To turn an invention into a marketable product that can benefit society, you need, above all else, the right people involved. That’s the premise behind a new $2.4 million statewide program called the Tech Transfer Talent Network. It is led by the University of Michigan and funded through a grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
The network includes seven universities and regions with strong research-based technology opportunities or clusters of talent, and in some cases, both. In addition to U-M, members are: Wayne State University, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, Western Michigan University, Grand Valley State University and Oakland University. Each university is also collaborating with its regional economic development organization to promote increased access to mentors and partnering businesses.
The primary goal of the Tech Transfer Talent Network is to increase the supply of seasoned entrepreneurs and innovators who can lend their expertise to university tech transfer offices. These connections will serve as important bridges to launch technology-based startups or license university inventions to established companies. The program will allow other state universities in the network to share and benefit from the tech transfer resources developed at U-M.
"Most people agree that the core problem holding back economic vitality is having available talent, especially in the Midwest. We aim to change that," said Ken Nisbet, executive director of U-M Tech Transfer. "You may get early stage internal development funding, but if you cannot find the talent to assess commercialization issues, formulate development plans and execute on these plans, you’re not deploying that money well."
Read the entire press release here.