Accelerating COVID-19 Collaborations and Solutions

David L. Gulley, PhD, RTTP, CLP

Director, Technology Transfer Office (TTO)

The COVID-19 pandemic impacts the work of technology transfer offices at universities and other non-profit research organizations by accelerating the need for university-industry collaborations.  Our TTO staff are members of AUTM, a non-profit professional association with over 3,100 members around the world. For examples of how academic and government research is helping address the pandemic, go here.

AUTM has developed guidelines to help us accelerate those collaborations and the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust and its TTO have joined with scores of universities, research institutes, research hospitals, and major associations to endorse these COVID-19 Licensing Guidelines:

  1. Technology transfer accelerates innovations that impact society and promotes the broad distribution of public health solutions. We encourage intellectual property (IP) owners to adopt a COVID-19 licensing strategy that facilitates rapid pandemic response by licensees and to make the execution of associated transactions a top priority.
  2. For most technologies, where legally possible, this strategy is best accomplished by adopting time-limited, non-exclusive royalty-free licenses, in exchange for the licensees’ commitment to rapidly make and broadly distribute products and services to prevent, diagnose, treat and contain COVID-19 and protect healthcare workers during the pandemic (as defined by the World Health Organization).
  3. Licenses may subsequently convert to a more typical commercial license as appropriate. Licenses must also preserve the licensor’s freedom to publish and use the intellectual property for teaching and research.

AUTM has long supported expediting research from academic and government labs around the world to the public for the good of society, as exemplified in the 2007 Nine Points to Consider in Licensing University Technology framework.

AUTM’s COVID-19 Licensing Guidelines are available here.

Our TTO’s practices reinforce these principles.  You can contact us at tto@prsciencetrust.org