his section of UMDNJ Magazine focuses on technology transfer — a process of translating basic science research discoveries into products or applications that are useful and commercially viable. Although the process is often long, challenging and labor intensive, it involves five basic tasks, according to UMDNJ’s Director of Patents and Licensing, Vince Smeraglia: 1. technology assessment or making an informed decision about whether the discovery is patentable and may have commercial relevance; 2. the patenting process; 3. marketing the discovery to selected companies; 4. licensing the finding to a company for production; and 5. license administration for the life of the patent, which is 20 years.
Add to those five tasks another essential ingredient — creating an environment that supports creativity and entrepreneurship. Without guidance, encouragement and lots of handholding, the discovery made in a basic science laboratory would have little or no chance to make it to market.
Each of the patented discoveries described by the University inventors on the following pages is a giant step in its field and many have already been licensed and are on their way to market. Exuberant is not too strong a word to describe these researchers’ energy to translate their hard-won success in the laboratory into improved diagnostics, medical devices and novel therapies that address unmet medical needs. Discovering new innovations and translating the invention to a potential life-saving product is a major undertaking, but there’s no doubt that these inventors are up to the challenges that lie ahead.