Technology transfer is one of the quickest growing m&a advisory services we offer to the R&D system in Intellectual Property Management. Individual companies, governments, and educational institutions are frequently exchanging ideas generated during R&D. One reason that transfers are necessary is that the companies that require the most cutting-edge technology may not be the ones who create it. Many mergers and acquisitions occur primarily for the transfer of technology through intellectual property rights.
GHB Intellect helps clients to ensure that they are getting the highest value possible during a an m&a that involves tech transfers. We perform strategic planning during targeting phases as well as guide the execution of contracts that can result in improved technology and monetization positions.
What is a Technology Transfer?
At the highest level, a technology transfer is simply the process of a specific technology developed in one place or for one purpose to be used in another place or for another purpose. In the past, transfers were largely used to move technology from government-sponsored research facilities to private industries for monetization. But, now it occurs much more frequently for many different reasons.
The Federal Laboratory Consortium is a leading authority on transfers in the United States. They define technology transfer as, “the process by which existing knowledge, facilities, or capabilities developed under federal R&D funding are utilized to fulfill public and private needs.” And, they have created the video below to provide additional insight into their perspective on the transfer of technology.
Why are Technology Transfers Used to Enhance Innovation?
The goal of technology transfer is to build economic growth by developing new innovations that can become commercialized using technologies that may not be available. Knowledge sharing must occur between government and industry in order facilitate innovation for the sake of new technology and application discovery. Additionally, intergovernmental collaboration is critical to bringing new knowledge to the global marketplace.
As UTRS explains on their website, “Technology transfer can be described as market pull or technology push. Technology transfer occurs as a result of market pull when a need or problem causes companies to seek federal technology. Technology push occurs when innovations or inventions are used to create new markets or consumer needs. The overall objective is to get federally developed R&D out to the marketplace for commercialization; however, the opportunity exists for government to bring technology developed by industry into the federal R&D arena for further research, development, and commercialization to benefit all potential partners.”
How does a Technology Transfer Occur?
In order for an organization to transfer technology, they must first establish ownership using intellectual property law that include; patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. Then, there must be a matching process between the technology and a potential recipient that would benefit from the use of the technology. The following services are offered by GHB Intellect are needed to fully assess the market and identify a potential fit:
After identifying a potential target, licensing is the next phase required for a transfer to occur. Understanding the licensing process and how to obtain the best agreement is critical to the success of both parties. The technology itself will usually require unique tools, know-how, equipment, or even trained staff -and are often rolled into the licensing agreement.
Referenceforbusiness.com explains the potential legal and contractual mechanisms as follows:
- Licensing—the exchange of access to a technology and perhaps associated skills from one company for a regular stream of cash flows from another.
- Cross-licensing—an agreement between two firms to allow each other use of or access to specific technologies owned by the firms.
- Strategic supplier agreement—a long-term supply contract, including guarantees of future purchases and greater integration of activity than a casual market relationship.
- Contract R&D—an agreement under which one company or organization, which generally specializes in research, conducts research in a specific area on behalf of a sponsoring firm.
- Joint or Cooperative R&D agreement—an agreement under which two or more companies agree to cooperate in a specific area of R&D or a specific project, coordinating research tasks across the partner firms and with sharing of research results.
- R&D corporation or research joint venture—the establishment of a separate organization, jointly owned by two or more companies, which conducts research on behalf of its owners.
- Research consortium—any organization with multiple members formed to conduct joint research in a broad area, often in its own facilities and using personnel on loan from member firms and/or direct hires.
The process of technology transfer can differ wildly from one scenario to the next and can be difficult to navigate for someone who is not familiar with how it works. For this reason, we are here to help with your transfer needs. We can help no matter the stage of technology development, budgets, long-term goals, or the level of contract creativity required.