What is Tech Transfer?
Technology transfer is, in its broadest definition, the turning over of "know how" from one person or entity to another. This "turning over" may be accomplished in several ways. Among the best known and most widely used informal “transfer” mechanism is scholarly publication.
University agricultural and manufacturing extension programs are another commonly recognized means of transfer.
A more formal approach and narrower definition within the business sector of the economy is the transfers of intellectual property or manufactured devices, prototypes or materials, by
means of a legal instrument, such as the sale or licensing of a patent. With the Bayh-Dole Act, passed by Congress in 1980, this more formal approach of technology transfer has also become much more commonplace among universities and federal agencies engaged in R&D.
The Bayh-Dole is a primary driver supporting the commercialization of federally funded R&D. Congress concluded that incentives such as ownership and the right to income generated through licensing (or through commercial development in the case of small business) must be provided to
nonprofits and small businesses so they would invest in patenting and licensing and in the commercial development of federally funded inventions.
To the left are links to additional information on the subject of technology transfer. These links also include related information and resources for locating federal and university intellectual property available for licensing, programs for funding of R&D and technology commercialization, and related general resources..