Technology transfer, the process of transferring scientific findings from one organization to another for the purpose of further development and commercialization, is believed by some to be an arid and distant subject, far from the needs of the community. But this is a misperception, particularly since technology transfer allows the knowledge generated in universities to benefit society and people, whether through companies and/or products.
It is in this framework that the American technology transfer expert Richard Kosman, Director of the Office of Business Development at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University (New York, USA), will share his extensive experience in technology transfer with academics and authorities of University Austral of Chile for a week, between 6th and 10th August 2012.
Kosman’s visit is part of the project “Strengthening of the Technology Transfer and Licensing Office at University Austral of Chile,” an institutional initiative of the university co-financed by INNOVA Chile of CORFO and University Austral of Chile, jointly coordinated by the Vice-Rectory for Economic and Administrative Management through its Business Incubator Austral Incuba, and the Direction of Research and Development (DID) through its Office of Research Initiatives Management (GI2) (see note at: http://investigacion.uach.cl/noticia.php?pag=53&id=187).
Kosman, a member of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), was identified by AUTM to provide consulting services on benchmarking and strategic and operational plans as part of a joint initiative between AUTM and INNOVA Chile.
Many potential benefits
We interviewed Richard Kosman at this early stage for his vision of the work to be done and the opportunity in Valdivia at University Austral of Chile.
What is the main message you want to deliver to the community at University Austral of Chile?
“The main message I’d like to give to the community at University Austral of Chile has to do with the many potential benefits that technology transfer brings and the collaboration it promotes – including the deepening and further strengthening of relationships between all of the various stakeholders in the community.”
What are the main opportunities for a university like University Austral of Chile?
“Perhaps the most important opportunity for a university like UACh is that the high quality scholarship and teaching it offers can altogether be an inspiration for and contribute to the development of new products for the benefit of the people in the local community, the country, and the world.”
Is a Technology Transfer and Licensing Office useful for creating links with the outer community beyond the limits of the university (society, stakeholders, etc.)?
“In my experience, a technology transfer office can facilitate and catalyze the establishment of additional relationships between diverse groups (both internal and external, e.g., faculty, administration, grants, finance, economic development, affiliated incubators, private financial community, industry, government and others) leading to better outcomes for everyone.”
Is it possible to change the resistance to new ideas? Is it possible to change the organizational culture?
“I think it is most certainly possible for an organization and its culture to evolve positively by examining and incorporating new information and data as they become available. My experience has taught me that organizations ultimately respond well to new information presented in an open, collaborative, and transparent manner.”
What are the major motivations of your work?
“The main reason I moved from the financial/entrepreneurial community to the world of nonprofit organizations over a decade ago was my conviction that I could really make a difference in the academic field in collaboration with others. It is in this same spirit (and with the same belief) that I have come to Chile to work with international colleagues who share my interest and passion to stimulate the translation of research results in ways that serve humanity worldwide.”
Kosman will be returning to University Austral of Chile for a stay scheduled to take place first between 8th and 12th October 2012, and then between 7th and 11th January 2013.
Director, Office of Business Development
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University
New York, USA
Richard Kosman, Sc.M.M., is Director of the Office of Business Development at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University (New York, USA). He joined the Office of Biotechnology in November 2001 as Assistant Director. In January 2005, Richard was promoted to Associate Director of the Office of Biotechnology. In July 2007, he was further promoted to Director of the new Office of Business Development, which was created to establish additional collaborations with academic and commercial entities and to further translate the basic research advances made at Einstein into clinical applications.
Richard received his A.B. degree in Chemistry summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College and received his Sc.M.M. degree from Harvard Medical School. Prior to joining Einstein, Richard worked as a life sciences industry investment banker/entrepreneur and developed a track record of building valuable life sciences products and companies from academic discoveries (one FDA-approved drug and a cohort of seed-stage client biotechnology companies that have collectively attained in excess of $4.5 billion in total public market/acquisition value).
The Association of University Technology Managers is a nonprofit organization with an international membership of more than 3,000 technology managers and business executives. AUTM members — managers of intellectual property, one of the most active growth sectors of the global economy — come from more than 300 universities, research institutions and teaching hospitals as well as numerous businesses and government organizations.