About Technology Transfer
The Technology Transfer Office supports the commercialization efforts of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s discoveries and technologies. The office seeks research collaborators and licensees to continue the development of Cedars-Sinai's technologies with the goal of developing healthcare products and cures that improve the quality of life for all patients.
In 1980, when the United States Congress passed the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act, universities became significantly involved with protecting and licensing intellectual property. In 1974, a professional society focusing on university technology management was created and this organization became the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM).
The Bayh-Dole Act gave universities an option to claim ownership of inventions that had been created with government funding. The option required the university to protect the technology, seek a licensee and to share a portion of royalty income with inventors. As a consequence of this, according to a 2000 survey by AUTM:
- Universities received a total of $1.2 billion in royalties
- Licensed product sales totaled $60 billion in the world economy
- 400,000 new U.S. jobs were created
A new technology, innovation or invention is the seed of a product or application. It faces any number of challenges during the development process, including the possibilities of:
- Being so new that the marketplace and consumers do not recognize the need for it
- Not having products and applications based on the new technology that are well enough defined
- Having difficulty assessing its economic value
- Being a high risk application to produce and sell
Technology transfer programs identify and evaluate technologies and provide an environment for them to succeed. Inventions must be protected through patent applications or other intellectual property instruments. A marketing strategy is created for new products as well as identifying licensees, monitoring their progress of bringing the technology to application and protecting it against infringement. A formal technology transfer process assures that each of these critical steps is, in fact, accomplished.
The basic role of the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) at Cedars-Sinai is to:
- Review inventions before any submissions or public disclosures
- Evaluate whether the invention or technology has enough public or market value to warrant patent prosecution funding
- Determine whether the invention can be patented
- Commercialize technology
- Evaluate technology
- Identify, protect and commercialize