The Association of University Technology Managers is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing research to life by supporting and enhancing the global academic technology transfer profession through education, professional development, partnering and advocacy. AUTM's more than 3,200 members represent managers of intellectual property from more than 300 universities, research institutions and teaching hospitals around the world, as well as numerous businesses and government organizations.
'Welcome to AUTM and the business of technology management … where breakthrough research discoveries get connected with innovation and investment to build a better world.' — Jane Muir, AUTM Immediate Past Board President
'AUTM members partner with a range of stakeholders—including academic researchers who create great ideas; universities that protect, promote and transfer promising discoveries; and companies that develop and distribute innovative technology, products and services. Society is the ultimate beneficiary when these ideas are brought to life.' — Fred Reinhart, AUTM Board President
AUTM visitors welcome
What do Google, insulin, seat belts, hepatitis B vaccine, barcodes, DNA testing and the @ in email addresses all have in common? They were born from university research. Many of the lifesaving therapies and groundbreaking technical achievements we have access to today resulted from the work of university investigators. How does this process work? Why would institutions that promote academic freedom use patents to secure limited monopolies for their ideas? What is the legislative framework that allows this activity to occur in the first place? Who are the people involved in the transfer of technology?
Technology management is a common service function in universities today. In the United States, the passage of the Patent and Trademark Law Amendments Act, better known as the Bayh-Dole Act, on December 12, 1980, signaled the profession’s coming-of-age. The act allowed universities and small businesses to take ownership of the inventions created with federal research dollars. Up until its passage, the vast majority of inventions resulting from federally sponsored research were simply the subjects of very intriguing scientific publications.
The ownership that Bayh-Dole conferred and a university’s ability to grant licenses to those inventions are what allow industry to translate an institution’s early research into the products and services the public depends on today. One should not underestimate the expense and risk associated with translating early research into a marketable product—the costs are significant. Companies that license academic inventions rely on strong intellectual property protection to justify such investments. But times are changing. Over the past few years, we have witnessed one of the most meaningful overhauls of the U.S. patent system, the emergence of the patent troll debate and what it means to be a nonpracticing entity, and the uncertainty of what is or is not patentable. All of these put into question the sustainability of university translational research … but certainly not its importance.
Perhaps you’re interested in learning more about technology transfer or the issues facing the profession. Maybe you are scouting for a technology to fill the gap in your platform of products. Or could it be you’re trying to decide whether to become involved in this profession? Whatever your reason for landing on this page, be assured this website is an excellent resource for your needs.