The Office of Technology Transfer Helps Faculty/Staff Commercialize Innovations

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The Office of Technology Transfer at Ohio University, headed by Bob Silva, plays a critical role in helping faculty and staff to commercialize innovations and intellectual property – thereby bringing revenue to the university.

“We have a very robust innovation climate here at Ohio University,” Silva says.

He notes that his office must first identify inventions and technologies developed on campus and assess whether they have market value and market potential. If so, then his office helps patent the idea/product, market it and collect revenues.

The Office of Technology Transfer manages the university’s patent portfolio and develops licensing agreements with companies that are able to commercialize university innovations.

Monies that are received from licensed innovations are divided by the Office. About 50 percent goes back to the research team and the other 50 percent is divided among the team’s department, college and the university.

A significant duty of Silva’s is to train and educate faculty on the whole commercialization process. Often it is important to get a patent before publishing, but the process is streamlined so that “we never stop anyone from publishing,” Silva says.

Silva has been director since November 2010. Prior to that, he worked for 10 years as a technology commercialization manager for Battelle/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington.

Silva’s expertise is highly respected.

“Bob Silva is a seasoned technology transfer professional who has the leadership skills to help Ohio University identify new opportunities to develop and market faculty innovations,” according to Dr. Joseph Shields, vice president for research and dean of the Graduate College at Ohio University.

“His work will strengthen the institution’s efforts to help create jobs and foster economic growth in Ohio,” Shields adds.