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Summary of Findings. Best Practices and Benchmarking For commercialization structure Office of Technology Transfer McGill University by Jean-Michel Lavoie, B.Pharm., MBA February 17, 2009. Mandate. Independent evaluation of models Answer 3 questions - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Summary of Findings

  • Summary of FindingsBest Practices and Benchmarking For commercialization structure

    Office of Technology TransferMcGill University

    byJean-Michel Lavoie, B.Pharm., MBAFebruary 17, 2009

  • MandateIndependent evaluation of modelsAnswer 3 questionsShould the administration of the research grants and industrial contracts be combined under one office or kept separate?Should the IP management be kept in house or be externalized outside the university?What level of decentralization (in each faculty) is optimal for the management of grants, contracts and commercialization of technology?

  • MethodologyPrimary researchMcGillInterview questionnairePhone interviews (20 to 40 min. each): Harvard, MIT, PARTEQ/Queens, Stanford, UBC, TIG/U of Toronto, YaleSecondary researchWebsitesLiterature search: articles and thesis

  • Key FindingsComplete report provides detailed structural elements, trends and best practices found among major NA universities. 4 most important components:Mandate and reporting criteria of offices; strong support from senior managementInformation sharing among stakeholdersSkill-based work assignment(cross functional team + single p-of-c)Research services perceived as service provider for McGill community

  • Global TrendsGrants increase in complexity Convergence of agreementsSynchronization of actionsMainly with finance: pricing, billing Empowerment of compliance officeCapitalized on alumni relationsIntegration of IT systemOrganizational culture alignmentUniversity and Research: environment, supportReporting criteria

  • Global TrendsSkill-based job assignmentLevel-1: Administration, bulk and batch, processing of standardized documentsLevel-2: Basic contract administration, understand and develop contracts, minimum technical understandingLevel-3: Business and content skills, full IP understanding, business negotiation and business development

  • Comparative Overviewbased on interview questionnaire

  • UBCResearchServicesUILOonlineUofTResearch ServicesTIGMcGillOTTQueens


    RGOFinanceCanadaResearch administration reporting to VP researchCommercializationFaculty / Lab / InvestigatorUniversity administrationCompliance OfficeOVPRIROVPRIRConsultConsultPure IPDevelopment/Alumni OfficeDAR

    ActionsSkillsPure GrantsProcessingBatch & BulkNo science1Govt ContractsContract skills2Industry / Govt LevgdContract skillsBasic scientific content (terms)2Industry ContractsIP mgmtIP knowledge3Licensing CommercztBusiness skillsNegotiation3Business DevelopmtBusiness Development3Compliance Post-AwardConformityProcessing1

  • Research administration reporting to financeCommercializationFaculty / Lab / InvestigatorUniversity administrationCompliance OfficeDevelopment/Alumni OfficeUSAHarvardSponsoredProgramOTDYaleGrant &ContractAdmin.OCRStanfordOTLMIT


    SponsoredResearchOVPRIRPure IPLicensingSimple govt Research administration reporting to VP research

    ActionsSkillsPure GrantsProcessingBatch & BulkNo science1Govt ContractsStandard processing1Industry / Govt LevgdContract skillsBasic scientific content (terms)2Industry ContractsIP mgmtIP knowledge3Licensing CommercztBusiness skillsNegotiation3Business DevelopmtBusiness Development3Compliance Post-AwardConformityProcessing1

  • NowPIEthicFinance ad hoc pricing Ad hoc Background IPEx: research networkGrantadministrationOTT officerIPContractIndustry leveragedgrant

  • VisionPIPoint-of-contactContent understanding (L-3/L-2)CompliancePre-awardPost-awardEthicConflict of interestFinancePre-awardPost-awardAdmin AssistTransaction processingInternal admin paperGrantContract AdministratorLegal supportOfficer L-3Background IPForward IPBusiness termsIT systemEX: Yale, UBC, UofT, HarvardCross functional teamIndustry leveragedgrant

  • Answer to questionsGovernment grants and industry contracts? Integration seems to provide higher effectiveness Advantages: response time, less duplication of effort and communication flow Alternatively: Sharing officesRegular meetingsCommon IT system

  • IP spin-off? Reason: flexibility for salaries, taking more business risk Conditions for success:Align interest with universityChange in mind-setFinancial resources from feesSuccessful models: Queens, in Europe and in IsraelAnswer to questions

  • 3. Decentralization of officers?

