The Clemson University Research Foundation (CURF) continues to evolve as a support organization to the Clemson University research enterprise and research faculty. CURF has assumed a dual-mandate by providing intellectual property management and professional business development expertise to increase industry – faculty engagements through commercialization/licensing of research innovations and sponsored research collaborations.
While these two technology transfer services are different, they can, if managed correctly, be complementary and lead to successful revenue-return upon commercial adoption of Intellectual Property (IP). The challenge lies in providing the bandwidth of support services necessary for the ideation, translation, and adoption of a highly diverse innovation portfolio emanating from the research activities of Clemson University’s research enterprise.
Over the past few months, CURF has been evaluating its disclosure intake, evaluation, and investment decision processes by asking, “what improvements can we make to our internal processes that maximize our licensing successes and realize a return on our intellectual property investment decisions?”
Today, based upon our analysis, I am pleased to announce the roll-out of our updated disclosure process. The changes that we have made are both structural and strategic in nature by providing a more targeted, efficient, and transparent submission and review process. Structurally, we have broken down our single all-encompassing disclosure form into three targeted disclosure forms based on the type of innovation. These include: “Device, Composition or Process,” “Copyright/Software,” and “Plant & Plant Variety Patent (PVP) Material.” Strategically, we have revamped our evaluation process by focusing on four critical commercialization success factors: technology readiness, market potential, value proposition, and IP strength. Our aim is to invest in innovations that, through continued sponsored research, can be de-risked by advancing the Technology Readiness Level (TRL), addressing a valid unmet market need, and establishing an enforceable intellectual property position thereby increasing the probability of commercial adoption.
We believe that these new processes will lead to successful engagement outcomes and increase the potential return on investment through growth in sponsored research support and commercial license transactions. However, success is not guaranteed by simply putting new processes in place. It takes commitment of both time and effort by the Innovator(s) and CURF across the continuum of commercialization from disclosure submission to commercial license and beyond. It is CURF’s hope that through a renewed focus supporting the sources of innovation, the research faculty at Clemson University, that we can serve as a trusted partner and collaborator through this highly complex, iterative process to help you achieve your research and commercialization goals to the benefit of society.