Random Ramblings about stuff I see going on in biotech, internet and the stuff I read.

Friday, July 29, 2005

What I want in a Tech transfer web site

I am on a roll, so here is my dream for all tech transfer web sites, including some hair pulling and ranting.
  • Make it Google searchable. Index everything. Keep allowing it to be indexed. I wanted to make this points 1-10, but that still wouldn't have made this post big enough.
  • List what you have. Why would you hide stuff? There is no advantage here. I won't tell people some stuff we are looking for (unannounced company directions) and I can't talk to everyone on the planet anyway. SO - by keeping it secret I won't find it. Neither will anyone else. By making it findable you may end up with multiple bidders. There are worse problems to have.
  • List the Patent numbers or Application numbers for a technology if they are already out there. One of the first things I want to know is what is the IP status. If the Application isn't published yet, just say Application filed. I don't want confidential information, but pretending that I won't or can't do a search of the USPTO or ESPACE is just nuts. That isn't protecting you, that is annoying me.
  • List the publications that the inventor has. Links direct to pubmed are appreciated, but even just knowing that I need to find five papers is fine. I want to make sure I have seen everything before I waste your time. If we aren't interested, you have saved both of us time. If we are, you have made the deal go faster as when I ask that question you can say "nothing beyond what is on the web site" which I have probably already read and circulated through our R+D and marketing folks. For sites that don't do this, it takes longer for me to get through this stuff and find everything and that just hurts both of us.
  • Did I mention Google?
  • How about Yahoo?
  • MSN? I use google, but if you make it work in any of them the others will word as well. Just make it findable!
On a side note. There is no such thing as the "go to" University. We are getting stuff from everywhere on the planet (metaphorically....really mostly North America and Europe right now). There is no state in the US that we haven't talked to someone from (Idaho?maybe not. North Dakota, Yes). I don't think there is a University in Boston we haven't spoken with, but the same is true for Chicago and Edmonton. You, if you are not at a "big" school, are not out of the game. If you make it findable, I don't care where you are I will try and talk to you. I dont waste time going web site by web site by web site, as even if I tried to do that with "top tier" Universities ONLY, I would still not have enough hours in the day to sleep or do the rest of my job. So I don't hand search any of them and pray I don't miss anything. Fingers crossed.


jb said...

Keep talking. Some of us are listening. So you know, I found your blog through an rss search feed from feedster that I keep for the term "tech transfer" and "technology transfer".

I am in charge of marketing technologies for my university, and it is quite a task. From my talks with others at AUTM, it is a difficult task for everyone. Part of it, I believe, you've hit on in reference to the web sites being terrible. I have our new one done soon (about 80% at this point), which hits every one of your points and others, except the publications - I will have to visit this idea, sounds good. Would appreciate your feedback - publicly on the blog is fine, when done.

Perhaps you could talk more about the process you go through for finding technology. AUTM has these sessions full of discussion about how univ offices market technology, but noone from industry talks about their perceptions of efforts to get technology to them. For large offices, the common theme is throw money at it. For small offices, the common theme is to send out lots of abstracts to anyone who will listen, in a semi-targeted shotgun blast method. It's a matchmaking game, not a spamming effort, and any insight from both sides of the fence should help.

jb said...