The Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine Office of Technology Development is WMed's technology transfer office. We are responsible for managing the intellectual property developed at the medical school and moving these discoveries out of the research lab into the commercial market.
The Office of Technology Development works to transfer technology generated from research and clinical practices at WMed into commercial products and services. The commercialization of technology benefits not only WMed, but also our inventors, our community, and the public. The OTD supports and educates WMed faculty, postdoctoral fellows, interns, students, and staff about the commercialization process so that they can realize value from what they invent and public health is improved.
- Who We Are
The Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine's Office of Technology Development is the school's technology transfer office. The OTD supports intellectual inquiry, fosters research, develops and protects intellectual property, transfers intellectual property to commercial firms best able to take innovations to market, and strengthens the WMed brand with the business community. The Office of Technology Development is located within the Innovation Center, a part of the WMed Office of Research.
- What We Do
The Office of Technology Development manages the intellectual property of WMed. The OTD works to move discoveries, inventions, and other IP into the commercial sector. To accomplish this activity, we identify, evaluate and protect intellectual property, and eventually license or otherwise transfer that intellectual property to established companies or spin-off companies to develop commercial products and services.
- Why We Do It
Intellectual property is the foundation of today's knowledge-based economy. Progressive leaders in all kinds of organizations understand that competitive advantage is gained from know-how and innovation. As intellectual property is a significant corporate asset, these firms deploy their IP in innovative products and services that allow them to compete more effectively in the marketplace. An important source of corporate intellectual property is academic institutions like WMed. By in-licensing IP from universities, companies can increase the value of their patent portfolios, thus positioning themselves for successful commercial growth. It is the partnership between WMed inventors and the Office of Technology Development that enables the path from the laboratory to the marketplace. The OTD routinely engages with companies and investors, securing resources to successfully commercialize WMed technology.
- How We Do It
The technology development process is non-linear, as evidenced in the diagram below. It begins with an invention disclosure, followed by evaluation, patenting, marketing, licensing, commercial development and, finally, sales of products by commercial partners. Inventors are involved in each phase of the process. While not all disclosures to the Office of Technology Development result in patents, the office encourages communication from inventors as early as possible.
Issues to Consider
The Office of Technology Development is a support service for WMed faculty, staff and students. Please contact us at any time with questions or concerns.
- While you should not worry that someone will "steal" your ideas, you should closely guard your ideas and not disclose them unnecessarily in a public manner. The Office of Technology Development will never discourage publication of data or interfere with faculty development, but we will work with you to protect potential IP.
- If you are unsure if your discovery could be a product or service, don't decide on your own. Even a small change to an existing product, tool, or process could be very valuable to a commercial partner.
- You do not have to start your own company to benefit from your intellectual property. The Office of Technology Development works diligently to license IP to existing companies.
Our office is located in the WMed Innovation Center, on the Parkview Campus, at 4717 Campus Drive, Kalamazoo, MI 49008. For assistance, please contact us at 269.353.1823 or firstname.lastname@example.org.