Innovation Framework proposed to advance research and tech transfer

Patricia Hurn, Ph.D., vice chancellor for research and innovation at The University of Texas System, today introduced to the UT System Board of Regents Technology Transfer and Research Committee a proposed Innovation Framework for 2014 designed to strengthen and advance industry and commercialization paths for emerging research within UT System universities and academic health centers.

Currently, UT System’s research and commercialization engine drives $3.1 billion in total sponsored programs, including federal, state and private research grants and contracts. The System receives a U.S. patent every two days; signs a commercialization agreement every three days; and starts a new company every nine days.

The Innovation Framework will take technology commercialization to the next level and is under development by the UT System Office of Technology Commercialization in collaboration with the Office of Strategic Initiatives. It is packaged as four new initiatives with roots from UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa’s A Framework for Advancing Excellence:

  • The first initiative focuses on developing a deep understanding of research “product inventory” and proposes the creation of a research/commercialization data warehouse with analytical platforms, extending the current capabilities of the UT System Productivity Dashboard.
  • The second initiative capitalizes on UT System’s 2013 inaugural FreshAIR roundtable and recommendations from FreshAIR's industry advisory group on how to best develop new partnerships in the areas of biopharmaceuticals and biomedical devices.
  • The third initiative focuses on developing a new approach to educating and advancing student and faculty entrepreneurs, a key ingredient in advancing novel research and products that impact the state’s economy.
  • The fourth initiative involves evaluating UT System’s current intellectual property rules and procedures.

“To take our discovery enterprise to the next level of vibrancy, we really need a framework,” Hurn said. “It will improve all aspects of our processes here.”

A full proposal will be presented to the Board of Regents at a later date.