Technology Transfer

An introduction for researchers on university technology transfer and commercialization processes.

Interested? Demo Course
Scroll Down Arrow

About this Course

This course provides a comprehensive overview of university technology transfer and commercialization processes, including partnering with a technology transfer office (TTO), protecting intellectual property (IP), establishing appropriate agreements, and licensing to or starting a new company.

Through this course, learners will feel ready to collaborate with their TTOs as knowledgable and equal partners in advancing the development and commercialization of their discoveries.

This course was authored by Jahanara Ali, PhD, Joan & Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University; Sadhana Chitale, PhD, MBA, New York University Langone Medical Center; Andrew Koopman, MS, Biotechnology Business Consultant; and Eric F. Wagner, PhD, JD, Duke University & Medical Center. It was peer-reviewed by experts.

Course Preview:

Language Availability: English

Suggested Audiences: Faculty, Graduate Students, Post-Doctoral Fellows, Researchers, Staff Members

Organizational Subscription Price: $675 per year/per site for government and non-profit organizations; $750 per year/per site for for-profit organizations
Independent Learner Price: $99 per person

Demo Instructions

Course Content

Introduction to University Technology Transfer

This module introduces the university technology transfer and commercialization processes, including how to work with a technology transfer office. Learners will also explore the different types of intellectual property and agreements that are part of technology transfer.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 20192 (English)
Author(s): Jahanara Ali, PhD - Joan & Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University

How to Work with a Technology Transfer Office (TTO)

Technology transfer offices (TTOs) – sometimes referred to as technology licensing, technology commercialization, or innovation offices – are the administrative offices that link research discoveries to industry partners that have the resources and expertise to develop them into products or services.

This module provides a comprehensive overview of how TTOs, inventors, and universities work together throughout technology transfer and commercialization processes. It discusses the process of going from idea to product, the elements of an effective invention disclosure, the criteria the TTO uses to evaluate an invention disclosure, patent filing and prosecution expectations, marketing an invention to potential licensees and investors, the agreements to request from the TTO when outside parties express interest in an invention, and various university and inventor responsibilities and considerations.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 20193 (English)
Author(s): Andrew Koopman, MS - Biotechnology Business Consultant

Intellectual Property

Intellectual property (IP) encompasses creations of the mind for which the law affords protection. These include inventions, literary and artistic works, symbols, names and images, information, and the know-how that are used in commerce. One of the main roles of technology transfer offices is to support the identification, protection, and commercialization of university-derived inventions. IP is a critical component of this process and serves as the basis for commercialization of university research discoveries.

This module identifies different types of IP and the rights each type confers, describes patentability requirements, explains the patent application process, discusses the concepts of inventorship and ownership, and summarizes the role and management of IP in the technology transfer process.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 20194 (English)
Author(s): Eric Wagner, PhD, JD - Duke University & Medical Center


Agreements are a way for two or more individuals or parties to formalize a relationship they want to enter into, clarify in writing the role and obligations of each party during the term of an agreement, and provide a legal recourse to both parties if these obligations are not met.

This module explains the various agreements that a university may enter into with outside commercialization partners, key components of an agreement, issues that licensing professionals may encounter while negotiating agreements, and relevant terms and obligations that university researchers need to keep in mind.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 20195 (English)
Author(s): Sadhana Chitale, PhD, MBA - New York University Langone Medical Center

Licensing to and Starting a Company

One road to commercializing scientific discoveries developed in the laboratory is to start a company. Starting a company means that, rather than licensing the technology to an existing industry partner, the university licenses the technology to a newly formed entity where the inventor likely has a stake in ownership.

This module outlines the main steps involved in starting a life sciences company. It explains when it makes sense to form a new company and when it may be better to license a technology to an existing company with the resources to take it forward. As such, the module discusses how to work with a Technology Transfer Office (TTO) to license a technology from a university to a new company. Since many TTOs require a commercialization plan before they agree to license a technology to a new company, the module briefly covers the elements of writing a formal business plan.

In addition, the module covers the operational side of starting a company, including the different types of legal entities involved in the process and the necessary steps to select and reserve a corporate name and domain name. It further discusses funding for prototype and early stage companies, how to find investors for a company, how to find potential startup partners and first hires, and potential conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment when starting a company.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 20196 (English)
Author(s): Jahanara Ali, PhD - Joan & Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University

Bringing It All Together

This module reviews some of the key concepts discussed in the course, including invention disclosure, the different types of intellectual property, the identification of potential licensees and investors, the types of agreements used in technology transfer, and the different paths to successful commercialization.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 20197 (English)
Author(s): Jahanara Ali, PhD - Joan & Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University


Who should take the Technology Transfer course?

This course is designed for university faculty, researchers, post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, and staff members. It is particularly useful for learners who are seeking to understand technology transfer and commercialization processes and how to work with their TTO to succeed in getting their discoveries into the market. It is also beneficial to learners who may be involved in their university’s technology transfer processes and those who work in a TTO.

How long does it take to complete the Technology Transfer course?

This course consists of six modules. Each module contains detailed content and a quiz as well as images, supplemental materials, and case studies (when appropriate).

Modules vary in length, and learners may require different amounts of time to complete them based on their familiarity and knowledge of the topic. However, modules are each designed to take about 25 to 45 minutes to complete, which means the entire course could take around 3 to 5 hours to complete.

Is this course eligible for continuing medical education credits?

This course does not currently have CE/CME credits available.

What are the standard recommendations for learner groups?

This course is designed to be completed in its entirety and sequentially. A recommendation is to set all modules as “Required” for initial completion.

Learn More

Your Name(Required)
I'd Like To Receive Emails From CITI Program
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.