North Carolina State University needed a new process to monetize its treasure trove of scientific advancements and university-invented technologies by matching these with potential research partners and sponsors. According to this case study on CIO Insight, North Carolina State University's Office of Technology Transfer is piloting an advanced analytics tool it developed with IBM to maximize its return on research investments. The "Big Data" effort can work for any enterprise looking to mine rich databases of information with limited staff resources.
"Any organization sitting on reams of intellectual property (IP) will learn from the experiences of Billy Houghteling, Director of the Office of Technology Transfer at NC State. His office is responsible for transferring University-developed innovations to the marketplace and interacting with partners. 'Our portfolio is very large, very diverse and it's understaffed,' says Houghteling. 'We have a hard time managing the intellectual property assets we have.'
"The most time-consuming part of the process is what Houghteling's team calls 'triage,' in which the licensing professionals review an opportunity to determine market potential, investigate the patent landscape, and, if necessary, seek patent protection in order to move early-stage technologies to market. This triage process typically takes two to four months, and much of that time is spent on the back end trying to identify the right partners in a particular industry so they can be pitched on the project, explains Houghteling."