Date: January 19, 2017 Posted by: Elysia Cooper In:Tips for Institutions

Last week we briefly outlined five ways that startup activity can help the university’s TTO.

  1. Increase Public Benefit
  2. Create economic opportunity
  3. Recruit and maintain faculty
  4. Professional & financial gains for TTO & faculty
  5. Create new partnership & funding opportunities

Today we want to dive in a little deeper on how your faculty and their research drive awareness and ultimately attract industry partners. Joy Goswami from University of Delaware spoke to us about how their office is helping educate faculty on the importance of translational research and dispel any myths about the process. In addition to helping faculty understand the process, it is important to let them know how crucial they are to their continued success.


When faculty engage in translational research they certainly help promote their universities and by default the public by working on solutions with commercial potential benefit. Furthermore, for those researchers who are interested in entrepreneurship, there are a few key mutual benefits.

For most scientists, validation is a part of everyday life. So when spin-off activity is successful, that validation brings two main benefits to the researcher. The first is what stimulates most researchers and that is the satisfaction of engaging in challenging work. But the second is the attention that the research draws, more specifically, that the validated research has the potential to help secure additional funding and resources to continue the work or begin other innovative projects. For the university and the TTO – the benefit is the exact same; the more they can prove the efficacy of their programs, the more funding they are likely to receive from either public or private sources.

From the university’s perspective, this type of success is also a way to have a conversation with partners to generate other types of activity. Traditionally, ‘big’ business will shy away from what they consider a risky investment, like research that is in stages like insilico/invitro. However, when success stories from spin-off activity reach the bigger players, they see that the university and their researchers are capable of commercial activity and are more likely to engage in a partnership. This could mean sponsored research, collaborations, funding or licensing deals.

By encouraging entrepreneurial activity in any form, the rewards can be exponential if you think of the partnership potential and the resources that it could bring back to the university; financial or material. We call this type of activity the virtuous cycle – where all parties involved contribute and all parties benefit.

To learn more, download our latest infographic!


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