    Advantage of pooled officers is greater than benefit of proximity to investigatorsRelationship with researchers is crucial:CommunicationRelationshipOpportunity to meetAnswer to questions

  • Thank youBest practicesLessons learnedWisdom from literatureService offering

  • Best PracticesCompliance officeStrong compliance in US (MIT, Stanford)Independent office (UofT)Online and real time application (UBC)Skill-based structurePossibility to have junior/senior officers (UBC)Project base structure (Harvard, UBC, Yale)Allow cross-functional teamSingle p-of-contact for clientsOrganizational cultureEnvironment for research (Harvard, MIT, Yale)alignment with upper management (strong message of support)Reporting criteria aligned w. strategyvisibility - vs - revenue (Harvard, Yale)Alumni relationsMIT mentoring program, Yale InstituteEntrepreneurial environmentLinks between research campus and entrepreneurs (MIT, Yale, in development in Canada)

  • Lessons to be learnedRegrets that PARTEQ and RS are not in the same building (Queens)Lack of communication between offices is single most frequent comment of dissatisfaction; but some universities excel(UBC, Yale)Change in revenue sharing model greatly impacted on performance (UofT)Some department are hot spots while some are dormant: uniformity of cultureOnly reason to spin-off IP is for increased flexibilityRelationship and culture > proximity or structureMcGill is the only university with an international office (others: integrated to activities)

  • Wisdom from literatureInvestigator involvement in all phasesConnections to business development institutions (research park, tech incubator) influences TT performanceEntrepreneurship center: no impact on TT effectiveness Rewards for faculty involvement in TTPromotion, tenure, royaltyStaff at TTOCompensationScientists and entrepreneurs/businessmen mix (vs lawyers)Role = reduce barriers between researchers and firms Higher royalty to researcher enhance TTAddress ethical concerns about academic capitalism (life sciences particularly)TTO with strong commercial orientationUniversity policies encouraging TTAimed at individual faculty member (vs the research unit)Ex: incentives, autonomy, ownership, and responsibility

    TTO: Tech Transfer Office4 articles, 4 thesis; 1999-2007

  • Service Offering

    Type of agreementActivitiesSkills Needed(level)Pre-AwardPreparing application (jointly with PI)

    External communication: marketing & sales (partnership development and promotion), business development

    Internal communication: funding opportunitiesBusiness and content skills, IP issues (level-3)Business and content skills, IP issues (level-3)

    Administration (level-1)AwardGrants:Processing (from proposal submission to award notice)Administration (level-1)

    Contracts:Negotiation and closingBusiness and content skills, IP issues (level-3)

    Licensing & Spin-offs: IP management, business development and commercializationBusiness and content skills, IP issues (level-3)Compliance & Post-Award vigilanceProcessing

    Follow-up on contractual obligationsAdministration (level-1)

    Administration (level-1)


    *Compliance officeoStrong compliance offices in the US (MIT, Stanford)oIndependent compliance office model (like at UofT) is interesting as compliance becomes more of an issueoOnline and real time application; all forms are available and follow-up is done online (UBC)Organizational cultureoImportance of creating an environment conducive to research (Harvard, MIT, Yale)oAlignment and support from upper managementoReporting criteria aligned with the strategyIs it visibility?Or revenue?Alumni relationsoPrograms to capitalize on alumni experience and network (ex: MIT mentoring program, Yale Institute)Entrepreneurial environmentoCreating links between the research campus and the entrepreneurs will stimulate commercial activities (ex: MIT, Yale, and in development in Canada)

    *Skill-based structureoPossibility to have junior and senior officers for different tasks (UBC)Project base structure (Harvard, UBC, Yale)oAllow cross-functional team meeting (ad hoc appointment)oOne project leader serves as a single point of contact for the stakeholders

    **Brief observations:Skills level-1 are better managed by an individual office (including compliance).Skills level-2 and 3 can be grouped together (UBC, UofT), because, in the end, even when separated, skills level-3 have to consult with the other offices (like in the case of McGill and Queens).Cut-off for McGill is vague: OTT consults with RGO but does not report consulting numbers. PARTEQ consult officially with RS, but are evaluated mostly on impact (all IP assigned to university).

    *For Harvard and Yale, the cut-off is as little as 1$ from the moment the industry is involved, the deal is managed by the commercialization office.For Stanford, the cut-off is as long as the government is involved, the deal is managed by the research administration.More involvement from the faculty/lab in the US. Especially at MIT.Trend to include alumni in the business development.

    ***ProximityoRegrets that PARTEQ and RS are not in the same building (Queens)oRelationship and culture is perceived as more important than proximity or structure