As part of its mission to position Puerto Rico as an Innovation Hub, the Puerto Rico Science Technology and Research Trust Technology Transfer Office is celebrating — along with the University of Puerto Rico’s Medical Sciences Campus — the “Technology Transfer Recognition Week” to highlight the incredible potential of this tech transfer process as an economic development driver in Puerto Rico.
The entities join this week’s U.S.-wide celebration with several activities geared toward educating university researchers and administrators, industry and government leaders, other stakeholders, and the general public on the importance, the opportunities and the process of technology transfer.
The celebration peaked Dec. 12, the 39th anniversary of the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act, which changed the nation’s system of technology transfer by enabling universities to retain title to inventions and take the lead in patenting and licensing groundbreaking discoveries; and it was especially instrumental in encouraging universities to participate in technology transfer activities.
This Act expanded the technology transfer profession and promoted the process by which basic research is transferred to companies for development and commercialization into products that benefit society.
“The more we educate the key players in our science and research ecosystem about the process of technology transfer and the economic potential it represents, the more awareness we generate,” said David Gulley, Science Trust Technology Transfer Office director. “This leads to more informed engagements, giving us more robust opportunities that can lead to more innovation.”
Puerto Rico only has three years of experience with a fully functional tech transfer office, “but our goal is to have researchers and administrators embrace this process as part of an economic development output of their missions. That’s why we formed the Technology Transfer Office at the Trust in 2016,” Gulley said.
Meanwhile, Ubaldo M. Córdova-Figueroa, executive vice president of the UPR’s Academic Affairs & Research, said “The University of Puerto Rico is the main contributor to our innovation ecosystem through competitive research and development of intellectual property. We’re committed to strategic collaborations for transferring the rights to use and commercialize new discoveries and innovations resulting from our researchers.”
Marcia Cruz, dean of research at the UPR’s Medical Sciences Campus, said technology transfer is “essential for the development of scientific research proposals and to increase the competitiveness of our researchers to obtain external funds.”