ASU, Penn form partnership to commercialize technology
In what is believed to be a unique relationship in higher education, Arizona State University (ASU) and the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) have entered into a partnership to assist one another with commercialization of selected technologies for their respective universities.
The collaboration will leverage the resources, networks, and contacts of Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE), ASU’s technology venturing arm, and the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Technology Transfer (CTT) for the purpose of transferring university technology to the marketplace.
“We are moving beyond the conventional tech transfer model by combining the collective resources of our offices for the mutual benefit of our respective clients,” says Augustine Cheng, managing director of AzTE. “Penn will likely have relationships that we do not have with certain companies or venture firms that may be interested in licensing or investing in ASU technology. Their licensing professionals will likely have expertise in fields that we lack in our office. The same will be true the other way around.”
Each university technology transfer office will share a percentage of any resulting income received by the other based on the amount of effort and activity involved in commercializing the technology. The universities will remain the owners of their respective intellectual property.
ASU already has innovative partnerships in place to translate university-created technologies into products for the benefit of society. AzTE has entered into separate global arrangements to market technologies developed by ASU's partner universities, Dublin City University in Ireland (through its technology commercialization organization, Invent DCU Limited) and Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico.
“This latest collaboration with Penn, along with those established with partner universities in Mexico and Ireland, constitutes an alternative pathway to commercialization of university technology in the public interest,” Cheng said.
Michael J. Cleare, associate vice provost and executive director of CTT at Penn, added, “The University of Pennsylvania has a robust technology pipeline, including technologies developed by faculty, researchers, and clinicians at one of the world’s leading medical schools and health systems. ASU’s signature research initiatives, such as the Biodesign Institute and those relating to flexible display technologies and sustainability, are highly complementary to Penn’s research.
"CTT has undergone significant changes over the last 18 months, particularly through the addition of experienced licensing professionals with extensive industry and investment experience, and this investment has led to a large increase in invention disclosures from our faculty. Our collaboration with AzTE will provide us with extra valuable resources for supporting our mission to transfer more of these technologies with the goal of public utilization. I am confident the results will be reciprocal and we look forward to working closely with AzTE to advance our mutual objectives," Cleare said.
AzTE was established in 2003 as an Arizona limited liability company and wholly-owned subsidiary of the ASU Foundation. Staffed by professionals with extensive industry and university experience in intellectual property and related business development, AzTE operates as the exclusive IP management and technology transfer organization for Arizona State University.
CTT was established in 1986 with the mission of transferring inventions and innovative knowledge from Penn to outside organizations for the benefit of society, including the licensing of Penn's intellectual property to new “Start Up” ventures for product development and commercialization. CTT serves as a bridge between Penn faculty and researchers and the business community through the patenting, marketing, and licensing of technologies and the generation of sponsored research programs.