There’s Always Room to Improve

Oct. 26, 2020
Drawing of a gauge

Every year, we send a survey to our most recent cohort of inventors to help us understand how we’re doing. By inventors, I’m referring to the faculty, researchers and staff of the UArizona who have disclosed inventions to us in the past three years. 

The faculty, researchers and staff of the university represent the top of the pipeline – they fill the funnel with inventions so that we, your TLA commercialization team, can work to bring them to the world where they can improve lives and make a better world. 

That’s why this survey is so essential. The data we receive gives us insights into what we’re doing well as well as where we need to improve. 

We opened our most recent inventor survey late this summer. Since that survey closed in mid-September, we have been examining the data and making plans for how best to turn what we’ve learned into action.

I’m happy and proud to report that overall – as in previous surveys – we continue to receive high marks from the vast majority of our respondents. In areas like “satisfaction with the overall experience” of working with TLA as well as specific areas like responsiveness, helpfulness and expertise, respondents by and large said they were either “very satisfied” or “extremely satisfied.” 

Even so, there were helpful critical and constructive messages that we heard loud and clear:

  • UArizona inventors want and require greater transparency. Along with building a whole new website to be launched this fall, we are working on a number of documents designed to help our audiences understand UArizona processes and timelines more fully, from disclosing inventions to protecting intellectual property to licensing to forming startups. We look forward to sharing those with you in the coming months. In the meantime, should you have questions, please contact us. 
  • Our inventors need timely, proactive communications from our staffWe pride ourselves on being a responsive services organization. Our whole staff, from licensing managers to mentors, are committed to serving the people of the university and the whole ecosystem, and our policy is to respond to all inquiries within 48 hours. This is where you come in. If we’re ever missing the mark, whether it’s timing or content or effectiveness, please let us know. 

While we self-monitor as best we can, the greatest way for us to identify our strengths as well as our shortcomings is to see ourselves through your eyes. Whether your primary contact is a licensing manager, a mentor-in-residence, or another one of staff members, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Our virtual door is always open and we want to hear from you.

As I began above, our mission is to create impact from UArizona innovation. We’ll continue to update you on our progress on the above efforts and look forward to talking with you.