Wednesday, February 13, 2013

NIH's Tech Transfer Plan

NIH’s Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) has developed plans for technology transfer and commercialization innovations for the years 2013 to 2018. These ideas were recently put into the NIH plan “Accelerating Technology Transfer and Commercialization of Federal Research in Support of High Growth Businesses (2013-2018).”

The overall aim for Technology Transfer future plans is to increase the number and pace for technology transfer and commercialization activities in partnership with non-federal entities, including private firms, research organizations, and nonprofit entities.

To facilitate the exchange of proprietary materials and information needed to advance biomedical research, NIH has developed an electronic Transfer Agreement Dashboard at  The dashboard enables NIH developed research materials to be transferred to the biomedical research community via Material Transfer Agreements.

Also, NIH has launched the site “electronic Research Materials” (eRMA) at  This system licenses unpatented research materials to for-profit entities. These two web based systems are expected to reduce the transaction time for transferring NIH-developed materials.

NIH has been streamlining licensing procedures and has been reviewing all of the model license agreements to simplify the process. NIH has also implemented a web-based application allowing licensees to make payments by debit from a checking or savings account. This process speeds licensing especially when an initial payment is required prior to shipping biological materials under a license.

NIH has created a Start-Up license to expedite the process for start-up companies to license their technologies to use for drugs, vaccines, and therapeutics. NIH has developed a similar license for non-profit institutions, such as NGOs and for Product Development Partnerships (PDP) to help develop new products for low income regions of the world.

To promote NIH inventions and technologies for development and commercialization, NIH has developed electronic and social media tools to promote inventions that are available for licensing and collaboration. This includes websites, RSS feeds, iPhones, and iPad apps, email subscriptions, Twitter, and Facebook. NIH also participates in, a website that aggregates technologies from across the NIH-supported Clinical and Translational Science Awards.

NIH is facilitating commercialization through local and regional partnerships:

  • NIH has established an agreement between OTT and Tech Commercialization, a Texas-based entity established to provide regional small businesses and educational institutions with technical assistance to develop federal technologies for licensing and commercialization
  • NIH has developed an agreement between the National Cancer Institute and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO)
  • NIH has developed an agreement between OTT and BioHealth Innovation (BHI) located in Maryland to translate market-relevant research into commercial success
 Go to to view the plan.