Career Options Series: Technology Transfer

OITE’s Career Options Series will give you a snapshot overview of different career paths. The goal of this series is to help you explore a variety of different options by connecting you to new resources. A large part of making a good career decision is done by gathering information about that field. We encourage you to follow up this online research by conducting informational interviews with individuals in each field. Search the NIH Alumni Database to find alums doing similar work.

What is Technology Transfer?

Cartoon image of a scientist throwing puzzle pieces to an administrator and then technician
Technology transfer is the sharing of scientific and technological advances from one enterprise, institution, or country to another for further development and commercialization in the fields of science, health, agriculture, industry, business, etc.

What can be transferred?
Technology transfer includes discoveries, inventions, innovations, and intellectual property like patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. Tech transfer includes patenting and licensing.

Sample Job Titles
Licensing and Patenting Associate; Licensing and Patenting Manager; Technology Transfer Specialist; Technology Transfer Policy Specialist; Royalties Assistant; Royalties Coordinator; Marketing Coordinator; Monitoring and Enforcement Officer; Senior Licensing and Patenting Manager; Senior Advisor for Licensing; Senior Advisor for Intellectual Property Transactions; Senior Technology Transfer Policy; Advisor; Senior Royalties Administrator; Senior Monitoring and Enforcement Officer; Senior Expert Monitoring and Enforcement; Senior Advisor for Monitoring and Enforcement

Sample Work Settings
Government Agencies; Government Contractors; Universities; For-Profit Companies; Patent Law Firms, Trade Organizations, Non-Profit Organizations

Sample Employers
NIH Office of Technology Transfer (OTT)
University of Pennsylvania Center for Tech Transfer
Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM)
Licensing Executive Society (LES)

Key Skills
– Strong science background and understanding of the needs of scientific community
– Technology transfer knowledge, including: patents, IP, licensing, policies/laws, standard agreements and procedures
– People skills, especially the ability to deal with multiple constituencies while working as a member of a team
– Communications skills, both verbal and written
– Negotiation skills – in tech transfer, negotiations go around license agreements with inventors, owners, other parties, etc.
– Time and management skills

How to get started
• Fellowships/Internships in NIH OTT, NCI, NICCK, NIAID, NHLBI, etc!
• Patent Examiners (USPTO)
• Patent Agents/Attorneys (Law Firms)
– Technology Transfer courses/certificates (FAES)
– Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Technology Transfer Training
– Intellectual Property classes/programs
– Meetings (AUTM, LES)
– Other degrees: JD or MBA

Professional Organizations
American Associations of University Technology Matters
Licensing Executive Society
Alliance of Technology Transfer Professionals
Association of European Science and Technology Transfer Professionals
Technology Transfer Society

Additional Resources
OITE’s How To Series: Technology Transfer, including an archived video, slides, and more resources!

Coming up in the Career Options Series, we will be highlighting the field of Regulatory Affairs.


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