so new that the marketplace and consumers don't even recognize their need for it
- Not having products and applications based on the new technology that are well enough defined
- Difficulties assessing its economic value
- Being a high risk application to produce and sell
The role of a formal technology process is to identify and evaluate technologies. Inventions must be protected through patent applications or other intellectual property protections. A marketing strategy needs to be created for new products as well as identifying licensees, monitoring their progress of bringing the technology to application and protecting it against infringement. A formal technology transfer process assures that each of these critical steps are completed.
Typically a technology transfer office will:
- Review inventions before any submissions or public disclosures
- Evaluate whether the invention or technology has enough public or market value to warrant the patent prosecution funding
- Determine whether the invention can be patented
Successful technology transfer requires an institutional commitment to the process at all level.s. Innovations are everywhere, but it takes an encouraging culture to bring those innovations to bear fruit.