Technology Transfer: Plan for Success

Technology Transfer Planning Template (TTPT)

Jennifer L. Flagg & Michelle M. Lockett, Center on Knowledge Translation for Technology Transfer — University at Buffalo, SUNY 

Background

Project investigators, inventors, and business owners who plan to introduce new products into the assistive technology marketplace achieve greater success when they plan their development and transfer efforts, and conduct rigorous business, market, and technical analyses prior to making large investments of limited resources. 

Planning can be aided by process models, such as the Need to Knowledge (NtK) Model. Business and engineering analyses can be simplified through the use of relevant tools. 

The Technology Transfer Planning Template is currently being developed and tested to provide easy access to the NtK, tools, resources, and examples.

Target Audience and TTPT Uses

  • RERC Grantees: create technology transfer plans (required by NIDILRR).
  • SBIR grant applicants: create commercialization plans.
  • Technology Transfer Offices: use with university-based inventors to explore commercial potential.
  • All Grantees or applicants who intend to generate devices: plan development and transfer activities.
TTPT screen shot of log in

Process

Pre-Proposal Scoping Reviews — Included discussions with key stakeholders, extensive web searches seeking existing templates and process models, and estimation of the number of potential users of a TTPT. 

Needs Analysis — Conducted a survey and interviews with key stakeholders to gather input regarding desired TTPT functions and features. This process resulted in a tiered listing of specifications. 

Development Effort — Questions for the template were derived from the Need to Knowledge Model and SBIR grant proposal selection criteria. Resources, tools, and examples primarily came from the NtK Model, but also include other KT4TT products. 

User Testing — Participants will use the TTPT and react to its design and capabilities. An online user testing tool (Loop 11) will enable the project team to determine what aspects of the TTPT are working well, and which appear to need modifications. Questionnaire and follow up interviews will be used to gather reactions.   

TTPT Launch — Once user feedback has been incorporated into the TTPT’s design, a full scale rollout will commence. A marketing campaign will target potential users, including grantees, potential grant applicants, federal agencies who fund R&D, technology transfer offices, and individual inventors.

While the TTPT is under development, you can

  • Download the list of questions that will be embedded in the template.
  • Participate in user testing activities to provide feedback before the product launch.
  • Add your email address to our mailing list so we can notify you when the TTPT is launched.

Prototype Screenshots

Guidance, resources, and examples are provided for many questions, as shown in the screenshot below. 

TTPT screen shot

Output Report options include

  • Listing of responses for easy incorporation into proposals, commercialization plans, and TT plans.
  • Timeline of activities for project planning and tracking.
  • Narrative executive summary for use in proposals or to share with partners.
  • Value proposition to include in materials geared towards attracting partners.