Friday, June 15, 2012

Deadline 9/30/12: NIH tech transfer pilot for startups

In an article we're preparing for the July/August 2012 issue of BioOptics World, Susan Reiss discusses the National Institutes of Health's Office of Technology Transfer (OTT), and how it can help companies commercialize technologies developed by NIH and others. Reiss points to laser capture microdissection (LCM) as an example of biophotonics technology successfully transferred from the NIH to industry. Developed on NIH's Bethesda, Maryland campus in the mid-1990s, the photonics-powered LCM technology has ranked on NIH's top 20 commercial products list for six of the last eight years.

As part of her article, Reiss describes a pilot program that ends September 30, 2012, and offers specialized license agreements for life sciences startups interested in introducing intramural NIH and Food and Drug Administrative (FDA) inventions to the market. You qualify for the program if your company is less than five years old, has 50 or fewer employees, and owns capital resources of $5 million or less.

A goal of these agreements is to reduce the time and upfront costs required to execute an exclusive license: Because patent filings can cost up to $50,000, the start-up agreements "make it easier for a company to get in the game if they find a technology they want to try to commercialize," according to OTT Deputy Director Steven M. Ferguson.

Interested? Find details on the new short-term exclusive Start-Up Evaluation License Agreement (Start-up EELA) and a Start-up Exclusive Commercial License Agreement (Start-up ECLA) at