Tech transfer

Out of the lab and into the marketplace: Technology transfer at the University of Cincinnati

Everything begins with an idea. At the University of Cincinnati, our faculty, staff and students are driven each day to solve problems that matter. Creating new products and services is the process of innovation. Transferring the resulting intellectual property from the creator to a company that can develop the idea is the process of technology transfer.

To learn more, reach out to technology transfer today via email at or by completing a disclosure form.

Some key steps involved in the tech transfer process are outlined below. More details can be found in the Inventor's Guide to Technology Transfer at the University of Cincinnati.

1. Disclose your idea.

The tech transfer process begins when UC faculty, staff or students disclose an invention, discovery or technology. The formal invention disclosure form details the inventors involved, the key steps applied and pertinent details of the product or discovery. 

Disclosure is a critical first step in protecting intellectual property (IP). Early action is important, as failure to initiate the tech transfer process could result in negative outcomes.  You can find the disclosure form on our forms page.

2. Engage in the evaluation of your disclosure.

At the start of the evaluation phase, the tech transfer team works to determine IP ownership. As a rule, UC owns inventions created by its employees while working under a grant or contract to UC or using UC resources. 

The remainder of the evaluation is focused on the business and technical opportunities around the technology. This is assessed by members of the tech transfer team in consultation with the creators. The questions that they look to answer are:

·       Does the idea solve a problem or have significant value?

·       Is there existing similar intellectual property, and what is the current competition?

·       Can it be patented/licensed?

·       Is there potential to generate impact to the community, UC and the inventor?

·       What is the estimated time to market and funding for further development?

3. Collaborate on patents and licensing.

Once the tech transfer team decides to proceed, they will determine the intellectual property strategy, which may include seeking patent protection on the idea. This process runs in parallel to your efforts to continue to develop the technology. In addition to seeking protection, your assigned licensing associate will also be searching for partners, both industry and/or entrepreneurs that may be interested in further developing the technology.        

If there is interest, then the licensing associate will be responsible for leading license discussions with the interested party. A license allows a company to use or sell the UC-owned technology. This is true for both existing companies and for situations where the creator wishes to create their own company.