WHOI and RTDC Announce Technology Transfer Partnership
Marine-based technologies target new and existing markets in ocean energy, aquaculture, and environmental technologies
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the Regional Technology Development Corp. (RTDC) of Cape Cod announced jointly today the signing of a technology transfer and entrepreneurial services agreement designed to accelerate the transfer of WHOI technology innovations to the marketplace.
The alliance is a unique outsourcing arrangement intended to immediately and cost-effectively enhance licensing capabilities at WHOI and the commercialization of WHOI innovations and expertise. The partnership with the RTDC is the latest initiative from the WHOI Office for Applied Oceanography (OAO), established in 2007 to encourage innovation in technology, serve as a hub for WHOI licensing and commercialization efforts, and protect the institution’s intellectual property.
“This unique arrangement provides WHOI immediate access to a critical mass of expertise that would take years for us to build internally,” said Dan Stuermer, WHOI vice president of external relations and director of the Office for Applied Oceanography. “We look forward to working with the RTDC to broaden the reach of our technologies to the widest possible base of potential partners, investors, and entrepreneurs for the benefit of society.”
The overall goals of the collaboration are to:
• Identify and advance a greater number of commercializable WHOI research projects
• Facilitate and accelerate the licensing and transfer of WHOI technologies to industry to develop new products and processes and to establish new companies
• Establish more applied research collaborations and technology development partnerships between WHOI researchers and commercial entities as well as other research institutions
The terms of this unique one-year agreement call for the RTDC to work closely with the WHOI OAO to integrate a market-driven approach into very early technology evaluation and serve as the primary contact for licensing opportunities and entrepreneurial services. Taking a systematic approach, the RTDC will identify and evaluate commercializable WHOI technologies, assess new and existing markets, and identify potential funding sources. Throughout the process, the RTDC will add value to the strategic transfer of WHOI technologies by providing a variety of transactional relationships including entrepreneurial services, commercialization and business development advisement, and strategic links with investors, business development executives, and economic development leaders. Other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“Technology transfer is a two-way street that involves not only identifying, vetting, and pushing research innovations out to industry, but also industry pull—stimulating market applications by actively identifying technology needs that will enhance the products and services of companies and other institutions,” said Robert A. Curtis, Pharm.D., CEO of the RTDC. "We are very pleased to be selected by WHOI to lead the institution’s technology-transfer efforts, and we look forward to developing a successful relationship that will bring WHOI scientific innovations to the marketplace to benefit the Cape Cod region and beyond while ensuring long-term value appreciation of the institution’s research.”
“Our industry is seeing unprecedented opportunities for the application of marine and environmental research technologies to help solve fundamental and complex problems in areas such as ocean energy, aquaculture, and environment monitoring,” said Cheryl Zimmerman, president of the Marine & Oceanographic Technology Network, a nonprofit professional association that promotes the business of ocean technology. “We are very pleased that WHOI is joining forces with the RTDC to better identify these existing and emerging market applications and to make the critical connections between the institution’s research programs and industry.”
|About WHOI (WWW.WHOI.EDU)
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, independent organization in Falmouth, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the oceans and their interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the oceans’ role in the changing global environment.
|About RTDC (WWW.REGIONALTECHCORP.ORG)
The Regional Technology Development Corporation (RTDC) of Cape Cod is a not-for-profit “virtual incubator” with the mission to facilitate technology transfer and technology commercialization from its affiliated institutions in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The RTDC’s primary technology focus areas include marine sciences, environmental sciences, life sciences, alternative energy, and aquaculture.
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Robert A. Curtis, Pharm.D.