Technology Transfer Office of University of Colorado
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CU Technology Commercialization Clinic
Pilot program: 2011-12 academic year – view as PDF

The CU Technology Commercialization Clinic is an initiative to provide training on intellectual property and research commercialization to CU graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. The goal of this program is to proactively open a new avenue of communication with the Technology Transfer Office, which should enhance the flow of inventions from research labs to the marketplace.

The Technology Transfer Office is recruiting graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to help identify inventions that have potential for commercialization. The  CU Technology Commercialization Clinic will train participants in intellectual property identification and protection, while also providing an opportunity for hands-on experience with the technology commercialization process.

This program offloads some of the technology transfer activities from faculty Principal Investigators to trusted and capable members of the research team. Clinic participants will help identify inventions, assess their patentability and understand their commercial prospects. Graduate students and post-doctoral fellows will receive training and have an understanding of technology transfer and intellectual property protection, which are valuable skills in both university and industry settings. Exposure to these business and legal issues can open the door to new opportunities for those students and post-doctoral fellows who are seeking alternative career paths.

Get Involved
TTO is seeking graduate students and post-doctoral fellows who have a strong interest in technology transfer and research commercialization. Participants are welcome from both bioscience and physical science fields. Clinic participants will need to commit 10 hours/month to the program during the fall and spring semesters, which includes the following:

  • Attend three 2/3-day meetings with TTO staff and guest speakers (October, February, April)
  • Attend two 2-hour meetings with TTO staff and speakers at the TTO (November, March)
  • Attend two TTO events (December, January)
  • Work with a TTO case manager on a technology commercialization project on an ongoing basis throughout the academic year
  • Conduct a preliminary prior art and patentability search
  • Meet periodically with patent attorney mentors to discuss questions and the technology commercialization project
  • Survey faculty members,  grad students, and post-docs about inventions and technologies that are being developed in their labs
  • Refer other inventors to the TTO for invention disclosures

Patent attorneys have volunteered time to mentor Clinic participants in intellectual property protection. These mentors will give guest speaker presentations at  meetings and hold group discussions, and will answer questions or concerns at any time via email and in-person meetings. During the spring, serial entrepreneurs, investors and operating company executives will be introduced in the program as commercialization mentors for select cases, to address issues relevant to commercialization in their domains of experience.

Introductory Meeting
The program will begin with a 2/3 day session (October 28, 2011) with an agenda as follows:

9:00            Coffee
9:15            Welcome, Introductions around the table,  CU Technology Commercialization Clinic overview
10:00          Technology Transfer at CU
11:00          TTO process overview
11:45          Team-building exercise
12:15          Lunch
1:00            Patent attorney guest speaker: From Scientific Finding to Intellectual Property Protection
2:00            Adjourn

Monthly Events
The goal of the monthly events will be for Clinic participants to learn about intellectual property and technology transfer, while addressing their specific questions and concerns. Food and refreshments will be provided at the TTO meetings, which will be attended by part of TTO staff and some mentors depending on the topic. The following is a tentative schedule and topics for the meetings and events:

November 10, 2011 - Invention Disclosure and Evaluation Process - interactive presentation and group discussions with TTO staff and mentors

Early December, 2011 - Dissecting a Patent - on-campus event with a case-study panel session with an inventor and patent attorney

January 17, 2012 - Special Reception & TTO Annual Awards Dinner - opportunity to network and interact with Clinic participants, mentors and TTO staff. Clinic participants are encouraged to attend awards ceremony.

February 3, 2012 - Entrepreneurial Ecosystem/ Marketing/ Commercialization - interactive presentations with guest speakers, TTO staff and mentors

March 8, 2012 - Special Topics in Patents - interactive presentation and group discussions with a patent attorney

April 20, 2012 - Technology Road Map and Funding Opportunities - final interactive session with guest speakers, TTO staff and mentors


David Poticha
Anschutz Medical Campus

Kate Tallman

Technology Transfer Office