OTC News Archive

AUTM releases guidelines to distinguish the expectations of stakeholders in the technology commercialization process

Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM)
February 27, 2011

The Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) has developed best practices for balancing the reasonable expectations of each party vested in the academic technology commercialization process. With the release of the AUTM Guidelines for Balancing Stakeholders’ Interests, AUTM seeks to define and balance the varied and sometimes only partially aligned interests of inventors, the academic institution, and the public at large. The guidelines will be unveiled during the AUTM 2011 Annual Meeting, which takes place Feb. 27 in Las Vegas, Nev.

A year in the making, the guidelines provide a framework, acknowledging that there may be administrative, policy, and cultural differences among institutions that will require each institution to adapt the guidelines for application within its individual situation.

“We hope institutions will use these guidelines as a basis for discussion and then adopt them, or adopt a customized version of them, to declare their commitment to balancing the interests of stakeholders in the commercialization process,” says AUTM Board of Directors member Alan Bentley who spearheaded the initiative. Bentley organized a debate held during the AUTM 2010 Annual Meeting on the subject of inventors’ rights. He subsequently worked with AUTM leadership and other organizations to develop guidelines to help all parties involved in academic commercialization understand their mutual expectations.

“Because academic technology transfer professionals manage relationships among licensees, the institution, and faculty, AUTM is uniquely positioned to lead this effort,” says AUTM President Ashley Stevens, D. Phil. (Oxon), CLP, RTTP. “I’m confident that the AUTM Guidelines for Balancing Stakeholders’ Interests will be carefully considered by our members who lead technology transfer offices.

Some of the principles within the he guidelines include:

  • “Technology commercialization offices should understand and accept that teaching, research, and publishing research results are of paramount importance, and will not ask faculty to unreasonably delay publication of research results in the interests of commercialization.”
  • “Inventors should be sensitive to the institutional and public interests at stake in the commercialization process and equitably balance them with their personal interests.”
  • “The institution has a responsibility to the public to ensure that the institution is reasonably compensated for the use of its intellectual property so that it can further support its public mission.”

About AUTM

The Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) 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.

[ AUTM ]