By Jennifer Roach
20 November 2013
The University’s Office of Technology Transfer has rebranded itself as UR Ventures with a new look, a new structure, and a renewed focus on technology development and commercialization. UR Ventures will provide the University’s technology transfer functions with an emphasis on getting research discoveries to the public through business formation and technology licensing. Scott Catlin, who joined the University as associate vice president for innovation and technology commercialization in April, talks about the recent changes and the office’s goals.
Why is it the right time to introduce UR Ventures?
I’ve been here about seven months now. Before I got here there had been two technology transfer offices at the University— one was for the science and engineering schools and one for the Medical Center and the medical school—and those were combined last December. That provided an opportunity for us to reflect on how we organize ourselves, and how we put it all together to be more efficient and better organized. Since I’ve been here, I’ve spent a lot of time out in the community and around campus, talking to faculty and entrepreneurs and investors. Being new here, I could really take the time to get feedback and reflect on what seems to work and get their perspectives on what we might improve. Are we really getting all of our great research out and in use, as we should? Being a research University and a not-for-profit, we have an obligation to get our technologies out and benefiting the world. We’ve done some of that, but there’s a general question about how we can do a better job of translating technologies so they are better able to get into the market.