Research & Invent
Research by UArizona employees, such as faculty, researchers, and graduate assistants, often leads to breakthrough innovations, such as new devices or therapeutics. Our Licensing Team members have an open-door policy and are always ready to have conversations with inventors from every sector of the university.
While there are no perfect guidelines that describe what constitutes an "invention," our licensing managers work with inventors to determine the right time to file an Invention Disclosure. At that point, we will begin looking at prior art and assessing the market potential for an innovation.
Licensing Managers, our Market Research team and our Commercialization Partners assess inventions, looking into the patent landscape and the market potential.
When the Commercial Assessment shows that an innovation has market potential and is not likely not covered by existing patents, we work with inventors and our national network of patent lawyers to begin the patenting process.
Asset Development funding helps advance inventions that aren’t yet ready to attract licensees or investors. In executing an Asset Development plan, a team of experts, including TLA Commercialization Partners and Mentors-in-Residence, validate an invention's market potential and requirements and ready it for commercialization. These projects often involve activities like creating prototypes, confirming functionality, and exploring scalability. If a UAUArizona technology merits funding, we work with the inventors to shape a full AD proposal, including activities, budgets and timelines.
Some inventions fit well into the products of existing companies or are better suited to an existing company’s strategic plans. We work to identify those synergies and make connections between those companies and UArizona inventors and inventions, with the goal of licensing inventions to companies that are well-situated to take them forward.
Create Team & Business Case
Some inventions may be better served as founding technologies for a startup company. With the help of our Commercialization Network – comprised of our Commercialization Partners, our Mentors-in-Residence and over 1,600 domain experts – our Venture Development team collaborates with inventors to bring the right people to the table to build effective startup leadership teams. We dive deep to get a clear picture of the technology landscape so as to create a solid business case and strategy around the invention.
The transfer of rights to the IP from the UArizona to either an established business or a startup happens by way of a license: a legal agreement that spells out the details of usage rights and consideration for those rights.
Mature & Grow
In the maturation stage, inventions are nurtured into more fully developed products. At this stage it is up to existing companies to take forward technologies they have licensed. In the case of startups, we remain engaged in helping them move forward. The Arizona Center for Innovation and Tech Parks Arizona provide facilities and resources for maturing university startups, but also offer spaces and services to help non-UAUArizona companies develop their strategies and connect with university research expertise and resources.
Every invention has its unique commercialization pathway. The invention may have been integrated with other technologies to upgrade an existing product. It may have become the basis of something entirely new. It may make its way to consumer markets, the business-to-business economy or both. A company may have even license it solely for internal use.
All of these scenarios, though very different, share two critical qualities:
- The invention is generating income for its inventors and the UAUArizona, and
- The outcome of a researcher's work has extended beyond academic journals and patents to real-world use, is creating economic impact, and most importantly, contributing to better lives and a better world.