Find out about the experiences of programme alumni and hear how the Fellowship aided their careers, by following the links below:
What training does the Fellowship provide?
The Fellowship begins with an induction week of seminars, case studies and interactive sessions. These sessions are run by colleagues from the four TTOs as well as external experts including patent attorneys, lawyers and Venture Capital professionals. The induction week is designed to provide the Fellows with a solid theoretical understanding of the fundamentals of technology transfer. This foundational knowledge can then be drawn on by the Fellows, as they complete four, three-month placements within each of the participating TTOs.
About the programme
The year-long Fellowship programme provides several opportunities for the Fellows to meet and share knowledge with each other. Further training sessions also take place throughout the year; examples from previous years include a half-day Personal Impact and Influencing training session and seminars from notable speakers including:
- Tom Hockaday, author of ‘University Technology Transfer: What It Is and How To Do It’ and Managing Director of Oxford University Innovation from 2006 to 2016
- Kathy Ku, Chief Licensing Advisor at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and formerly the Executive Director of Stanford’s Office of Technology Licensing
- Mike Romanos, co-founder and CEO of Microbiotica and LifeArc Trustee.
Mike Romanos commented: “It is fantastic to see LifeArc and partners working together to develop the next generation of technology transfer professionals by addressing a clear need for training opportunities in the sector. Rotations at various technology transfer offices give the Fellows unique insight into the profession and provide a brilliant opportunity to gain operational experience, develop their skills and build professional networks. I have no doubt that the programme will continue to produce alumni well-equipped to pursue successful careers in technology transfer”.
What activities are Fellows involved in at each organisation?
At Queen Mary Innovation (QMI), the Fellows work closely with QMI Commercialisation Managers to educate Queen Mary scientists of the benefits of technology transfer and to encourage engagement with the TTO by, for example, disclosing their inventions before publication. The Fellows help to assess the commercial potential of disclosed inventions and assist with preparing patent applications and/or translational funding applications.
At LifeArc, the Fellows work closely with LifeArc’s Opportunity Assessment Group (OAG). OAG perform scientific, intellectual property and commercial due diligence on potential opportunities for a range of LifeArc’s internal functions. The Fellows receive training from OAG in performing due diligence and help to assess a range of opportunities, ranging from potential drug discovery collaborations to early-stage investment opportunities. At LifeArc there is also the possibility for Fellows to work closely with Technology Transfer Business Managers, for example, by marketing inventions developed by Medical Research Council scientists.
At UCL Business, the Fellows work closely with the Legal Affairs team. Fellows support the negotiation of a range of agreements, from Confidentiality Disclosure Agreements and Material Transfer Agreements to IP Licences and Revenue Sharing Agreements. Fellows also support Business Managers within the UCLB BioPharm team to triage and assess inventions arising from UCL academics.
At Imperial College London, Fellows are incorporated into the Startup Team, part of Imperial College’s Enterprise Division. The Startup Team supports the formation and development of start-ups from the Imperial College ecosystem. This includes companies founded by entrepreneurial students and recent alumni, as well spinouts formed around IP generated by Imperial College academics. The Startup Team is also responsible for deploying the Imperial College Innovation Fund, which invests in early-stage start-ups from the College.
“An amazing opportunity”
Kathy Ku, Chief Licensing Advisor at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati said of the Fellows programme: “The LifeArc Technology Transfer Fellows programme is an amazing opportunity for anyone who is seriously considering technology transfer as a career.
“Fellows jump right into technology transfer and learn by “doing”. By working side-by-side with experienced professionals, Fellows learn to evaluate the commercial potential of new inventions. More importantly, they gain an understanding of the challenges that all technology transfer offices face: finding potential licensees that will dedicate people, time and money to developing early-stage technologies and negotiating a mutually agreeable business deal. There are many aspects to effective technology transfer and Fellows have a chance to learn from experts.”