OSU Technology Commercialization Process

Broadly speaking, technology transfer is the movement of knowledge and discoveries to the general public. It can occur through publications, educated students entering the workforce, exchanges at conferences, and relationships with industry. For TDC, technology transfer means managing patents and copyrights, licensing them to third parties, facilitating new company formation, promoting good relationships with industry, funding research with commercial potential through our TBDP program, and more recently, helping faculty, staff, and students develop mobile apps through our App Center.

The process of technology transfer, facilitated by TDC, at Oklahoma State University is summarized in the diagram below. Please explore the chart to learn more about our process.

  • Research is one of the three essential components of Oklahoma State University’s land-grant mission. OSU’s research expenditures exceed $140 million (2015) annually.

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  • Research and scholarly activities lead to discoveries and inventions. An invention is an act of creating a new device, method, process or composition developed from study and experimentation that never existed before.

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  • When an OSU researcher’s academic work results in an invention, as per OSU Policy, the researcher(s) should disclose their invention to the Technology Development Center by completing an Invention Record and Report (IRR) form. A detailed invention disclosure helps TDC in evaluating the commercialization potential of the disclosed invention.

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  • All invention disclosures submitted to TDC are referred to the University Intellectual Property Screening Committee to decide whether the University has a proprietary interest in the disclosed invention under the provisions of OSU’s IP Policy.

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  • If it has been determined that OSU has proprietary interest in a disclosure submitted to the TDC, a thorough evaluation of the disclosure is carried out to determine the commercial viability and protectability of the invention.

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  • After considering the invention disclosure for a.) novelty; b.) protectability; c.) marketability; d.) time to market; e.) money required for further development; f.) growth and size of market; g.) existing IP that may preclude the ability to practice the invention; and h.) current competition; the TDC will make a determination if pursuing IP protection is in the best interest of OSU and the inventor.

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  • Intellectual property of an invention can be protected in multiple ways. The appropriate method of IP protection is often dictated by the nature of the invention and, in some cases, the commercialization strategy. TDC will work with the inventor(s) to determine the most appropriate path to protect the IP of an invention.

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  • TDC Staff, with the involvement of inventor(s), identify and evaluate a suitable partner to commercialize the technology. The partner could be an established company or a startup. TDC greatly encourages students and faculty members starting a company to commercialize OSU inventions. A license agreement is negotiated with the identified partner.

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  • After a technology is licensed to a company, TDC actively monitors its progress of commercialization. TDC will work with the licensee to ensure that the IP remains protected and that the licensee successfully commercializes the invention.

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  • Royalty income generated from licenses or other marketing arrangements concerning University Intellectual Property is distributed to the inventor(s) (50%), Technology Development Center (30%), and to the college or division (20%) to fund additional research and education, according to the university IP policy.

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